Tag Archives: tomatoes

End of season review – what went well?

I’m beginning to consider what I would like to try growing next year which has made me have a good think about what has gone well this year and what I’ll definitely be growing again next year. I’ll do a separate post about the things that didn’t grow quite so successfully.

Tomatoes were a major success – I grew two varieties from seed, Moneymaker and Maskotka and also bought a Black Russian plant as we fancied trying something different. The Maskotka plants were attacked by nibblers but I managed to save three plants – and Moneymaker was very successful, I had nine plants, six in the greenhouse and three outside and gave away
another nine!

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Cucumbers have also gone well and we could hardly keep up with eating them all. The Crystal Apple round cucumbers are my favourite. I had two plants (again grown from seed), one went completely mad, grew like a triffid and produced at least 20, while the other one was less
productive, with only three or four coming from it.

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The ‘normal’ cucumbers (a variety delightfully called ‘Burpless’) have also been very productive – two plants stayed in the greenhouse and I put one outside in a raised bed where it got munched but just about survived – it then recovered and ended up producing probably 20 or more cucumbers, we had to pickle some to use them up.

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The butternut squash looked well enough, two plants grown from seed, both in a raised bed outside and produced plenty of flowers but in the end only two reasonable sized squash with another tiny one. They were tasty though.

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Peppers also grew well from seed – I grew Cayenne, Hotscotch and Hot Devil’s Brew and they produced plenty of chillies, see my pepper update here

So more of the same next year although now we have half an allotment, I can spread out more – just have to remember not to grow more than we can feasibly eat/store/give away!

Waste not, want not…

I’ve been harvesting so many tomatoes and cucumbers we just can’t keep up with them! So my resident chef has been busy in the kitchen – pickling cucumbers (with some of the dill I’ve also grown):

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And making passata – using up some of the tomato harvest and including basil, also homegrown:

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We also have a glut of chilli peppers but haven’t done anything with them yet – so watch this space…

All Go in the Greenhouse

Even though I’ve only had my greenhouse for a few months, I can’t imagine life without it now! It is crammed full of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers and everything is doing really well.

We’ve already harvested a few of the first red tomatoes (delicious!)

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The cucumbers are doing very well too – we picked the first one a few weeks ago and it all seemed to go very quiet until all of a sudden, tiny cucumber plants sprouted all over the place. There are at least four on one plant and three on another, luckily we eat a lot of it!

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I’m also growing Crystal Apple cucumbers and again, the plant has gone a bit mad – great news as these are the tastiest of cucumbers, can’t understand why they aren’t more popular. I’d never heard of them until last year when I saw a packet of seeds and decided to try them.

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Plenty of peppers in the greenhouse too, I have to keep swapping them round on the shelves to make sure they all get enough sunlight and space.

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We’re now having conversations about whether we should take on an allotment, hope we’re not getting too carried away – this veg growing is a bit addictive…

Guilty of neglect…

But I’ve been making up for it over the last week. We had a great holiday in the South of France but my crops did look a bit thirsty when we got back, especially the tomatoes which were
looking very droopy. Plenty of water and some tlc was the order of the day but it has been a challenge as work has also been very busy.

There has been some potting on, tying, staking – and of course, plenty of watering so things are looking much better now.

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I’m happy with the tomato, cucumber and courgette progress – broad beans are also looking good with peas beginning to make an appearance too. I’ll do a separate update about the
peppers soon, some are looking very good but not all of them.  

Still fighting the slug battle, I’ve lost a cauliflower and two lots of marigolds in spite of the beer traps and our family of frogs living in the back garden. My latest weapon is a layer of ash all round the edge of the raised bed of cabbages, let’s see if that does the trick.

So much to do, so little time…

No need to worry…

We’re away on holiday, having a lovely relaxing time except for the niggling concerns about my plants, would they be ok without my tender loving care?!

Luckily they are in good hands, and just to prove it, I’ve been sent some photos – the greenhouse is looking a bit crowded:

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And is that a tiny tomato I see? As well as an even tinier cucumber?

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And look, some tasty ripe strawberries, I’m hoping there are still some left to pick when we get home:

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I can relax and enjoy the rest of our holiday now… and try and resist the urge to plant some tomatoes round our villa, with this heat, they’d do very well 😉

Garden Mysteries: Whodunnit?

In spite of having a netting cover, something has managed to sneak in and make a meal of my courgette plant! Luckily I planted the other courgette in a pot which is in the greenhouse so hopefully we will still manage to harvest some.

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The cucumber I planted in the same bed has also been nibbled but not quite so viciously – and is that the tiny beginnings of a cucumber I can see? Hope it will survive, again I’ve got others in pots in the greenhouse so we should be ok. I’ve now got it covered with a plastic crate held down with tent pegs for the time being and will set up another beer trap in this raised bed as I think it is probably slugs.

