TOMATO GROWING THREAD 2020

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by ARMANDII, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. Fat Controller

    Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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    Can you post back how you get on with the dehydrator please @Aldo? I am over-run too, and no freezer space left, but do have a dehydrator to hand
     
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    • JWK

      JWK Gardener

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      Hi @Fat Controller - I dehydrate all my excess. Slice the smaller cherry ones in half, the bigger ones into slices the same size so they all dry at the same rate. I dry mine for 36 hours at 60 C.

      20200816_144452.jpg


      Stored in an airtight container they will keep for a year in a cupboard.

      20200820_082923.jpg

      Mrs JWK eats them raw, she says they are like tomato flavoured wine gums if that makes any sense! I like to rehydrate a handful in balsamic vinegar and olive oil overnight.
       
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      • Aldo

        Aldo Super Gardener

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        Sure.
        This point I will give a go to John's 36h/60C, also because I see that we have the same dehydrator model.
        Also, my uncle back in Italy gave me this recipe: Slice in half, add a tiny bit of salt, sugar and pepper, then dry either in the dehydrator or in the oven, at very low temperature and with very little olive oil. They can be also sprinkled with a bit of finely chopped basil.
        They save it in the fridge in oil but apparently that way it does not last long.
        Anyway, perhaps it is more a low temp oven recipe than proper dehydration. Sounds tasty though, I have not tried that yet...
         
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          Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
        • JWK

          JWK Gardener

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          Main greenhouse - left side:
          20200925_075448.jpg

          Right side:
          20200925_075522.jpg

          Small greenhouse - these 4 plants are all Gardener's Delight grown from tiny side-shoots taken on 4th June, started to flower on 29th June and planted on 5th July. Shows how quickly they grow into full sized plants from such a late start. I am keeping some for seed and eating the rest:
          20200925_075020.jpg

          Trusses isolated in fleece to ensure the seed comes true:
          20200925_075034.jpg
           
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          • Scrungee

            Scrungee Well known for it

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            4.2 Deg C in my garden polytunnel this morning.

            I'm carefully watching the forecasts and estimating the value of my remaining tomatoes versus cost of gas if I put a propane heater on lowest setting in there overnight, but at the rate they're ripening (picked around 4lbs of cherry toms yesterday) there wont be enough left to make it worthwhile in about 10 days time. Might not stop me though, as I dread going back to shop bought tomatoes.
             
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            • Aldo

              Aldo Super Gardener

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              This is the time of the year when I miss having a greenhouse.
              It sounds like today will be the last sunny day for quite a while here, I think the tomatoes will not enjoy the temperature drop much at all..

              Anywyay, I left some for the kid to pick and today I will remove the tops to hasten ripening of the green ones.

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              The one above was a rooted cutting from an Aviditas, which I transplanted there without much hope around the second weeks of July. It did grow a lot and fast, so I am making a mental note that the arch is a good position for tomatoes. It certainly worked really well for the tomatilloes, so next year I will plan around that.

              Months ago I posted a picture comparing an Honey planted out quite early on the front path bed, which looked quite stunted and small, and the same variety planted later just aside, which was much larger already.
              It is interesting though that they are now both the largest tomatoes I have, 10 feet or more, and quite productive (I'll take a picture later). Until the beginning of July they were smaller than the Aviditas, but then they caught up.
              Still, while now they are a similar size, the one planted later became productive earlier, so perhaps, given temperatures are dropping fast now, it does makes sense to plant them out late.
               
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              • Aldo

                Aldo Super Gardener

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                These went into several batches of bolognese over the last weeks:

                IMG_20200825_175725.jpg
                IMG_20200901_125414.jpg
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                IMG_20200915_233412.jpg
                IMG_20200913_171030.jpg
                IMG_20200831_172713.jpg
                IMG_20200831_133715.jpg
                 
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                  Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
                • Aldo

                  Aldo Super Gardener

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                  And some of these went into the dehydrator last night..
                  Not all of them, because our kid protested that it was a "waste of good tomatoes" :D
                  It felt a bit like the Lord of the Rings bit with Sam insisting on cooking the rabbit..
                  Anyway, I saved the best ones for Gollum, hemm, my son I mean..

                  I managed a tray of sliced ones with no condiment, and another half or so prepared accordingly to my uncle's recipe.
                  The rest I filled with tromboncino and other random stuff to see how they do.

                  IMG_20200925_182642.jpg
                  IMG_20200926_001244.jpg
                  IMG_20200926_001851.jpg
                   
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                  • Aldo

                    Aldo Super Gardener

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                    That's quite cold. Here in London is still over 10C at night, but I guess it will not last..
                     
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                    • Scrungee

                      Scrungee Well known for it

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                      Are those split ones due to the recent heavy rain?

                      I picked loads of split ones in my polytunnel yesterday, guess it was due to them not being watered for some time (trying to cut down moisture in there) then torrential rain outside raising ground water levels up to their root systems in the polytunnel borders.
                       
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                      • Aldo

                        Aldo Super Gardener

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                        Rain and me being a lazy bar stewart I guess :D
                        We have no direct water to our detached garden, so watering is about carrying several jerry cans down the stairs and then all the way to the garden.
                        I did it quite constantly until August but then we were away a few weeks and once back I have been less attentive, to be honest..
                         
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                        • Scrungee

                          Scrungee Well known for it

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                          5.2 Deg C in my garden polytunnel this morning.

                          I've not had a single tomato ripen since my last pick on Friday morning.


                          @JWK Have you experienced problems getting Oh Happy Day tomatoes to ripen? I have one in my poly tunnel and haven't had a single ripe tomato from it yet, not even one showing a bit of colour.
                           
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                            Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
                          • Aldo

                            Aldo Super Gardener

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                            I think the dehydrator is worth a shot, I am liking the results, and not only with tomatoes.
                            I found the tomatoes to be at their best 18 hours in or so, after they get brittle and the taste becomes less pleasant and more concentrated. However that might not be dry enough for long term storage, not sure.

                            Also, mine were small tomatoes, larger ones might need a longer drying time.
                            It easy enough to open the trays to check every few hours though. If I had different varieties and sizes I would probably put them in different trays, because they are likely to require different times and it makes it easier to remove them when done.

                            My uncle's recipe is actually quite nice. I put some water from cutting the tomatoes in a bowl, a tiny bit of salt and sugar, tossed them in and sprinkled with very little finley chopped basil. Both normal Genova basil and Thay basil worked fine and I like the end result.
                             
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                            • JWK

                              JWK Gardener

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                              My "Oh Happy Days" have ripened but later and not as many as other varieties. I have grown Honeymoon this year which have been much better in terms of yield, ripening and taste, so will grow that instead of Oh Happy Days in future.
                               
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                              • Fat Controller

                                Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                                Thanks @Aldo - I am not sure if we will get to dehydrator stage, as we are using quite a lot of them at the moment. I bought a load of mince at the weekend and made a massive bolognese yesterday that is all portioned up and into the freezer, and have been making soups and sauces from them.
                                 
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