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A human expedition by a dedicated team.

Seedling Follow-up 2016

Season 2016

2016-10-23: this time it's over, the 2016 season is closed!. The housekeeping was done in the last greenhouse still in use, only two plants were kept as long as they seemed in good shape and still bore many fruits without spots or defects. This will be an opportunity to test their vigor and endurance in the face of the bad weather conditions we are now experiencing. A green manure planting was done after a good rehydration of the soil to help the emergence. The last edible fruits have been collected, including some beautiful specimens, the others have been sent to enrich the compost. Soon we will have to take stock of this season in half-tone and think already about the next one.

2016-10-16: the frosts of the beginning of the week have had the last plants in production in Brioude. They were pulled out and the ground prepared to receive a green manure sowing. In Ambert, only a few plants were "burned", the others did rather well but we must not delude ourselves, the fruits they can still produce will be just good to finish in soup. Nevertheless, during the last harvest, some magnificent fruits were collected, several of them weighing more than 400 grams.

2016-10-05: the first frosts have appeared these last days, not very strong but frosts nevertheless and in spite of the sun the temperatures are struggling to rise that seems to sound the death knell of the season! The fruits have become soft and tasteless, just good for making coulis or soup. It's a pity because there were many unripe ones left.

2016-10-01: the plants are distilling their fruits in a trickle...except for some exceptions like Boronia which is at its fourth salvo, with this time 6 beautiful fruits. There are still a lot of big fruits, the record being held by Gary O'Sena with more than a dozen. On the other hand, some plants have finished producing like Blackberry, Serendipity, Black magic etc....Green fertilizer (mix of mustard-phacelia-lino-trefoil) has been sown in the "blue" greenhouse, the first ones have been pulled out, we will see their number decreasing again for the next season. In Brioude, abundant watering was done in the big greenhouse to refresh the soil and allow a better emergence of the seeds which will be sown on Monday, leaving time for the water to penetrate well. The peppers are doing wonderfully with a third good harvest and many fruits to come.

2016-09-19: autumn is here ! Rain, fog and coolness are back, consequently brutal fall of the production...still some beautiful fruits! Second harvest of peppers with the key recovery of seeds, damn that it stings.....fini the Super Hot next year I will do only sweet!

2016-09-17: the gray and the freshness seem to settle, it feels the end of the season... The last harvests were ridiculous compared to the previous ones. Some plants still have some nice fruits, immature, they will probably be the last ones, at least the last ones that will still have a good taste!

2016-09-14: an autumnal impression with the return of rain in much less quantity than announced by Météo France. Big harvest after the 4/5 days of absence, probably one of the last of this size. The tomatoes that were exposed in Haverskerque have been seeded, they will probably be the last ones to be seeded because the optimum period for this harvest is now over. Soon we will have to start cleaning the greenhouses with the removal of the first plants that have become useless.

2016-09-11: Haverskerque 2016, 11ième édition.

2016-09-07: The mildness, and even the heat on some days, of this early September has had the effect of boosting the ripening of the fruits, still a good harvest.

2016-09-06: Disparities are created, depending on the variety, some have stopped producing while others still offer beautiful fruits and even continue to bloom. The extremities of the varieties with the most immature fruits have been cut in order to allow a maturation before the arrival of the first frosts. Preparations for the Haverskerque show have started, for this one the number of varieties presented will be in net decrease but the size of the fruits selected, mainly late varieties having produced little, is bigger.

2016-09-04: some pictures of the peppers whose first real harvest has been done. I confirm that it "stings" or even burns! Wearing glasses and gloves is mandatory. .

2016-09-02: back on the field after the Brussels escapade and before the next trip to Haverskerque. A lot of fruits have ripened during these 6 days of absence but on the whole everything is in order. The drought persisting associated with the current heat wave a good watering was necessary. Reappearance of "culs noirs" in Brioude where the lack of water is more prejudicial because less depth of soil leading to a faster drying of the ground. The graining is the main occupation of the moment, it is indeed at this period that the fruits carry in quantity the best seeds.

2016-08-27 et 28: Tomatofest Bruxelles

03-03-2016: freshness of the early morning to load all this small world by hoping that the heat wave spares it and that it arrives at destination still presentable.

2016-08-21: The favorable weather conditions have boosted the production so much that some plants have delivered a big part of their fruits and have now only immature tomatoes to offer. This is not a good thing for me because I will have less varieties to present in Brussels in a week for the Tomatofest. At the moment the days are more than full with the graining in full swing, the harvesting, the maintenance of the greenhouses and now the preparations for the trip to Belgium.

2016-08-16: it's an avalanche of tomatoes since a few days without doubt the favorable weather of this last week with mild nights and sunny days without excessive heat. The question that arises now is what will be left for the tomatofest in Brussels in 10 days...the stress is starting to mount! Note that a few moths have invited themselves again this year, for the moment it's under control, some fruits have been damaged but nothing dramatic, daily observation and surveillance are essential to avoid any proliferation. (by the way, pheromone traps are not 100% efficient!).

2016-08-12: In spite of 3 very cool days, not to say cold, 7° C at dawn yesterday morning, the harvest remains good. Note a singularity: the fruits of some varieties like "Beauty Princess" or Wessel's purple pride" which were formed and of definitive size for almost a month, are ripening almost all at the same time. The graining started a few days ago and the tomatoes produced are conforming and contain many more seeds, indeed many of the first fruits were from "cat's flower" (thus deformed) and contained very few or no seeds.

