The last week has been incredibly hot, with temperatures in the high twenties and low thirties most every day. I don’t mind the heat, but the humidity some days has made things feel quite oppressive. The plot and the potting shed are doing well though, with some exceptions. Video updates of both below.
I shot this quick video yesterday in the potting shed. I’d been meaning to do an update on the tomatoes and peppers a while ago, when things were looking a little better than they do now. Things started off well, but the slugs have ravaged the peppers, completely destroying the Lipstick Peppers that were in the first trough, and I can see they’ve been nibbling else where too. So far there is very little in the way of peppers, and also the tomatoes, which also started off well, have stalled a bit. They’ve grown really well, but are either not putting out many flowering trusses or when they do they’re not getting pollinated (even though I’ve been trying to do it by hand) because the weather has been so poor, and there have been very few flying insects about to do it for me.
That’s gardening, and on the whole, the allotment is doing so well, that I’m not too worried that the tomatoes and peppers aren’t.
The potting shed is now fully over to it’s “summer” set-up, with all the troughs for peppers and tomatoes full. I’m not growing cucumbers in there this year, as I’ve switched to outdoor cucumbers on the allotment this year as an experiment. I’ll have more tomatoes than I originally planned too, as I’ve lost the first trough of peppers to the snails!
I’ve sown some radish seeds in some of the spare space around some of the plants too. I want to see if I get better luck with a more frequent watering regime, than I have so far on the allotment. The radishes there are coming up very woody, and not very big and I think that might be due to the infrequency of watering.
Each year during late spring, after the risk of frost has passed I convert our “potting shed” from an overwintering area for tender plants to a growing space for tomatoes and other plants that prefer a bit of heat. The quick video below covers the basics of the new set-up.
I wasn’t going to grow any tomatoes this year. The previous couple of years, have resulted in such a dismal crop of fruit, that it really wasn’t worth the effort, so I thought I’d take a year off from tomatoes and just grow cucumbers instead.
That was until two separate people offered me a couple of plants. I changed my mind, not because I was particularly expecting any greater success, but because I thought I’d just give it a go, and I never like to turn down a gift of plants.
Now the first lot had the label in the picture to the left, not very revealing. The second, the person who gave them to me was honest and said, he had no idea what they were, but he knew he’d sown a cherry and a beefsteak variety, so they would be one or the other. So I took them, grew them on, and eventually planted them into their final spot, when the first flowering trusses appeared.
They’ve grown quite successfully, and I now have green fruits on both plants. It looks as though the cherry / beefsteak are in fact both beefsteak, or some kind of weird heirloom beefsteak, as they have grown some interesting fruit.
The others are slightly more interesting. They rapidly grew fruit, and at first I thought they were going to be the good old gardner’s staple, Moneymaker. However, something weird started to happen. The fruits grew to a standard tomato size and started to ripen, turning from green, to yellow. They did not however reach the red that you would expect from a tomato. Instead they seemed to hold as this golden yellow for days. Eventually I realised that perhaps this was their final show, so I picked one. Now slightly over-ripe, they were a great tasting tomato, but they were never going to be red, only ever a golden yellow.
I’ve still no clue as to what variety they really are, just that they taste great. Always a bit exciting to grow a new plant, even when it’s only the humble tomato!