We are having a heat wave at the moment. The sky has been a beautiful, cloudless bright blue every day for nearly a week and temperatures have been in the mid 30’s. Yesterday it was 38°C by late afternoon, that’s nearly 100° in old money.
The forecast is pretty much the same until the weekend when it begins to cool off a bit. We’re all finding it a challenge but the tomatoes are loving it.
When I think back to how much trouble we had growing tomatoes in the UK I have to smile. When I was a little girl at home, my dad had a home made greenhouse and in it he grew tomato and cucumber plants, spending hours looking after them. Feeding weekly, watering daily, spraying for disease, picking out shoots. Several times a day he or mum would march up the garden path, opening or closing the greenhouse windows to control the temperature inside so that the little beauties would have as good a chance as possible of producing fruit. The effort usually paid off and I remember the joy of fresh tomatoes straight from the plant, still warm and smelling wonderful, along with home grown cucumbers and lettuce.
Even with a greenhouse Nick and I struggled to grow anything like a decent crop ourselves, often ending up with just enough to make a few salads each year and at the end of the summer finishing up with a lot of green ones that simply wouldn’t ripen at all.
Here, it’s a different kettle of fish. Or a different bowl of tomatoes.
We were late putting our plants in this year because the spring was cool and wet so we didn’t expect to do as well as last year. For one reason or another we then neglected our tomato plants, left them to their own devices, tying them to canes when we noticed one day that the poor things were trailing on the ground. The plants are by now a scraggly set of shriveled specimens and I would be embarrassed to let anyone see them. My dad would be horrified if he saw them. If we had let our plants look like that in our UK greenhouse I would have been ashamed. Yet they are producing loads of beautiful, tasty tomatoes. I have already preserved some, roasted in the oven and put into jars with oil. There have been plenty for salads and cooking and enough to give some away to friends whose plants have not yet started producing.
So it may be too hot outside for comfort for us, including Daisy, but the tomatoes are very happy, I’m happy to say!