Are you one of many gardeners who is experiencing slowness in the tomatoes ripening? For various reasons, this seems to be a very common problem to many this year.
Having a special cherry tomato plant that has grown to a height of over two metres and is loaded with an abundance of clusters of large, green tomatoes, a very simple and effective solution to speed up their ripening was to cover the staked plant with extra-long plastic dry-cleaning bags.
Soon it was necessary to make a vent in the top as the temperature quickly soared to 35C. This particular variety has clusters of eight and 10 large tomatoes. It is also a variety that does not crack when they reach maturity, underscoring the desire of creating something which will hasten the ripening process and prolong the season.
How does one get these long plastic bags used for gowns? Taking a quart of ripe cherry tomatoes to the local cleaners facilitated an easy exchange! It is conceded that had this plant been grown indoors from seed and transplanted to the garden, it would have matured earlier than using direct seeding.
Nevertheless, it is also comforting to know this healthy, vigorous plant is ready for the first fall frost!
Lester C. Fretz is a Haldimand gardener and member of Dunnville Horticultural Societ