I find myself tending my tomato plants like babies. I check them several times a day and am anxious if I have to miss a visit to them or leave them in the care of others – even of my husband!
I have had a bad history with tomatoes – for the last few years I have lost them all to tomato blight, and despite using fresh compost and stakes etc, this year I have already suffered the shock of finding a tomato tainted with the horrid dark blistered area that signalled blight again.
Tomato blight is related to potato blight and is carried by a spore that is encouraged byn the warm humid conditions which we have suffered this year. It starts slowly but can advance with terrifying speed, affecting the leaves and then the fruit, until they are all scarred with dark deformed patches.
I looked up everything I could find to see if there was anything I could do to protect my remaining precious crop, and there was little comfort. People talked of spraying with a solution of baking soda and ‘inert oil’ or just harvesting the green tomatoes before destroying the plants.
In the end I decided to do nothing drastic and have simply been examining them minutely several times a day and snipping off any leaf that seemed remotely suspect. This has so far been ok and today I harvested the two little beauties above. One of them however has small brown marks on it which I am suspicious of. Lots more are nearly ripe and I’ll go on checking and must stock up on brown paper bags so that I can try and ripen the green tomatoes by bagging them and keeping my fingers crossed! (Putting green tomatoes into brown paper bags encourages them to ripen.)
Anyway – the two little tomatoes we had this morning were delicious – just need a few more to justify the whole process!