I am just amazed at the number of Beefmaster tomatoes
I have this year. A good half dozen of these giants on each plant, and yet more to come. So heavy on the vine that quite a few supporting sticks have snapped under the weight.
I have been down and cut back most of the foliage to allow the sunlight on to the fruit in order that they might ripen fully. They don't grow much this time of year, so don't need the energy from so many leaves. The tops of the plants and most of the foliage covering the fruit is now gone. You can see how many tomatoes on just one plant from this photo!
The same is happening to these Alicante tomatoes
. Normally these do better under glass in a British Summer but these have been spectacular outdoors here too. Off come the leaves and let the sunshine do its work on the fruit.
All of my Queensland Blue squash
plants were volunteers this year. They germinated from the kitchen compost I placed around the garden. Here I put a barrow load in my runner bean trench back in Spring. You can see the runner bean arch on the right of the photo, but this one plant has run riot! I think it is trying to escape into a neighbour's garden. I have cut the growing points off each of the vines to help put energy into the fruit and not the leaves.
The same applies to pumpkins and squashes. I remove as much foliage as I can in order to allow sunshine to ripen the fruit. In the case of these Queensland Blue Winter squashes
, they keep much better throughout the Winter if they can develop a good ripe skin on the outside, sunshine really helps here. They have a lovely dense, dry texture like a sweet potato.
These lovely Delica squash
es from Seeds of Italy were ripe a bit earlier in the season. These are good Winter keepers as well, so they have been up on a roof in the sunshine for a couple of weeks to ripen the skin and harden them off.
I left a few of these Lebanese Squash
to grow large as well. They have a nice creamy colour to the skin, but I'm not sure at the moment if they keep well or not. Generally, the more watery the flesh (like a marrow or a courgette) the shorter the shelf life.