Seedling Follow-up 2017
2017-11-01: it's over! The big freeze, -4,5°C, suffered last Monday night sounded the death knell of the 2017 season. All in all, let's not complain about the duration of the season, we are rather above average, anyway even if there was some fruit left, the quality and the taste were not there anymore. The last harvest in Brioude was done on Monday as a preventive measure, all the fruits that had started to "turn" were picked and will finish ripening in a warm and sheltered place. In Ambert, where only the pepper plants remained, the frost did its work decimating all that there was inside the greenhouses where it was at its coldest -2,8°. The consumable fruits ended up in soup and coulis. The time will come to take stock of this year which, like the previous ones, has had its ups and downs and already to consider the next season, but we all have the winter for that!
2017-10-28: probably one of the last echoes of this season which should not be long in coming to an end, good frosts are expected early next week...The greenhouses of Ambert have been cleaned, only the bell pepper plants still carrying some fruits remain. In Brioude, the next few days, we will start to dig up the plants that are no longer bearing fruits in order to free the place quickly for sowing green manure if the
weather allows it!
weather allows it!
2017-10-22: The season is not ending this year. The good weather and mildness that continues into this month of October is a big part of it. Nice harvests again, fruits not too damaged with changing colors compared to those of the summer without doubt the duration of sunshine which has really shortened a lot is responsible!
2017-10-01: here is already the month of October and despite that many large fruits, especially in Brioude, are waiting to ripen, let's hope that the weather is good enough for them to come to term. To help nature a little, as soon as a fruit takes color it is picked and put "in the warmth" so that it can ripen more "comfortably". The cleaning of the greenhouses is started, the plants not bearing any more fruits are pulled out in order to let pass the maximum of light what will be favorable to the remaining plants. The peppers are producing generously offering magnificent colors at different stages of ripening, a real treat for the eyes! The peppers are not to be outdone, beautiful harvests to come, most of the fruits will end up in coulis associated with the tomatoes. After several tests it is a real treat and why not add a chili pepper, there is no lack of it, just to make a sauce base a little exotic ...
2017/09/23: after a very autumnal sequence, the sun is coming back at the price of cooler and cooler night temperatures, in some places the first frosts have appeared. Fewer and fewer tomatoes to harvest on the other hand at the level of peppers it is the opposite, the pickings are generous offering healthy fruits and filled with seeds of good quality appearance.
2017/09/19: It's feeling more and more like the end of the season! The ambient humidity, the morning mists, the lack of sun and heat are putting a strain on the still productive plants... They remain some beautiful fruits to come but the taste is not there any more, on their side the seeds are not so beautiful any more, the end of the graining is close.
2017/09/15: preparations for the Couhé show are coming to an end, the number of tomato varieties that will be on the trip is higher than I expected. In Brioude some plants have regained their vigor and have been able to provide some more beautiful fruits! This morning just 4°C in the greenhouses, the hope of an Indian summer is fading...
2017/09/11: in Ambert the season seems to end, many plants are dead or without fruits, on the other hand in Brioude it is different, many varieties have bloomed again and some plants still have big and beautiful fruits to produce. The most probable explanation to this phenomenon would be a cooler night in Ambert than in Brioude, +/- 2 to 3° difference... The bad weather has been going on for almost a week, with a lot of showers and little sunshine to warm up the atmosphere, which are favourable conditions for the development of diseases. For your information, this Sunday was the traditional tomato festival in Haverskerque, in the North of France, and the first prize in the tasting contest was awarded to a variety developed by Brad Gates: Candy Sweet Icicle.
2017/09/09: an autumnal weather seems to want to settle durably bringing coolness and moisture ingredients not very favorable to the culture of tomatoes... The production has clearly slowed down and the last nice fruits are slow to turn. The graining is coming to an end, the totality of the conform varieties has been saved. Preparations for the exhibition in Couhé will begin, few tomatoes will be exhibited but peppers and chillies will be in great numbers.
2017/09/06: The making of coulis, in order to sell the fruits once they are grained, is the main activity of these last days. This last one becoming tedious the purchase of a coulis machine is to be considered for the coming seasons... In the garden, some of the latest varieties, such as Todd County Amish, Amish orange Sherbet, Tree Bottom yellow, Hamilton, have finally decided to produce and in a generous way, leaving me some hope of nice sizes to exhibit in Couhé on September 17. On their side, peppers and chillies are magnificent and produce generously. Some varieties of peppers have been repotted in larger containers, as they are a bit cramped in their original pots, in order to overwinter them in good conditions. The purpose is to save them for the next season.
