It is probably the onset of winter that makes me long for the hot summer days again (although i hate really hot weather during summer… the grass is always greener right?) but it got me thinking about summer gardening and vegetables. For me the smell of summer is fresh bruschetta – warm, vine ripened tomatoes, freshly picked basil and a little garlic and olive oil… mmm sounds good doesn’t it! And it is as much the smell as the taste, although the taste is pretty amazing! You could have it with nearly anything – I’ll even eat it straight from the bowl (but maybe that’s just me!)
Anyhow enough daydreaming. It got me thinking that many people reported having trouble growing tomatoes this year. I was chatting to a neighbour in late summer and her tomatoes were eith still green or had died. For some reason mine grew well so i thought i’d provide a few brief things i think made the difference.
I had tomatoes in a number of locations getting varying amounts of sun. I think this extended the season as some ripened early and others later.
In other years I have simply planted and waited for the fruit to be ready to eat. This year was a very wet summer and at times I noticed a little mould starting to attack the low leaves on the plants. I was very thorough about picking off diseased leaves and making sure the airflow around the plant was adequate. I also provided my tomatoes with regular feed (seaweed and chook manure).
I started my tomatoes very early in a greenhouse and so by the time I planted them out they were quite mature. I think in a short (cold, wet) season this was a big advantage!
Since I had such a good year this summer I’ll probably try the same again next year. So knows, maybe they will all fail leaving me with a lot of pesto and no bruschetta! But hopefully not 🙂