Week 11 was the week the growhouse got dismantled. The tomato plants are either now in bags or pots with just a few stragglers sat on the garden table still waiting to be planted out.
Among these were Red Robin which are minature , only growing 30cm tall . So remaining small and compact in their 10.5 cm pots and therefore staying off my radar in respect of needing slightly larger pots and fresh compost. This has now been put right; they’ve been upgraded to Wilkinson 32cm pots which may be a bit too big but they seem to have been forgiving about size so far .
It was a week topped and tailed by glorious weather with some hairy moments, mainly caused by wind, in between. Most of the tomatoes now look happy. I’ve got used to the horrible bit where you take robust looking plants, put in them in new home , decide it’s time for a cup of tea so stand back to admire your hard work and find yourself looking round on droopy, unhappy plants. Instead of thinking ‘ what the ….‘ , I now think ‘it’ll be fine’. Settling in somewhere new leaves us all a bit out of sorts at first !
I am also learning the bind of ‘I’ll be happy when….’ as applied to growing things. A few weeks ago it was all ‘I’ll be happy when I get flowers on the plants‘. Now it’s ‘I ‘ll be happy when they set‘. I can see how this list will develop !
Summary Week 11
Plants: All out, day and night. Mostly either transplanted to larger pots or grow bags with just a few remaining to be put into bigger pots.
Watering: Have watered a couple of times. I’m giving each plant about 2 litres when I put them in new pot/bag and then 1 litre at a time after that.
Flowers: I don’t know what the tomato equivalent is. Think Father Christmas, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny. Yes, the Tumbler came good and took delivery of 3 trusses of flowers ! Here’s the evidence.
There is of course , something wrong with this picture. Tumbler is bred for tumbling, from a height, in baskets and I choose it with that in mind. Could there be anything nicer for the tomato lover than a cascading hanging basket dangling tomatoes directly at mouth height ?
What I didn’t consider, in the cold dark days when I ordered seeds, was ‘ Do I have a wall, strong enough to support a hanging basket that also gets sun ? ‘ Answer, no.
Some Tumblers await my ingenious solution to this oversight. Others are in pots with a stake. Will they realise they’re in the wrong place ? I’m gunning for backwards evolution; they lose their head for heights, stop letting it all hang out and grow happiliy upwards.
The Cream Sausage has 4 flower trusses and the Darby Stripe has 2. No sign of fruit setting.
Feeding: None to date as no fruit set yet.
And how are other tomato growers getting on ?
Last week we took a look at upside down hanging containers. If you want to make some of your own (we already know my problems with suitable hanging spots although in these pictures the support is a fence posts. My fence posts look like keeping the panels upright is job enough so I’ll pass !) then Single Family Home Remodelling, a practically minded Tennessee family website give very clear step by step instructions. They promise to keep posting pictures through the season which hopefully will answer the question I have which is :
How does the upsidedown plant support the weight of the tomatoes!?
Jackie’s Secret Garden on the Central Coast of California is testing 3 methods of tomato support : cages, stakes and interweaving between twine . By the look of the tomatoes, all work well.
And in Alabama Our Engineered Garden is growing tomatoes for his dad to enjoy. What I like about looking at tomatoes growing in different countries is coming across different varieties and methods. In the US ‘Mortgage Lifter‘ seems to be a popular variety. A Credit Crunch Munch ? I don’t know ! And in the US I don’t see bamboo canes but do see a lot of round cages. I think they’re called Texas Tom Cages. There are some good pictures of them on Our Engineered Garden if you want a closer look.
Whatever the differences, one thing everyone has in common is : Will it be a good year for tomatoes ?
How are yours doing ? I’d love to compare notes !