September 1, 2020

Ripen the last of the tomatoes

Ripen the last of the tomatoes

Gardening with Martin Blunn, Solutionize Global.

With the recent wet weather produce in the poly tunnel hasn’t ripened as quick as we would like so you’ve most likely had quite a few green tomatoes. One trick my mum told me many years to put a ripe banana in a drawer with the green tomatoes and they will ripen quicker. Sounds an odd combination but bananas produce the most ethylene gas of fruit and this helps speed up the process of ripening.

To keep your tomatoes and cucumbers healthy as they get to the end of the season. With tomatoes stop feeding and reduce the watering to a minimum. Remove any diseased leaves and ones from the lower 2/3rds of the stem. If any plant looks badly diseased or has collapsed remove it all together, trying not to spread any spores. With cucumbers if they are still cropping water and feed regularly and remove any discoloured leaves. Keep picking the cucumbers even if they are small and curled into unusual shapes, regular picking will keep the plants producing as long as the weather stays kind.

Many crops will still produce for a few weeks more, courgettes will be coming to the end of their season and many varieties of French and runner beans will continue to flower and produce beans for picking. Your autumn/winter crops of cauliflower, sprouting broccoli and Brussel Sprouts you should have been feeding throughout the summer and keep feeding now in preparation for a winter harvest.

Probably worth moving any pepper plants into a warmer dryer climate they tend to work really well on a window sill in a kitchen or another room where the sun shines. If you have any aubergine plant still flowering and growing you, many want to consider doing the same.

You can still sow seeds in late August and September think about winter turnips, kale, spring cabbage and oriental greens can all prosper depending on the garden or allotment conditions.

This time is year is where you start collecting lots of foliage from the your garden, greenhouse or poly tunnel so get ready to empty your compost if there is no room for compostable material as the compost at the bottom will be ready to use elsewhere in the garden for an autumn feed.