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There has also been a tomato disaster, this time it was the little green insects nibbling away at the stems that did it. I managed to rescue a couple but they are looking a bit fragile so time will tell if they can recover. I really do have far too many tomato plants though and the greenhouse ones seem to be thriving (so far…).

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In more cheerful (and colourful) news, I’ve been busy planting up hanging baskets…

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Very busy weekend in the garden, I’ve finally got round to planting the tray of leek seedlings I sowed earlier in Spring, plus the sweetcorn plants and sown some beetroot. Several hanging baskets and a couple of troughs planted, quite a few things potted on, a hydrangea and a bleeding heart plant rehomed in much bigger pots and a lot of tidying up and sorting out done. I’m exhausted, I’d like a weekend to get over my weekend now please!

Delighted to have some roses flowering too, I even cut a few and made a little display:Image

 

News from the Potting Shed

I’m beginning to panic a little bit about all the ‘stuff’ I need to get done before we go on holiday for a few weeks (South of France, staying in a lovely little cottage near Nimes, can’t wait!). So I’ve done a bit of gardening in the rain tonight – we did actually have a little bit of sunshine earlier but it soon clouded over.

Before I did anything else, I ‘harvested’ some lettuce, mixed leaves and rocket – all of which has suddenly grown and seem to be taking over the cold frame.

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Then some potting on – little and large here were sown on the same day but one courgette plant seems to have done a lot better than the other.

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I popped the larger one in a pot, putting in a cane to help support it before placing the plant in the pot – I’ve managed to skewer the roots of a plant in the past so I’m trying to be a bit more careful now…

Some of the tomatoes needed tying up and a couple needed a better cane support so I got those jobs done before making up a couple of hanging baskets which are going to go out at the weekend.  By that time it was raining quite heavily so I put everything back in the greenhouse, watered all the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and flowers and made a dash back to the house. Not before taking a couple of photos of the packed greenhouse, a sight that makes me very happy 🙂

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Operation New Greenhouse – The Grand Opening

I’ve missed a trick here, really should have asked a local celebrity or the mayor to come and cut the red ribbon to officially open my new greenhouse..

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We had to have some more glass cut as there were some breakages moving it but my husband got that done locally and got everything finished this week – including building a great piece of greenhouse staging out of an old pallet and some planks. I’m absolutely delighted with it all and will be moving everything in over the weekend. photo-1697

Just to get started, I repotted a couple of the biggest tomatoes which have been living on the spare bedroom windowsill – let’s hope they survive the move as I really should have potted them on a bit earlier. Looking good so far though..

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Busy weekend ahead sorting potting on the rest of the tomatoes and sorting out the
cucumbers and peppers too. 

Tomato troubles

It was all going so well too. But some of my tomato plants have suddenly developed a problem, with the leaves beginning to go pale and dry. Any ideas, can they be saved? Not all of them are affected, so hopefully I won’t be left tomato-less but I’m worried…

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Progress report

I needed to get on with repotting some tomato and cucumber plants this weekend so I was a bit concerned about the forecast of rain (yes, I’m a fair weather gardener, I can’t deny it..). But as it turned out, we had beautiful blue sky and sunshine this morning and I managed to get quite a bit done between the showers. 

Glad I went out there early on though as it has been raining sideways this afternoon and is
currently pouring down. There must be a rainbow somewhere near though as the sun is still shining!

A couple of my repotted tomatoes went very floppy and were looking sorry for themselves, but they have perked up again now they’ve been back in the warm for a while so hopefully I haven’t killed them off.

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There are several trays of peppers at various stages of growth:

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After the peppers, I pricked out some of my antirrhinum seedlings – I do love the bright colours of snapdragons but think I got carried away when I was sowing them as I have 24 in one tray, plus 13 in little pots and that only got about a third of the tray of seedlings done.
Anyone want any snapdragon seedlings, I may have a few left over..?!

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That’s in addition to the (mostly) marigolds on these trays:

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I may have to get the under-gardener to dig me another flower bed…

Delighted to see that one of my Crystal Apple cucumber seeds has sprouted:

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Hoping to put this marjoram out in the new herb garden when it has come on a bit more:

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The cold frame is full, with lettuce, mixed leaves, rocket, coriander, peas in pots and some little fuchsia plants waiting to go into hanging baskets. The house is also just about full of plants and seedlings now, not a spare windowsill to be had. I’m getting an old table in from the garage to put up in the spare room so I can give everything a bit more space and importantly, a bit more light. I’m going to have to look up leeks, I haven’t grown them before but this tray has suddenly burst into life:

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Once I’d done all my repotting and pricking out, I had a quick peep outside at the raised beds – the garlic that went in last October is coming on nicely:

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The onions, broad beans and strawberry plants out there are also looking good but the rain poured down as I was about to take a few more photos so I’m afraid you’ll have to take my word for it… 🙂