Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Red mist

My tomato growing days are over. The Grosse Lisse was floury. Ditto for Mama's Delight. Still waiting on the Tommy Toe and Black Russian to ripen, but don't have high hopes. Even worse than the texture, though, is the battle of the fruit fly. Too disheartening to go through all that planting and watering to discover motley little holes throughout the crop and the creator of the holes having a little rest of the biggest tomato after all its hard work. I shake my first at its awful twitchy little wings but it just sits there. Not worth getting angry over. I give up.

Next year, I will just buy tomatoes from the farmers' markets at the height of summer when they're juicy, perfect and cheap. Which is what I've been making my daily Greek salad lunches from. To me, a Greek salad is like summer in a bowl, and as there are only a few days of summer left, I raise my glass to it. At least the cucumbers were ours.

The only variety to have worked so far is the Tomato Berry, but I'm not sure all that water and garden space can be justified on two handfuls of cherry tomatoes - so goodbye to those too. If I adapted the cost-per-wear fashion equation for these I may be looking at the Louis Vuitton of tomatoes.

For anyone who'd like some tomato-growing tips from someone who knows what they're doing - clearly not me - The Mother-in-Law's pal Mildred who's a champion grower says tomatoes like a bit of milk. Who knew? Mildred fills an almost empty 2-litre milk container with water and uses that on the soil. Also likes to grind up egg shells and toss ground coffee about.

Suspect my troubles had more to do with lack of sun than the tomatoes' desire for an omelette with a latte on the side, but heartfelf thanks to Mildred. I think it's fair to say I need all the help I can get.


  1. We've had a thief in our vege patch this year - not sure who to point the finger at but it's disappointing to put all the effort and nurturing into a plant only to arrive in the morning to find that they've been plucked already!

    Your salad looks delish and the shadow image is just delightful.

    Thanks for the tomato growing tips, will store away for next year.


  2. Yey for Greek salad - so right summer holiday in a bowl. Such a shame about your tomatoes, I empathise completely, having had my geraniums, basil and coriander decimated by grasshoppers this summer. Hope any further crops far better for you.

  3. I could just eat that salad now, it looks so good. I battle with bindweed in our garden, particularly since I refuse to nuke it with chemicals so it's the farmers' market for me all the way!
    So sorry to hear you lost your cat, always so sad and particularly for your girl I guess. I do love the memorial you made though, so lovely.
    Kate x