|The Gardener’s Delight tomatoes in our back garden are going great guns but they’ve well and truly outgrown the stakes that I’d orignally used. So they were flopping about all over the place, and a couple of stems had actually broken or were threatening to break. I did start by putting in longer stakes (of a length you’d normally use for building a runner bean tepee), but then I thought, “Hold on, what about tying the tomatoes to the washing line?” So that’s exactly what I did, using some lengths of garden twine! There’s still enough room for a few T-shirts though, which is good. Speaking of tomatoes, we had a friend come and see us for lunch this weekend. It was lovely being able to give her a punnet of home-grown tomatoes. Such is the glue that binds society together, I think. Speaking of tomatoes, I had the first ripe Tumbling Tom today. It tasted gorgeous, which is just as well considering how expensive the seeds were!|
I love this time of year. It’s when all your efforts over the previous six months come to fruition – literally. The first of our Gardeners Delight tomatoes are ripening off; when they start to go orange, I just pick them (leaving the calyx on if possible) and shove them on a little temporary wooden shelf I’ve stuck on our kitchen windowsill. Well, it’s more of a sort of platform, consisting of a bit of tongue & groove propped up with some rectangular marble trophies that the other half and I once won for our quizzing efforts. The extra three inches of elevation gives the tomatoes that much more sunlight. I’ve heard that placing a banana or two with the tomatoes speeds up the ripening process, but have never tried it.
On an almost unrelated note (and nothing to do with container gardening at all really), I went foraging for blackberries at the weekend and picked about five pounds of them! They were gorgeous: the best ever. Made a massive blackberry crumble and stuck the rest in the freezer. I reached the blackberries just in time – a week later and most of them would have been past the point of being edible. Just as well I didn’t listen to the Daily Mail’s article about blackberries being late this year!
|In a post a few weeks back, I extolled the virtue of using old colanders as hanging baskets for my Tumbling Tom tomato plants. The colander I’m using is about 9 inches in diameter and not particularly deep, which is probably the reason for the slight yellowing around the edge of the leaves. The Tumbling Toms I’ve been growing in bigger, deeper baskets are all doing better, despite the fact that I’ve planted more than one to a basket. You live and learn! On the subject of tomatoes, the first of the Gardener’s Delights are ripening. And I’m starting to get decent-looking courgettes again, after a lull of several weeks. My runner bean leaves are still looking rather starved (see my post of 25th July), so I’ve invested £6.99 in some Miracle-Gro slow release granules, which – from the list of ingredients on the jar – look as though they contain every trace element/nutrient known to man!|
|I picked this tomato at the weekend, sliced it and fried it to go with sausage and egg. (Fried green tomatoes are very tasty actually, and are a great way to use up the unripe fruit if you find that you have too many tomatoes.) Anyone else out there ever grow tomatoes with a weird sticky-out bit like this one? And why does it happen at all, I wonder?|