2017/09/04: back in our mountains after the escapade in the flat country. There is no lack of work between the graining of the exposed varieties and the harvesting of the fruits that matured during the absence. The first plants have been pulled out, in this case "Kozula". The places left vacant were immediately occupied by plants of peppers cultivated in pots so that they benefit from a more cosy environment for the end of the season...
2017/08/24: the return of a hot period will sound the death knell of the season, at least for a good part of the plants, already in bad shape they will not support this new attack. At D-1 of the departure for Brussels we can't say that the boxes of tomatoes are accumulating, only a few hundred varieties will make the trip as well as +/- 30 varieties of peppers.
2017/08/22: la tension commence à monter à l'approche de l'expo de Bruxelles... Les quelques fruits suceptibles de faire le déplacement ont été repérés et voire pour certains déjà cueillis à mi-maturité pour les garder au "frais"afin qu'ils soient présentable pour le week-end prochain! L'annonce d'une nouvelle vague de chaleur pour les jours à venir n'est pas pour me rassurer, celle-ci pourrait encore réduire la quantité de fruits à exposer.
2017/08/18: unlike tomatoes, chillies and peppers are in great shape and the plants loaded with fruit and many flowers promise good future harvests. The good weather that is again prevailing is reducing day by day the number of varieties that will make the trip to Brussels. Indeed it is not rare to see varieties providing 4 to 6 fruits at once (Mr Stripey, Rengade, Summer of love etc...) at the same time leaving a bare plant or only a few small fruits in the best of cases...
2017/08/12: since a few days autumnal tendency especially at the level of the temperatures not more than 12 to 15° at the best of the day and the night temperatures are almost winter! Fortunately, in his middle land, the "hobbit" from Auvergne always keeps his hat and fleece at hand.... The production is like suspended very few fruits picked up these last 2 days and some plants even take autumnal colors. The last varieties to bear fruit are Chili verde, Victoria smile and Todd county Amish; on the other hand others have completed their cycle like Kozula 60 and 136 which is relatively early, victim undoubtedly result of the successive heat waves of these last weeks...
2017/08/08: today record harvest in Brioude more than 40 kg of fruit, including two Basinga of nearly 900 grams each, most will end up in soup and coulis after graining ... The downside is that the plants are getting lighter in a worrying way due to the absence of the majority of the upper bunches and consequently of new fruit. What will be left for the "Tomatofest" which is approaching, Brussels is less than 3 weeks...
2017/08/06: the abundant harvests follow one another, unloading the plants at high speed, so much so that some of them are without fruit because of the damage caused by the heat on the upper clusters. Peppers seem to be less affected by the heat wave and some varieties are already producing fruit. This year, if the attacks of noctuid moths have been well contained and almost non-existent, a new predator has appeared: the blackbird. Because of the drought, the latter, in their search for food, have started to explore the greenhouses and have found in them something to eat without too much effort... The installation of protection nets becomes a priority in order to stop the carnage!
2017/08/10: the return of much cooler or even cold weather conditions, barely 5° this morning, slows down the fruiting which in a way is rather good news. These last days it was difficult to treat such quantities of fruit without having to spend all his time... The installation of anti-birds nets had for effect to stop the plundering made by the blackbirds, it was time!
2017/08/02: only ten varieties have not yet fructified. It must be said that since this week the production has been put in "turbo" mode offering generous harvests and many fruits of more than 500 grams... There are some nice surprises and non conformities or at least some weirdnesses like "Sandburg" announced white on the site of "Mariseeds" harvested orange last year at a friend's and GWR type with a purple veil at my place this year (the seeds coming from the above mentioned friend), let's try to find out what is the right color because the shape seems to be the same in every case!
27/07/2017: the coolness and an unstable weather, seeming to want to settle durably at the end of July, impact the fruiting...Indeed since 2 days very few tomatoes harvested and the coloring of the immature fruits seems suspended. On the positive side, the upcoming harvest will be done in better conditions because, after careful inspection, many bunches have been destroyed by the excessive heat of the past weeks which will not fail to lead to a "hole" in the production.
25/07/2017: the return of a cooler and disturbed weather does not hinder the fruiting which continues nicely, offering each day new varieties. The watering has been revised downwards to avoid too much water in relation to the evapotranspiration, which could lead to cracking or even bursting of the fruit. For the peppers, the time of the first real harvest has arrived! In order to collect seeds of optimum quality, we had to wait for the fruits to reach their full maturity.