Here’s a tip for all you tomato growers out there: when you harden off your tomato plants, don’t put them in bright sunlight – at least, not for the first few days anyway. The poor things get sunburn (or leaf burn if you want to use the technical term)! This is particularly true of my Brandywine tomatoes; the other two varieties I’m growing (Gardener’s Delight and Gardener’s Pearl) don’t seem to be as bothered by the sun. Apparently (see here), the thing to do is put your tomato plants in a shady spot for the first few days of hardening off, and then they’ll be OK. And don’t get water on the leaves, either.
Last week I planted some giant red mustard seeds, which are already making an appearance, as you can see below. I had a few left over, so I planted them in my garlic troughs to fill up the space. If the slugs and snails don’t nobble it, we will be enjoying some very exotic stir fries in a few months’ time.
|I planted these spring onions back in March and straight away afterwards, we had a cold spell so I was worried that they wouldn’t sprout. But they have, as you can see! When planting them in pots (as opposed to in the ground) is that you ignore the bit on the packet that says “sow thinly” and just pack ’em in. As they grow bigger, you just thin them out gradually and eat the thinnings, which are gorgeous in salads. I love spring onions so much that I’ve since planted another lot, in an old washing up bowl with holes I punched in the bottom. (Tip: to create a hole, hold a large metal skewer in a gas flame and poke it into the washing up bowl. Repeat as often as necessary. Don’t stand too near your smoke alarm when you do this.)|
This is what the Brandywine seedlings look like now I’ve potted them up into individual pots. (It’s Saturday as I write this and the potting up took place on Wednesday. Took me ages, because I had to (a) find enough suitable pots in the corners of the garden, and (b) rinse them off to remove dead snails/spider eggs/worms.) Anyway, the Brandywine seedlings are the ones at the back – the ones towards the front are Gardener’s Pearl. They’ve got smooth-edged leaves, rather than the slightly curly-edged ones that you expect on tomatoes. Today I also potted up ten Gardener’s Delight seedlings, so all being well it should be a tomatotastic summer again!