Balcony garden in September … tomatoes …

Since I had bought a little too many tomato seeds over the internet during winter, I, therefore, had a tough time choosing which tomatoes to grow on our balcony this year … especially, since I also have some seeds that were bought 2-3 years ago but which have not been sown … as well as the seeds of the tomatoes that I had grown last year! Hmmm … so many  varieties of tomato seeds but not enough space on the balcony to plant them all lah!

Anyway… having already bought them and as I was keen to see how they would turn out, I decided that I would try to grow all the seeds that I had ordered this year. In addition, I also sowed a few of those seeds that I had bought earlier but did not sow … as well as those that I did sow but the plants did not grow big enough to produce any edible tomatoes before winter arrived a little earlier than expected last year! And so, I ended up sowing quite a number of tomato seeds this year. Very ‘kiasu’ lah! hehehe … 😀

Thankfully (I say this because it had helped to solve the problem of trying to find enough space for all the different tomato plants on my balcony if all the seeds had sprouted and grow successfully big!), … some of the seeds failed to sprout, or even if they did, the seedlings later died while waiting for gardening season to start. In fact, as a result of taking the seedlings outside a little early at the beginning of spring, I had also accidentally killed some of them … oops!

Nevertheless, I still ended up with at least eight different varieties of tomatoes growing on my balcony this year! 🙂

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The row of tomato plants growing on our balcony. As the gardening season started late this year, the plants are still quite small even though we are already in September … and the number of tomatoes produced are not as many as last year’s and several have only recently started to ripen.

In comparison, the tomato plants that were growing on our balcony last year were already full of tomatoes which were ripe for picking by August. Not this year, however. 😦

Still … my favourite adage has always been … ‘better late than never’. So I am still thankful for whatever few tomatoes that have ripened enough for us to enjoy right now!

And now, let me introduce to you the various tomatoes that I have growing on our balcony.

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Plum lemon … which will turn yellow when it is ripe. The seeds took quite a while to sprout and the seedlings took even longer to grow big. And yet, in the end only one plant has survived. Not just that … while the other varieties are already producing at least a few tomatoes by now … this variety, however, has only managed to produce this one lone tomato … haizzzz! I can only hope that the taste will more than make up for the lack of numbers!

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I tried growing this variety last year but was not very successful. But this year, this heirloom tomato known as ‘Dentelée’ (or serrated in English) … because of its shape … was the first to ripen. The beautiful shape of this tomato makes for an attractive addition to mix salads when it is sliced horizontally (see second picture from the bottom).

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Lange Aermer … my one and only green tomato …. although there is also a shade of yellow or orange when it is ripe. Quite a pretty colour.

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Black Prince … looking more brown than black, presently.. Although this variety is supposed to be very productive, I have yet to see the proof of this!

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San Marzano … which is supposed to be one of the best tomatoes for making tomato paste. Unfortunately, there are not enough of these San Marzano tomatoes on the plants for me to try to make some tomato paste!.

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This is an unidentified variety … as the packet for these seeds does not has the name of the tomato variety. I had bought the seeds in Singapore as they were cheap. They did not grow well last year but seem to be doing just fine this year.

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Another unidentified variety bought from the same shop as the one above. But the tomatoes had looked quite lovely on the picture of the seed packet that I decided to buy them. 🙂 I cannot wait to see the final colour of these tomatoes when they have ripened fully! They had looked nearly purplish red on the picture … which of course, might not always be correct!

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And last but not least, are these yellow pear tomatoes … which sprouted and grew from the rotting or dried tomatoes that were thrown into the compost heap last year! In fact, this particular variety grows so easily from seeds that I had to get rid of so many of them from the compost bags as well as from some of the pots and containers earlier in the gardening season. Yet …

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… there is still one stray seed that found its way and hitchhike in a pot of lemongrass! I decided to leave it in peace as long as it does not affect the growth of the lemongrass. 🙂

Tomato dentelee

So this was the very first ripe tomato that I had picked from my balcony garden this year …. two days after returning from Singapore. Such a beautiful tomato … and do you not agree that this ‘Dentelée‘ tomato will look simply gorgeous in a salad mix?

Lange Aemer tomatoes

And these were the second (and third) ripe tomatoes that I picked. Well … I did not actually pick them from the plants … but had, in fact, picked them from where they had fallen. I just love the colours of these Lange Aermer tomatoes … and equally love the taste of it, too! I could just snack on this tomato … it was that delicious! 🙂

I just hope that all of my tomato plants will continue to grow well enough while we are away. And before leaving this Saturday for our holiday in Italy, I will have to make sure that I pick all the ripe tomatoes.

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