Saturday, 15 August 2015

the suffering of the overcrowded tomatoes

There's a sequence in Nick Harkaway's Tigerman where the hero finds himself hacking furiously through a patch of madly overgrown tomatoes of all shapes and sizes, leaving his skin welted and his throat raw from the noxic dust that coats the tomato plants, and when he has exhausted himself and picked up a few pests and pains and injuries, he looks at the tomatoes and sees the complete lack of impact he has had. In fact, it looks like the plants are actually growing.

That was me, this afternoon, nipping and tearing and chopping (where the vines are thick) in a blind attempt to thin the vine enough (I didn't pinch out; I failed to water twice a day on the hottest days; and perhaps worse, I didn't fully refresh the compost) to rescue my poor tomatoes, which I overcrowded in their pots (old kerbside recycling boxes) and which are now rewarding me with blossom end rot, moisture-starved fruits, speckled and yellowing leaves and the odd patch of mirkiness.

At the end of it, the greenhouse was still pretty much solid with tomato. But I could see the fruits, and some of them were getting colour, and apparently I can just cut off the blossom end rot and still have a sweet fruit.


Just a couple more days of sunshine.

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