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.

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