As you all know I’ve been bemoaning about the slow ripening of my first trial of Heirloom Tomatoes varieties 2019/2020.

Well, low and behold…………after the heavy rain all day on Wednesday of the past week……..I woke up on Thursday morning to an astonishing change in the largest green tomato on Tomato plant #3 – Genuwine (the cross between Costoluto Genovese and Brandy Wine tomatoes).

If I hadn’t seen it ripen so suddenly, I never would have believed it.   Its been a warmer shade of green than the others in the bunch for 2-3 weeks (or more).

Since I have no trouble with my Avian friends pecking at my tomatoes, I’ll leave it on the bush to fully ripen.

I usually pay the extra $$ for vine-ripened tomatoes in the shops as I prefer their deeper, richer flavour to most commercially grown Tomatoes, although, at this time of year, nearly all tomatoes we get in our markets and supermarkets are flavoursome in Australia.

There’s another slightly more golden-green small tomato on the lower right of the photo above.  Here’s hoping it turns red in the coming days.

My brother had bought me a couple of great books for growing food in a small space to add to my small gardening book collection, but it was actually my Organic Gardener magazine where I read that you should never grow tomatoes in the soil/location you used the previous season/year.   I didn’t know this.  Well, I’d already planted the seedlings and didn’t want to disturb them, so I just hoped for the best.

I might like to point out that the two green tubs, with Tomatoes #1 & #3 were the old tomato pots and the terracotta-coloured pot (which had baby spinach in it last year), have quite obvious differences in the Tomato and Sweet Basil plant growth.

I don’t know whether you can see the more robust growth in the Sweet Basil at the base of Tomato #2 if you have only a small laptop computer.   I hope Tomato #2 – Tomato ‘sauce-maker’ doesn’t grow any higher as I only bought a packet of bamboo stakes (not the taller wood picket-fence-like heavy stakes).

Living in a small studio-style apartment and having only the balcony outdoors, I don’t like to accumulate large items or anything that I can’t re-purpose.

By the way, the Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis) on the left-hand side of the tomatoes is nowhere near as lush and bright green as usual.   Its leaves have a definite dry, pale tinge to them.

My Mint bush on the right-hand side of the tomatoes is one of 3 pots of Mint I have and nearly died when I had a few days in the hospital last year but has sprung back with pruning off the yellowing leaves and the usual regular daily watering I give my container garden.

I noticed some leaves stuck together in my new Mint plant yesterday and snipped them off when I saw a caterpillar sandwiched in between.  Seems that was what had nibbled a few leaves recently.

I have no idea what kind of caterpillar it was as it was brown (not green like the Cabbage Moth Caterpillars that have such voracious appetites).

My baby Spinach seedlings I planted 10 days ago are doing well (below).

It really is a unique life I lead – I literally sit at my desk in the late morning while answering my emails (with half an eye on the watch for bird traffic) and then, sit in blissful silence and solitude watching the garden grow for a couple of hours.

It’s extraordinary.

It’s amazing.

……and I can highly recommend it to chronic pain/illness sufferers (like myself).

Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. … Research done in hospitals, offices, and schools has found that even a simple plant in a room can have a significant impact on stress and anxiety.


27 thoughts on “A RIPE TOMATO!

    1. My brother warned me about the birds eating the tomatoes (and blueberries), but they haven’t touched one, although they like standing on the bamboo stakes looking at the fruit. I think the birds are more interested in my bowls of water.

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  1. Awesome gardening. There is an emerging body of research on the healing power of nature and its value in mental health and pain management. Just read a rather lovely short book by Emma Mitchell called The Wild Remedy: how nature mends us, Mitchell suffers from depression and for her nature helps ameliorate the worst of the symptoms.

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    1. Sharon as a no longer working nurse in both mental health and general I endorse that plants and nature are so important for mental health. I read that in scottland gps are prescribing people to go into parkes and nature, as so many people live in cities with little out door spaces. I also have CPTSD and when I am in my garden or by the river or ocean, I feel so different. I can switch off. I am going to look out for Emma Mitchells book


  2. AWESOME! Interesting what the book says about not growing tomatoes in the same soil as the previous year. My Burpee book says the opposite. It says it is best to rotate all other crops except tomatoes. Now, I can’t find the darn book! LOL! I am putting the Genuwine on my list. You are making my mouth water. Your balcony garden looks terrific as does the Peace Lily. I have no luck with them. Thanks for sharing and take care.

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    1. Interesting in that I looked up some more websites and they said to plant the Tomatoes in the same place too. Maybe it’s only the different soil between the green tubs and the terracotta-coloured tubs. Trouble is that I can’t remember which plastic pots I put new organic soil in (and the bag information says they have 3 months of nutrition/fertilizer in the bag) and which pots I put a mixture of old and new LOL.

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      1. there seems to be a new school of thought on planting in the same places. I am confused by it too. I have given up on remembering where I have planted things. I always mean to keep a garden diary.

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    1. I’ll be interested to taste that Tomato #3 as I’ve never grown it before.

      (by the way, it DOES help to photograph one’s fruit up close and upload a large image onto my blog too 😀 )

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    1. You’re welcome, Ted. Since most of my vegetable gardening efforts are experiments on this hot west-facing balcony, I figure some other apartment dwellers might like to share my experiences too.

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    1. Thanks, Don. It’s only when I look at the images from last September and now, in mid-January, that I really see how lush it’s becoming.
      I prune my herbs regularly too as that always promotes extra growth.

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  3. Oh I am so happy that your tomatoes are not ripening quickly too Vicki! Mine are taking forever. I dont have a lot as yet but heaps of flowers. Not sure how our very recent cold nights are going to impact them. The pots on the deck are doing much better than those in my vegie beds. If I am lucky I may get tomatoes in autumn! 🙂

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    1. This morning I notice that other small Heirloom Genuiwine tomato is ripening. There are also about 5 (out of 21 green) Truss tomatoes changing colour this morning. I think the rain has helped with the ripening.
      Maybe the pots on your deck have more shelter?


    1. Those Heirloom tomato plants I trialled this year taste absolutely delicious, Susan. Baby spinach needs another week or two before I cut some. I use the spinach in omelettes or salads mainly. I don’t have the room to grow large spinach for eating as a steamed vegetable.

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