2016-08-09: The weather is starting to yo-yo again with extreme temperatures, in one day we lost more than 15° C. 2016 is shaping up to be a weird year both in terms of weather and tomato cultivation. A lot of deformed fruits, a lot of aborted flowers or even whole bunches burned. Some plants (Sputnik - Amazon Chocolate - Golden Stripes - Big yellow zebra etc...) at the beginning of August look like the ones we usually see at the end of the season, that is to say more or less dried up and with yellowed leaves and seeming to be at the end of their life, while others are still very green and vigorous, really weird..

2016-08-05: The return to more suitable weather conditions facilitates the ripening of the numerous fruits waiting to be picked. Some varieties are still waiting to be picked like Dark Queen, Buffalo Soldier and some dwarfs, but some seem to be at the end of their production and have taken on an autumnal look.

2016-07-29: in spite of sunny and warm days the nights remain cool, +/-12°, which seems to disturb the ripening of the fruits. Indeed the production is done by jerks, on the same plant it is not rare to see ripening from 3 to 6 fruits at the same time and then nothing more... strange strange! As far as the "black asses" are concerned, they have almost disappeared, no doubt the addition of calcium, through milk powder, in the watering water has been beneficial.

2016-07-26: the production is in full swing, soon all varieties will have produced their first fruit ... note the arrival of the first large or very large sizes!

2016-07-22: the storms of the night had the effect of "killing" the heat but unfortunately the quantity of water that fell was negligible : 8 mm for Ambert and 2 mm for Brioude... Let's hope that the return of "cooler" temperatures will allow the plants to find less stressful growing conditions. The "black asses" are strongly reduced since the addition of milk to the watering, which is already a good news in itself..

2016-07-20: decidedly the weather will not spare us anything this year.... we are now waiting for the rain, who would have thought it! The damages are starting to appear, sunstroke, burned foliage and our famous "black ass" which despite a treatment are not decided to disappear; let's hope that the return to "normal" temperatures will allow us to put things in order.

2016-07-19: notwithstanding of the heat wave which is again installed the fruits continue to ripen without too many difficulties nor damage except for some "black asses" which appear here and there... the causes can be multiple and varied and to deal with the most pressing: slight increase in the rate and volume of watering (3 waterings instead of 2) (1.5 l instead of 1, l/foot/week) and contribution of milk (dosed 1 l/watering can for the affected varieties and 1/2l/watering can in prevention for the other varieties).

2016-07-17: Here we go, in spite of the return of the freshness, the varieties turn one after the other allowing to discover the novelties in "real" and the disappointments are there even if fortunately there are also beautiful discoveries... we will speak about it again at the end of the season when it will be a question of drawing up the assessment of the campaign.

2016-07-14: today, fireworks of novelties...finally of the color! and it is only the beginning.... to be followed!

2016-07-12: it is always slowly that the production is made, the return to less extreme weather conditions (heat wave since 4 days) will perhaps allow this one to really start. We notice at the beginning of the harvest that the first fruits, for a great majority, have no seeds and that their skin is very thick..

2016-07-10: In spite of the good weather and the heat which reigns since a few days, the plants distill their fruits with a drop...the vegetation seems to be frozen and offers very little evolution from one day to the other.

2016-07-07: Now the season has really started, each day offering us new varieties to admire and to taste!

2016-07-04: In Brioude, little by little the fruits are getting their colored dress and it's a real pleasure after so much waiting... The first "black asses" are also appearing, they are few but I wonder what could have caused them, watering regularly and sparingly (with a small watering can of 2 l, at the foot, 2 to 3 times a week for a total of 1. The fertilization is done exclusively by spraying a mixture of homemade purins (comfrey/nettle/horset/fennel), which could be a little too high in nettle (nitrogen), this is an avenue I will look into..

2016-07-01: first fruit tasting. By the end of next week the production will be launched. The first bunches are bearing fruits that are just waiting to ripen while the second ones are loading at high speed, hence the need to secure the plants to avoid any breakage!

2016-06-29: finally the color is coming! the first fruits are starting to "turn" not enough to make an indigestion, but it is only the beginning... Considering the number of immature fruits carried by the various varieties, the beginning of the harvest promises to be good. Now we will have to manage..

2016-06-24: Brioude, after 3 days of great heat still no ripe fruits! The pictures speak for themselves, no need for comments... everything is going well and I hope it will last... Put in place pheromone traps to trap possible noctuid moths in order to stop any desire of attack.

2016-06-18: In Brioude, the growth of the different varieties is going on well, in fact when we look at a picture of the greenhouses taken in mid-May, that is to say just one month ago, we can realize how vigorous it is! We can now easily see if the different varieties, which bear sufficiently large fruits, are in conformity with their standard and the surprises are begin Mr Stripey is none other than Tigerella (Mister Stripey) many collectors make the mistake, Burgess Lemon, seed bought at Tatiana is absolutely not in conformity with the standard, 100 Pudov the first fruits do not seem to be piriform enough we will wait for the next ones to be sure or not of its conformity. Fortunately the percentage of non conformity is low but it is part of the hazards and we have to deal with it... We can finally see what the enigmatic "Colosso di Rodi" looks like and I invite the different collectors who have also obtained this Italian variety to tell me if their fruits are similar or not, because there is almost no "literature" about it...

2016-06-16: Ambert, the "blue" varieties have finally decided to show their nose, the size of a walnut can already distinguish the more or less important anthocyanins. In spite of a far from favorable weather, the few sunny spells have warmed up the atmosphere of the greenhouses and thus allow the plants to enjoy themselves.