Last year I grew too many tomatoes and tired of the habitual chutney decided to try my hand at making ketchup. Amazingly gorgeous so this year I’m growing even more!
I’m not experienced enough to have settled on a favourite variety and grow whatever I can get my hands on. This year I’m trying Lizzano, Elegance, Sweet ‘n’ Neat, Moneymaker, Guilietta and Gardener’s Delight. All are doing well although the Lizzano is a bit of a thug and I’m glad I’ve put it outside as otherwise my greenhouse would be swamped. It’s a huge plant, covered in flowers and cherry sized tomatoes. Not red yet but they’re on their way!
The only drawback to growing tomatoes outside is that my dogs steal the fruit! Given the chance they have a good rummage through the trusses selecting only those that are ripe but knocking off many green fruit in the process. The collie does much of the rummaging and the jack russell clears up at ground level. Does anyone else have produce thieving pets?
Being one of those people who never read instructions I also never read gardening books but instead do what I feel to be right. Sadly this often results in my doing something completely wrong but it is one way of learning! So, to keep the plants looking tidy and to aid watering I have removed a number of the lower down leaves on each plant. Some of the leaves higher up are huge and so I’ve chopped the end third off to give more light to the developing fruit. Seems to work but if anyone reading this blog wants to give me some advice then I’m all ears. Should I chop or not?
If you haven’t already discovered the delights of homemade ketchup then have a go. I particularly like the River Cottage recipe but there are plenty of others available.