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nissanneill 12-16-2012 02:13 AM

New Season's Tomatoes for Saucing
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I't a bit over a week to Christmas and the tomatoes in the veggy garden are unbelievable this year. Had to buy some jarrah 4x2 to cut into longer stakes and they still keep growing. The crop, well I have never experienced it so good. They are like bunches of grapes. I have 30 bushes and expect to be making pizza sauces and chutneys every week for the whole of January and February.
Also had to 'bird proof' the garden as the parrots devastate the apricots and nectarines long before they ripen and are totally inedible to us. Just a few lengths of pVC pipe and a 20 x 10metre black mesh that will be put up for a month each year. I even had the Sulphur Crests eat some of my pumpkins last year.
Will post some pics once the fruit is in the preserving pan.


cobblerdave 12-16-2012 04:20 AM

Re: New Season's Tomatoes for Saucing
Gudday Neil
Given up trying to grow full size tomatoes up here it breaks you heart when they just ripen and the fruit fly gets them. I could spray but I not a big fan of lots of chemicals. I have a lot of cherry tomatoes come up in the mulch. Seems the seed from the hybrid we store buy revert to the cherry type. There not effected by the fly so we let the strongest plants alone and get a small supply of tomatoes for salads for most of the year. Garden looks a little funny with tomato in the flower beds and tomato sharing a pot plant but what the heck.
We grow basil all year here but in the hotter months it tends to bolt to seed straight away. You just except this and let the plant go to seed and spread these in the garden. You can water them as much as you want and nothing will come up, one shower of rain and there up thicker than hairs on a cat back.
Oregano grows well keep the water up to it and it makes a great ground cover to good sometimes and it escapes onto the path, I feel a little sinfull hitting it with the whipper sniper but it smells real good.
I'm starting to sound like a lazy gardener ..... But I just a little time poor I'm gone but sun up and not back till it sets so any plant has to tough it out till the weekend .
All the best for Xmas to you and yours
Regards dave

nissanneill 12-16-2012 01:46 PM

Re: New Season's Tomatoes for Saucing
Hi Dave,
we are hot on the fruit fly in SA, and as a result enjoy the fruits produced. If a case does break out (which is very rarely, one or 2 a year), the fruit around it is confiscated and around a 1 km radius area restricted and thoroughly watched. Most outbreaks are from people bringing fruit into the area or to their home from interstate.
I have herbs growing but rarely use them, they simply grow, smell nice and run to seed at the end of their season. Simple tastes (as some might say for simple people).
We like the Grosse Lissse tomatoes but I also have Roma, some Tigerella to try out, a few Truss tomatoes and a half dozen cocktail sweet bites for the salad plates but they all go into the sauces when cooking. Have tried the San Marzano but not overly impressed with it's flavour nor cropping.
Anyway, will be kept busy over the sumer months. At least I have 5 large preserving pans to choose from to cook it all up.

Cheers and I wish you (and all readers) a Merry Christmas.


Laurentius 12-16-2012 01:56 PM

Re: New Season's Tomatoes for Saucing
Hi Neill,

Herbs are the taste, for simple people.

BOOMERS WFO 01-10-2013 07:15 PM

Re: New Season's Tomatoes for Saucing
It would be great to have tomatoes before Xmas. As I live in the hills, it gets warmer later and cooler earlier. I am only just starting to see the first tomatoes ripening, not planted till November. I generally use grafted varieties as I have more success. Last year I was still picking tomatoes in mid to late May. Not always this way depends on weather.

Neill, what varieties do you grow? They certainly have great growth. Any magic formulas you use?;);)



TropicalCoasting 01-10-2013 08:35 PM

Re: New Season's Tomatoes for Saucing
I grow my best tomatoes in autumn winter and spring
But have had some going continuously for well over 8 months.
San marzanos are the only big ones I grow seriously, had an incredible crop I still have more than 3/4s left in the freezer.
Ive tried others and the just get wacked by bugs or birds,still get heaps but not productively.
The best variety for flavour and being bullet proof by far is tommy toe
I ate millions and am still eating them and have roasted and bottled heaps.

mothy 01-12-2013 02:50 PM

Re: New Season's Tomatoes for Saucing
Hey guys,

Love hearing about all the produce growing. I have a little courtyard with about a meter squared for my veggie plants :( (sacrificing about half the courtyard for the Pizza oven :)) Would love to hear any advice you have on getting good tomato crops. even just some simple advice on fertilising.

Cheers and Happy New Years :)


TropicalCoasting 01-12-2013 05:12 PM

Re: New Season's Tomatoes for Saucing
Tomatoes a pretty forgiving
In Canberra it would require timing.,late spring, warm soils,not too much fertiliser unless you like leaves.
Just picked a few san marzanos from the community garden a few days back,bad soil(pure sand and clay from a construction site),with 2 inches of horse manure as the only treatment, no real rain for three months( we are in a drought), no hand watering, no staking, no fertilising,no pest control and still heaps of great tomatoes.

mothy 01-12-2013 05:47 PM

Re: New Season's Tomatoes for Saucing
Sounds great! I've got a little yellow tumbler that is producing heaps of fruit but flavor isn't the best I've had I like it though as there's no staking or pruning and my little boy can just go and grab some :)

I also have a Tommy toe plant that is maybe 150cm tall. Los of flowers and some some fruit starting to get some size. Pretty clueless about pruning though :)



nissanneill 01-13-2013 02:39 AM

Re: New Season's Tomatoes for Saucing
have you considered the hanging tomato planters, you might recall several years ago thy called them the upside down planters. Like an old canvas water bag, these have holes in the sides where the plants emerge and trail, the fruit hanging rather than supported with stakes.
Being in Canberra, there is plenty of airborne fertilizer from that underground "house" from all those people we pay to supposedly advance Australia, all you need to do is to capture it.
I made my first batch, although only used a small amount of the tomatoes, of a really nice spicy sauce. I intend making numerous small batches until I find a recipe that really suits my needs and expectations, then make a larger batch.
Trying to replicate something different, not unlike the Beerenberg Takatala sauce, but doing a Google search and sifting through a dozen pages, Takatala is a name that seems to be invented by the maker rather than a known old established type of sauce. All entries refer to Beerenberg which is very popular!
The small batch made 4 1/2 jars and is has a little lingering kick, but no spices used at all, a reinsuring start. Plenty more tomatoes ready for picking but I'll leave them on the vine to almost over ripen an then sauce.


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