Monday, 23 May 2011

Stringing the tomatoes

It's been very wet and very windy again. Everything's been blowing about all over the place.

I took Thursday off work and had my hair cut. Then I planted the tomatoes into grow bags in the greenhouse at home. Whilst I was dropping the staging to make way for the tomatoes, one of the legs came off unexpectedly and crashed through a pane of glass, doh!

Over the weekend I tied up the tomatoes.   I started off with a knotted loose loop at the bottom of the tomato, below the first 2 leaves. Then I wrapped the tomatoes around the string in a clockwise direction, and I left it a bit slack.  I used a rolling hitch knot to tie the top of the string to the greenhouse wire horizontal supports.  The rolling hitch knot stops the string sliding around when the plants get heavy. We planted basil and pot marigolds around the bottom of tomatoes.  The pot marigolds will help attract aphid eating insects, and the basil (I think) attracts the whitefly away from the tomatoes, as well as basil going very well with tomatoes.

Chris sowed some parsnips, tied up and staked the broad beans and planted out more lettuce. He's been keeping on top of the weeding too.

This is how the plot's looking.

I tidied out the plants in the greenhouse that were surplus to requirements and donated them to Rod, Janet and Mick. I filled a tray with squashes, cucumbers and aubergines ready to take to the allotment greenhouses.

I potted on lots and lots of basil and 2 cucumber plants in the home greenhouse. I only ended up with 6 cucumber plants altogether, despite sowing a lot more than this. The germination was poor and the plants seemed to be slow to get growing. I think the soil might have been too wet and this has upset them, apparently they don’t like their roots to be too wet. They didn't look like they needed potting on, but I think they would have benefited from it rather than staying in a small soggy pot. I chose Cucino for the greenhouse at home, and the Emile can go to the allotment greenhouse. I’m not sure if I can grow 2 varieties together without them cross pollinating, although they’re both female varieties so I don’t think they make many male flowers.

I did another jigsaw this weekend. I got a round 500 piece one with garden birds on for 50p, it was fun, but there was one piece missing. Doing jigsaws feels a bit sad, as it's kind of pointless because you don’t really achieve much, but it's addictive and I enjoy the challenge. Plus, like I said last week, it's been jigsaw weather, and it feels an appropriate activity for a wet afternoon indoors.

There's been more falling out at the shop over getting a fridge to sell chilled goods. It's the same person causing waves again, and he's said he's resigning now.

I got my mum some red Thai curry paste from the shop. It was mega, mega hot. We got the green Thai curry paste last week and this was really tasty. I definitely prefer green to red Thai curry.

I've sown a second batch of sweetcorn Lark into peat pots in the home greenhouse. I didn’t want all of the sweetcorn to ripen at once and hopefully this sowing will be ready at the end of summer.

I took everything that’s being planted outside out of the greenhouse to harden off in cold frame.

I've measured up for some glass to repair the broken panes in the 3 greenhouses. It'll probably cost about £40 to get them all replaced.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

It's too wet to play out – perfect jigsaw weather. Tomato growing experiment - 18 different varities

Not a big update this week, as I've not been feeling too good. The weather has been wet and miserable.

I planted the tomatoes (18 varieties) into the bottom greenhouse on Sunday. Chris planted some in the top greenhouse too. These are the varieties I planted:

My Dad's yellow tomato seeds (which he saved)
Red Pear
Constoluto Fiorentino
Orange Berry
San Marzano
Sweet Million
DT Brown Trial Cherry
Chocolate Cherry
Country Taste

I'll see how they all get on and choose my favourites for next year.

We gave them a handful of blood, fish and bone and a sprinkling of epsom salts when planting them. I also planted the first batch of sweetcorn into the bottom greenhouse.

I did a 1000 piece jigsaw with Chris, which may have set me off on a jigsaw addiction.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

A right royal wedding BBQ

The weather's been sunny but spoilt by the wind.

I watched the royal wedding on Friday then nipped to a wedding party at the allotment. Afterwards I went to a BBQ at my friend Nina's house. I was the only veggie and everyone was stuffing their faces full of meat. I got a bit drunk off fizzy wine and beer. I wore a new red, white and blue (accidentally patriotic) maxi dress that I got from H&M. We finished off the party with some whipped cream and strawberries.

We had a yummy lunch out at Annie's café on Saturday.

I planted my squash seeds in the greenhouse at home.

I caught a little boy throwing rocks at my mum's car.

Avi sowed all the runner and French beans directly into the soil at the allotment.

I ordered 2 new sewing books, the Bag Making Bible and Sew Everything Workshop.

I was bank holiday on Monday, and it was a very windy day, so we made the most of the wind and flew a kit down the park.  It was lots of fun and we got the kite pretty high, it was a stunt kite though so it was a bit tricky to control.