The Italian hanging tomato plants are loaded with fruit, but still need to ripen before we can harvest and store them for winter. It’s again the time of tropical storms and Late Blight, and we’re now in a race against time. The season’s short and fraught with peril — there’s a nice crop, however, it doesn’t count if it doesn’t make it in and all’s for naught.
Only a handful of clusters at the bottom of the plants have begun to turn color. With moist conditions following this summer’s heat spell and Late Blight quickly closing in, the rest are still perilously green.
For this year, we narrowed it down to growing only two varieties of hanging tomatoes. They’re both from Puglia, and similar in size (about a golfball) and shape.
We planted two of the Aprile, and two of the Ponderosa sel Oro (above), another variety from Puglia. Last year’s initial grow-out was waylaid by Tropical Storm Irene, forcing us to harvest too early. With a little luck, we’ll have a more fair comparison this year.