Caption: When you realise there's never enough!
Caption: Gardener's Delight ripening up nicely
Caption: The gorgeous yellow of the Early Sungolds
Caption: A Pomodoro truss needing support!

Good tomatoes are the defining taste of summer’, says Sarah Raven in her beautiful book Sarah Raven’s Garden Cookbook. I couldn’t agree with her more, the plump, homegrown tomato is hard to beat. Warm from the greenhouse, one or two swallowed on the return to the kitchen and the remainder served with olive oil and salt, what’s not to like?

There is a moment when growing your own tomatoes that you realise there’s never enough! Warm tomatoes are no longer reaching the kitchen, your children have discovered greenhouse foraging and what was once plenty for summer salads is no longer cutting it. It’s the same with all vices, you start small but then it gets out of hand, even our chickens are ever watchful for a dropped snack.

I’ve crammed more plants into the greenhouse this year to up production. To ward off blight I’m being really strict with pinching out and not allowing too much foliage. I’ve been following the advice of Sophie Turner, Head Gardener at Babington House writing in The English Garden Magazine, July 2020 and stripping the leaves off up to each truss as it ripens and hopefully avoided blight due too much moisture.

So far, so good. Early Sungolds have been excellent and my Supersweet bush tomatoes are proving tasty. Where I’m getting impatient is with the plum tomatoes, San Manzano and Pomodoro. I chose these varieties as I read they are better cooked than fresh which would solve my grazing problems. They are looking promising, no difficulties setting the fruit and by god they’re big, but still not quite ready.

Patience, patience, I know that with a few more days the orange colour will turn to a tempting red and once one ripens, the others will quickly follow. I can’t wait to be tucking into some Italian pasta with home-made tomato sauce, what joy!




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Barker and Bland is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Dalefoot Farm, Heltondale, Nr Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2QL. Registered number: 8312959

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