It has been an interesting year for tomatoes. As usual, many seedlings sprang up in my garden, from tomato seeds out of the compost. Most of those that were allowed to grow turned out to be the small “Sweet 100” variety. Prolific and healthy, but not that satisfying. Best of the crop this year has been the “Beefsteak” variety. I learned a new trick from my friend and supergardener David Ellison, who cuts the laterals off young plants, pops them in a glass of water until they sprout roots (which only takes a few days), then plants them on. As a consequence of copying him, I ended up with about 10 Beefsteak plants, which gave me a huge crop of healthy tomatoes, perfect for salads and salsa, or roasting and making passata or soup for freezing. The plants are still ripening in our warm late summer sun.

The “Black Krim” variety wasn’t nearly so prolific, but the taste was better. The heritage tomato varieties I grew from seed were the most disappointing. Perhaps I started too late, but for whatever reason, plants grown from seed were smaller, set fruit later and were less prolific.

It has also been a good chilli season, though not hot enough to turn these beauties red.


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