Toma­toes

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Gardeners' World - - Grow & Eat -

Green toma­toes won’t ripen on the plant late in the sea­son, but fruit can be picked and put in a drawer with a cou­ple of ma­ture ap­ples or ba­nanas. These give off eth­yl­ene gas, which speeds ripen­ing.

Nu­tri­tion

Rich in ly­copene, which is said to boost health in many ways, as well as vi­ta­min C and beta-carotene.

How to grow

Toma­toes can be grown from seed in spring, though ready-grown plants are widely avail­able and in­clude grafted va­ri­eties that, al­though dearer, are heav­ier crop­ping and more re­sis­tant to dis­ease. Al­though toma­toes must have plenty of sun, too much – es­pe­cially un­der glass – can cause fruit dis­or­ders such as sun­scald and green­back, leaf curl, scorch and poor fruit set. To avoid this, put up green­house shad­ing and wa­ter the sur­round­ing ground to raise hu­mid­ity. Keep com­post evenly moist to avoid prob­lems such as blos­som end rot (too dry) and fruit split (too lit­tle fol­lowed by too much). En­sure plants keep crop­ping well by adding liq­uid tomato fer­tiliser ev­ery week.

Har­vest

Pick ripe fruits reg­u­larly as over-ma­ture fruit left on the plant soft­ens, splits and may be­come in­fected with grey mould, which can spread to younger fruits.

How to store

Lots of ripe fruit is a great prob­lem to have! Freeze whole, dry in the oven to keep in olive oil, use in chut­neys or make into soup or sauces to freeze ready-made. Green toma­toes can also be used in bak­ing and pre­serves. For more on pre­serv­ing har­vests, see p.129.

Our choices

For blight re­sis­tance: ‘Crim­son Crush’ Large, tasty fruit. ‘Moun­tain Magic’ Good crops of sweet fruit. ‘Losetto’ Per­fect for pots and bas­kets.

Share pho­tos of the fruit and veg you’re pick­ing this month at face­book.com/ GW­magazine

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