Discovering a hidden haven in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia

Nature in the Gippy Garden has responded to the start of March in a most unusual way this year. It has been going with the calendar date for the start of autumn, rather than doing its own thing in its own time. The nights are quite cool and the daytime temperature dropped quite suddenly by about 15 degrees centigrade.

Some Tommy Toes flowers just finishing... but are they pollinated?

I’m not sure I like my garden to run with the timetable. Especially not when I had sown tomato seeds late and now spend every day agonizing over how little time they’ve got left to fruit and ripen!

Anyway, putting timetable issues aside, I responded to a suggestion from Meredith from The Enchanted Earth (a vegetable gardener who is both experienced and kind in sharing her wisdom)  I moved the pots off the veranda as the flowers began to open, to take advantage of the breeze for pollination.

Some beautiful little Blue Banded Bees also visited, but I was too slow to snap them buzzing at the tomato flowers (there is more about Blue Banded Bees here).

A Blue Banded Bee (Amegilla) buzzing about the nemesia so fast that you car barely see her wings!

Well, to my great delight pollination did occur and the first tiny tomatoes began to emerge a couple of weeks ago.

Tommy Toes emerging while sheltering from a storm.

Now, during the time that I have been agonizing over the slow emergence of my Tommy Toes, Bangchik over at My Little Vegetable Garden has sown his tomatoes in his Malaysian garden. They went in well after mine.

The big difference is that his tomatoes clearly went in at the perfect time for his conditions, and were planted out into a perfectly prepared bed rather than into pots that are too cramped and ill prepared. The really big difference is that they were also put there by experienced hands that know what they are doing!

The tomatoes today - the biggest in about the size of my thumb (not my toe!)

Well, so much for beginner’s luck! Bangchik’s tomatoes will overtake my little toms any day now.

So I learn my lesson about how and when to sow.

At least I can say that the weather is warming again over the next few days, so who knows, plenty of sunshine and worm tea might still result in some ripe little tomatoes yet!

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Comments on: "Are My Tommy Toes Tiptoeing in Too Late?" (16)

  1. Once fruit is set, if you can prevent the plants from frostbite, they should ripen. I certainly hope so.

  2. Good luck; mine are just germinating, but then we have so little summer any earlier would killed them!

    • Hello IG, Ah, but at least you are not lulled into a false sense of security by a long hot summer. Here one day, gone the next it seems – it’s done it just to teach me a lesson I’m sure!
      Looking forward to seeing your tomatoes getting underway!

  3. Woo Hoo!!! Looks good! I’m glad you moved your pots outside. Love the bee photo. I’ve got purple nemesia – don’t they look like they’re screaming?! 🙂

    • Hello Kimberly! Well, you know I never thought of the nemesia as screaming before, but I don’t think I’m ever going to be able look at them without seeing that now 😀

  4. I do hope your tomatoes ripen. If not, and you have an excess of green fruits, all is not lost. Last year at the end of harvest we had about 4-5 lbs of green fruit left unripened at the end of the season, so for the first time we made green tomato soup! It was actually really good. Be happy to pass along the recipe, but I’m going to cross my fingers that yours get a lovely blush of color. If the fruits start to turn, you can always finish ripening them on a sunny windowsill. Good luck!

    • Hello CV and thanks for your wise words too. I might just take you up on that recipe offer – I’ll see what these little toms are looking like in a week or two!
      I do have a very sunny windowsill, so hopefully we can still make it to the finish line!

  5. You never know what will happen in the garden. I both love this and hate it at the same time ;^)

  6. Oh, Heidi, I am crossing my fingers for you! I was going to tell you something similar to CV’s comment, only hereabouts we make the classic Southern dish: Fried Green Tomatoes, and last fall used some of our excess to make Green Tomato Pie.

    Thank you so much for the link love. I was touched by your kind words. 🙂

    • I’d never even heard of dishes with green tomatoes until the movie ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ came out Meredith 😀 The way things stand, I might have to call on everyone’s green tomato recipes soon! Well, see – some nice ripening weather is due these next few days.
      Thank you for always being so generous in sharing your knowledge!

  7. Oh, and that blue-banded bee is gorgeous! Great shot!

  8. I think your tomatoes are going to do just fine. You will be munching on them in no time! I love your blog and have enjoyed your posts on your roses. What a gorgeous place you must have.

    • Oh Deborah, what lovely things you say 🙂
      I think my blog just shows that anyone’s garden can look good ‘close up’. You might get a shock if you saw the whole as it really is! Hopefully in a year or two the garden might pass for ‘quite alright’, but I’m afraid gorgeous is still a lot of blood, sweat and tears away!
      I’m glad you are enjoying the roses, they are in for a tumultuous year!

  9. Hurray for fresh tomatoes! I think they’re doing fine and you can start planning tomato salads, tomato sandwiches, etc…just have a moment’s pity for us poor northerners who have to put up with plastic tomato-like offerings in the grocery store for some time to come. 😉

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