Sunday, 28 July 2013

Eating a Tomato

Today is a quick update as something exciting happened yesterday.

The first picked Tomato of the year (not that there are many others to pick) but this one smelled GORGEOUS and is lovely and shiny and red.

The home grown Tomato sitting on a gorgeous cheese toastie. It was absolutely lovely and tasted great, if it was a little sloppy.

So there you are, that was very exciting indeed.

For the progress report I have a couple of cool things to show you.

A load of Crossley Special Chillis. We have already started eating these and they are really nice; hot but tasty. Everything home grown always tastes better.

The Geranium flower pictured a week or so ago has now flowered fully, and another shoot has appeared next to it ready to flower in its own right.

So there you are, that is my update for today.

Keep growing.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Fruiting Progress

Well it's been longer than planned (as it normally is) since the last blog post but I am back for a short, but very sweet, update.

I will go straight to the pictures:

The Crossley Special Chillis, which have been fruiting spectacularly, have now started to ripen with many of them turning red. This one is a particularly interesting shape so I figured I'd take a picture.

The Moneymaker Tomatoes have started to develop some more fruit, these are tiny and towards the top of the plant.

The fruit which has been showing on the plant for longest is now starting to ripen too.

The larger of the two Geraniums has put up a stalk and I suddenly noticed, the other day, a flower has appeared at its tip. I am watching this now with interest.

The plant which is fairing best on the back windowsill is, unsurprisingly, the Mint. Mint plants like slightly shaded areas, and are also quite thirsty and what I am doing for this is obviously correct as it has flourished.

Last but not least the couple of herbs still on the kitchen window sill are surviving both the non-ideal location, and depredations caused by us eating them.

Anyway, that is the update for today; short but sweet I think you have to agree.

It is too hot for me to spend more time looking at a laptop in the evening.


Saturday, 6 July 2013

Repotting Tomatoes (again)

For the last few weeks I have been looking at the larger Self Watering Planters which I made out of the large water bottles and have been dissatisfied with how they were performing. Not only was the volume available for the roots not quite as large as I wanted, but the reservoir kept drying out in a single day.

I think that the seal between the top and bottom was not great which caused evaporation to occur.

The other irritation was the cane I was using to provide support kept falling over and finally, actually watering into the reservoir was being difficult so I was having to waterlog the soil and hope it dripped through.

So, all in all, these were not working out for me and today, with the nice weather, I finally decided I'd had enough so I change the pots.

So, without any further ado, here is the blog...

This is the larger of the two Tomato plants laid down outside waiting to be shucked out of the self watering planter. If you look closely you can see just how tight the roots are already inside the plastic.

The two plant pots which I will be moving the Moneymaker Tomato plants into.

With much effort I managed to remove the root ball from the planter; it really did not have any more room to grow.

To solve the problem which using only one cane was causing I am going to create a tripod of three canes. Here I have loosely pushed them into the compost prior to adding the plant.

Here is the root ball settled in to a hollow in the compost, with the canes around it.

The whole Tomato plant sits nicely between the canes, and is held to them using the plastic catches which have proven so useful over the past year.

As explained earlier I am going to draw the canes together into a tripod so they work together to keep the plant upright; I have used an elastic band to hold them at the top.

There are some flowers on this Tomato plant, and I kinda liked this shot so I have added it; It shows again the tripod drawn together and one of the plastic catches that I am praising so much.

Some of the leaves towards the bottom of this Tomato plant have turned purple! I have never seen this before, anyone have any ideas?

Both of the Moneymaker Tomato plants have been repotted and are here sat back on the front windowsill. I hope this is the last time I have to move them.

Next a short update on the Potatoes as blogged about yesterday :)

Here are the three Potato planters, now propped up with various items and hopefully not to be blown over again. The middle one looks a little dead but I checked and it looks like it'll be OK. Fingers firmly crossed.

Some flowers are starting to show on my Potatoes. Is this a bad thing?

And finally....

I have decided to bring the larger of the two Geranium plants onto the front window where it will get more sunlight Let us see what happens.

So there you are, a quick update, but it has felt good to get things done today, in the sun.


Thursday, 4 July 2013

Nearly a Potato disaster plus other progress

When I woke up this morning (hang on, you could start a song like that!) I looked out my window and saw a dreadful sight...

I said when I woke up this morning.....

OK OK I'll stop.

Anyway, something (wind / cat / whatever) had knocked over one of the potato bags and it was spread EVERYWHERE all over the floor :(

I have now picked it up (and another one which fell over during the day) and propped them up; fingers crossed they will now stay upstanding.

While photographing this sad state of affairs I have also gone round and taken some progress pictures. So, without any more delays (or singing, you'll be glad to know) here are the pictures:

The fallen over Potato plant. Sadly a couple of the stalks have snapped but I am hopeful it will recover. I was going to just leave it like this, but when I saw the second one had gone too, I've moved them against a wall with stuff in front to hopefully prop them up. We shall see.

The Carrots are still growing, though I did have to throw a slug away which was about to start munching through the leaves.

The Parsnips are also cracking on very well indeed. Certainly I have not managed the crop I hoped for from either these or the Carrots but at least I'll get some.

The Broccoli are still thriving, though it was only when I edited this picture down that I noticed the slug sitting middle bottom of the picture about to get very fat at my expense!

The Onions are starting to go red at their base which is really good because they are Red Onions. Hopefully this means they are starting to develop bulbs under the earth.

The Foxglove is still developing and is definitely established.

From left to right, the Mint, and two Geranium plants, one smaller but with the rings and the other growing massive but with no rings.

Moving inside, this tangle of plant is actually the two Moneymaker Tomato plants. I still only have two fruit developing on both plants, it seems I'm not getting enough flies in this house to fertilise the flowers.

Both the Gardeners Delight Tomato plants are also now growing well, particularly this one which also has flowers on it.

The surviving Ghost Chilli. Still tiny, but at least starting to put new growth on now. Maybe I'll just get some very late fruits, or maybe it won't fruit at all. Crossing my fingers here....

The Crossley Special Chillis are putting out massive amounts of fruit, as you can see from this picture. I have not counted them yet but my guess is about 60 fruits across the six plants.

This is one HUGE Begonia flower, it is on the end of a really long stem and is dangling right down; it looks ungainly but it is beautiful indeed.

Another Begonia plant with many flowers on it. I really do hope these are transportable.

So anyway, that is all the pictures I took this time round; I'm sure I'll be back sooner or later with more, and maybe the first eating from the garden too.

Keep growing, keep reading.