Saturday, 22 August 2009

Drought, sunshine and tomatoes slow to ripen / La secheresse, le soleil et les tomates qui murissent lentement

Most years here there is a thunderstorm and heavy rain around the middle of August, traditionally on the 15th which is a holiday.  It hasn’t happened yet.  We haven’t had any real rainfall since the beginning of June, the stream which runs from the spring at the top of the hill above the gardens, La Resclauze, has been dry for weeks and the reservoir at the top of the hill is very low.  We have had very hot weather, too – 37 degrees C in the day and 23 at night.

Normalement il y a un orage et de la pluie forte vers le 15 août.   Ça n'est pas arrivé cette année.  Il n’a pas plu depuis le début juin, le ruisseau qui coule de la source au sommet de la colline au-dessus notre jardin, La Resclauze, est sec depuis des semaines et il n’y a pas beaucoup d’eau dans le bassin au sommet.   Il a fait très chaud aussi – 37 dégrees le jour et 23 la nuit.



The water is about a metre higher than this when the reservoir is full.  /  L’eau est vers un metre plus haut quand le bassin est plein.

Why won’t the tomatoes ripen? / Pourquoi les tomates ne murissent pas?

It’s strange, but this year in spite of very hot weather and long sunny days, the tomatoes are ripening very slowly and there don’t seem to be as many of them as usual.  The other gardeners have found this too. 

C’est étrange, mais cette année, malgré le temps chaud et les journées ensoleillées, les tomates murissent très lentement et il semble qu’il en y a moins.  Les autres jardiniers ont trouvé ça aussi.



The Roma tomatoes are doing well and we’ve made a lot tomato purée with them.  / Les tomates Roma murissent bien et nous avons fait beaucoup de purée de tomates.



And the cherry tomatoes are good too.  We’ve let them ramble across the ground as tomatoes do naturally.  /  Et les tomates cerises sont bonnes, aussi.  On a laissé les plants grimper à la terre comme les tomates dans la nature.


DSC08186 DSC08187

But the St Pierres are ripening very slowly and there are not many of them higher up the plant.  /  Mais les St Pierres murissent très lentement et il n’en y a pas beaucoup en haut sur les plants.


This old Languedocien variety has tasty fruits, but very few of them.  They seem to be drought-resistant, though, as you’d expect from a local variety.  /  Cette variété languedocienne a des fruits très saveureux, mais très peu.  Les plants resistent la secheresse.

DSC08172 DSC08199 We’ve planted some lettuce for the winter and shaded them from the sun with bamboo.


flowrgirl1 said...

our weather hasn't been very warm so our tomatoes are a few weeks behind.

Toffeeapple said...

Hello, I have just found your blog and enjoyed it enormously. I do hope your tomatoes ripen and that you get some rain soon.

Your resumé says that you escaped from Wales, I did the same thing a very long time ago, from the coal black valleys of south Wales. It's good to be free!

Jan said...

Using bamboo to shade seedlings is a good idea, although we haven't any very near to us. We tend to use gardeners fleece, which does a good job although it has to be weighted down from the wind!

easygardener said...

Can tomatoes have too much sun - I wouldn't have thought so :-)
I assume you don't get tomato blight like we do. All the outdoor tomatoes on the allotments nearby have died.

Michelle said...

It has seemed like a cool August here. Heavy fog at night and cool breezes during the day. That seems to be the excuse in my garden for late tomatoes...

Hope you get a nice drenching T-storm soon to fill up the resevoir.

LadyLuz said...

We too have had a funny year for tomatoes. All the Spanish gardeners are complaining. There was a blossom blight early on so the earlies got black bottoms. Now the later ones that take ages to ripen have been got at by something else that looks black when they're cut open. Very strange, and disappointing after all the water and feed they've had.

Titania said...

The Romas look fantastic. We have tried many tomatoes but have always returned to the Roma T., they grow best in our climate, dry and hot! Also the smaller tomatoes like you let rambling* on the floor do well here. this* is a good idea, the vegetable gardener has always difficulties to tame them; I have to tell him and show him your post! Thanks for the barbecue tip.
Generally as simpler as better it works. It is still winter here for an other week but summer has jumped over spring with over 30 C, it is very dry and the forecast does not look good with el nino approaching again. We have to water twice a day
at the moment. Luckily we have a well. Otherwise we could not cope. We never water the orchard. It is clay soil which keeps the water.

Roasted Garlicious said...

am on the west coast of canada, and my tomatoes seem to have the same problems.. no blight but slow to ripen, some of them have the black seed when cut open, seems like the seeds have just turned black instead of developing..

chaiselongue said...

Thanks to all for your comments. It's strange to hear from so many different countries and climates that there are problems with tomatoes this year.

HappyMouffetard said...

I haven't had a ripe tom yet, though mine were a bit late going in. Lack of sun is the problem in Cheshire, though!