Monthly Archives: August 2007

Green Tomato Blues

Our tomato plants this year have been a bit of a disaster. In my defence, I never really wanted to grow them, but having been persuaded we put them into pots on the patio and crossed fingers.

As I’ve mentioned before, they had a terrible start until I started feeding them – something I really didn’t want to do, but the soil I used must have been pretty badly drained of nutrients as they were dying until they got that feed. After that, though, the plants perked up quite a lot and even started producing flowers and, after that, little green tomatoes.

And there’s the trouble. All three plants are now quite well covered in green tomatoes, all of which refuse to ripen. I know I haven’t exactly been growing tomatoes for years but I have never known fruit so reluctant to ripen. I’m sure it’s down to the lack of sunshine, or maybe their bad start, but it’s really getting frustrating – especially as we’re off on holiday next week, at which stage no doubt they’ll ripen and get eaten by passing squirrels before we return!

On the subject of things being eaten, some beastie in our garden has a real taste for courgettes. Although we’ve had a few (very, very tasty) courgettes, more often than not I will spot one almost ready to eat only to find that when I go to harvest it the next day it’s vanished. It’s starting to get a little frustrating because I’ve seen so many flowers and small courgettes, only to never get to eat the damn things.

Honestly, the idea of a greenhouse is starting to look increasingly appealing not because I need the heat but just to keep the squirrels / birds / cats / whatever it is from eating all my crops!

Reaping and Sowing

Harvested (and ate!) our first courgette of the season this weekend; as you can see in the picture they’re not your usual courgette being round and yellow – but they are delicious!

At the same time, after starting to worry that I had empty land after the potato harvest, I’ve started putting in the second batch of crops – winter savoy, with some lettuce between them to take up the space until the cabbages get going.

We also went for a trip to our favourite garden centre and ended up buying a couple more packets of seeds – some carrots (Bangor) which will join the lettuce between the young savoys, and some spinach (Bordeaux) which has gone in underneath the sweetcorn. The reasoning with the spinach is that apparently it likes to be shaded, and there’s plenty of shade under the corn while having plenty of earth free – they really are like mini trees now!

So that means even more (!) money spent on seed this year, adding another £3.10 to the budget. On the other hand, the courgette came in at a little over 200g and the plant is totally covered with flowers and mini-courgettes so I think we’re going to do very well out of that.