August 19

It’s a tomatotastic harvest!


It has been a fantastic year for tomatoes. We have had kilos of them and they are still going strong although they have slowed down a little as the weather is  slightly cooler. The new tomatoes I grew this year have been a mixed bunch and the only one I will keep is Rosella – the small dark red tomato at the bottom of the picture on the left-hand side. It is sharp but sweet which is just how I like my tomatoes. I won’t grow Yellow Pear and Zlatava (large orange one at the bottom) again.

The aubergines, cucumbers and courgettes continue to be prolific and I am off to buy a second freezer tomorrow as we just can’t fit it all in to the one we have. I am going for a chest freezer this time so that I can just pile it all in and work our way through it during the winter.

The climbing French beans have been a little difficult this year. I sowed them in May, June and July. The May bunch were covered in black fly and never recovered. The June batch produced beans but were not prolific. The July batch have been very prolific. They obviously did not like the early heat and I probably didn’t water them quite enough at the right time. The photos are the May and July sowings and you can see why the last lot are more prolific..

The beans were a packet of mixed climbing beans. Once I had sown them in July I threw the packet away so I don’t know which sort they are but are yellow, green and purple and taste fine.  We ate them in a pasta dish with broccoli, artichokes and home made pesto.

I do prefer these to the dwarf French beans not for taste reasons but because I find the beans on the dwarf plants tend to touch the soil and get muddy and then the plant flops over.


The new harvest for this week is cabbage.  I am not really ready for red cabbage thinking of it as more of an autumn vegetable but the red cabbage is ready to be picked.

The cabbage is a pointed type, Kalibos, and is good in salads but this one is quite large –  over 2.5kgs – so that will be many salads.  The only thing I could find to show the scale when I took a picture  was a peg which is at the bottom of the stalk on the chair.

And finally, to celebrate National Allotments Week we held an Open Day which had lots of tea and cake but also included a tour around the plots.  I don’t often walk around the plots – I think there are over 300 – as I normally need to get on with the work so it was a real treat. The image that will stay with me is the dahlias grown for shows protected by umbrellas . They were enormous and fantastic.

I have started to sow autumn and winter seeds and am undertaking a small trial. I hardly ever direct sow: carrots and parsnips being about the only things. I find the plants get off to a better start in a warm, protective environment. I sow in three main ways: into a tray and then transplant seedlings, into cells and into soil blocks.  I have sown several types of seed in these three ways and will see which method produces the plants that take off best once planted.

As ever, this post is hosted by Dave at Happy Acres 






Posted August 19, 2018 by alijoy in category Uncategorized

10 thoughts on “It’s a tomatotastic harvest!

  1. Sue Garrett

    We seem to have lots on common. We prefer the climbing French beans too for the same reason. We grew Cobra and the purple Cosse Violette this year. The yellows never seem as prolific. Both this year’s varieties have produced loads but we did give them a good watering every other day.

    We also grow Kalibos and we also only direct sow carrots and parsnips.

    One difference is that we have only grown four tomatoes varieties thus year.

    1. alijoy (Post author)

      I may well have grown too many types of tomatoes. I will cut back next year – just the favourites!

  2. Will - Eight Gate Farm - NH

    What a beautiful assembly of tomatoes. Glad you are getting so many. I’m curious, how large are the individual plots in your allotment, as 300 sounds like an awful lot! We have just 30 in our community garden.

    1. alijoy (Post author)

      Hi Will – allotments are measured in rods, an old Anglo-Saxon measurement but each plot is about 250 square meters. One of mine is slighty bigger and the other slightly smaller. It is a very large site.

  3. Dave@HappyAcres

    That is a lovely assortment of tomatoes you have. I made a note to give Rosella a try next year. It looks like a good cherry type. And that red cabbage is huge! We bought a second freezer a couple of years ago and now it is filled too. It’s nice to have all those homegrown goodies in there.

    1. alijoy (Post author)

      You also do a lot of fermenting of veg and I think that I need to give this a try. I really enjoyed your kombucha post.

  4. Phuong

    That is a beautiful array of tomatoes, the contrast in colors and textures is just fantastic. It’s too bad you didn’t find many to your liking. I love how massive your red cabbage is.

    I’ll be interested to see how your seed starting trials play out. Birds and squirrels always seem to get into my trays and tubs in late summer, so I mainly direct seed for the fall/autumn garden.

  5. Kathy

    Love those dahlias under umbrellas.. did make me chuckle! It is certainly a good year for tomatoes in many places, and growing a wide variety gives you the chance to try all sorts and “fine tune” favourites for the coming year too. Gorgeous colours!!


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