Our Tomatoes are late again. Another cold late spring. We grow some pretty tasty tomatoes, I am told. The reason they taste so good is that we have hot days and cool nights. The cooling is provided by the Delta Breeze which rolls in about 7 pm each night. We love this, it makes living here quite bearable. The tomatoes love it because they like to take a break from growing at night to respire. Unfortunately taking a rest means that we are always a couple of weeks later to harvest than some farms even just ten miles away who do not have the breeze. So now is the time to think of next year and try to harvest sooner. Every week we loose in harvest time we can never make up. We can prune the crop. This involves removing the side shoots up to the the first truss of flowers. We have done this in the past. It takes time but means we harvest ten days earlier. Secondly we can put our ground cover down in November so no matter how wet it is in Mid March we can find a window to plant. Thirdly we can cover the newly planted tomatoes with the same thin fabric that makes our basil so fantastic. All of this should get us tomatoes by the end of June in a late year or by mid June in a 'normal' year. This is expensive, costing around $4,000 per acre but we can sell the extra we do not need for your boxes at the market and recover our expenses.
This year we will have plenty of tomatoes in August and September. We can look forward to next year... Nigel