So today I only really had time to check on everything and quickly water it. It was like a mad chilli jungle, with them having flowered yet again and producing fruits all over the place. A bit odd, not sure if this is like a last gasp defence mechanism or not. I still have a bazillion of these plants though, so I will definitely be overwintering at least a few of them.
I decided it was time to call it a day with the tomatoes, and brought them all inside and cut off the remaining fruits, which I will ripen in the boiler cupboard. Although I've never read about it before, I'm going to experiment with overwintering tomatoes. It sounds totally mad, since I've never heard of anyone even trying this before, but I figured why not give it a go since I'm overwintering a bunch of other things anyway. So I pruned them all down to the point where they can still grow in the side shoots (that I would normally pinch out). I plan to put them into very deep pots and allow the lower stems to build a really strong root system and I'm hoping this might mean the plants survive long enough to start re-sprouting later. We will see! I will likely keep them indoors if not in the greenhouse during this. I have planted some side shoots which I let grow then cut off a few months ago and they are all doing extremely well in the greenhouse, they are lovely and green, tall, though height growth has slowed as its gotten colder, and they are clearly hydrated and holding water very well. So I will leave them in the greenhouse and monitor them to see if they actually make it through to spring, when I hope they will start growing up again.
So now for my harvest! There's a mix of Black Russian, which is the one with ridges and is dark green on top. They ripen to red with almost black on top. There's also moneymaker and roma and a couple chillis in there too.
Roma performed very...non existantly this year. All my tomato plants produced, and I know at least two of them were Roma as far as I know (there should have been 2 of each of the three varieties) but the cross pollination of them saw most of the plants producing Black Russians and Moneymakers on the same plant on multiple plants! I have only seen one distinctly Roma-esque tomato. So its clearly the weaker of the three. I would say that Black Russian is the more dominant one, but they take the longest to ripen.
And who is this little weirdo?
I call him Triplette, (because you know, I name and genderise all my tomatoes...), and its literally a single tomato, split into three at the bottom, but attached at the top. The "scars" on the fruit are from the flower petals which were stuck. I didn't see this one when it first grew until it got quite big, so I didn't pull the flower off, and as a result the tomato grew through the middle and around the outer edges as the flower was pushed away from the stalk, resulting in this.
It has this brown section on the underside of both edges of one segment of the tomato. It seems to be the equivalent of a tomato ectopic pregnancy. The seeds have been produced on the outside of this section, instead of inside. They are very small and the surface appears more similarly to a strawberry. It will be interesting to let this one ripen then cut it open. I'm not sure it will be salvageable as edible, but it will certainly be interesting!
Now that I trimmed it off, I'm not sure if this IS a chilli, or rather a sweet pepper. I'm sure I'll find out. I forgot to label well, ANY of my chillis or peppers (fool that I am with having so many) but I may well have got some cross pollination from them too.
I have lots of posts cued up to go, so now that my interview is over, and even if I get the job I wouldn't start until January, so I'm hoping I can get enough time actually out of work to get some more daylight photos and updates on garden renovations and who/what is being overwintered! (I saw who, cos these plants are basically my children) :P It's nice to be back!