Down on the Allotment

What's happening down on the allotment? An intimate account of a passionate veggie grower.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Oh Dear! Oh Dear!

London was colder than Moscow, Prague, Copenhagen or Stockholm on Tuesday night! Silly Matron forgot to take the tomato plants back into the greenhouse for the night. They have been hardening off nicely for the past couple of weeks, then temperatures plunged below zero and they caught the frost! I don't think all is completely lost, and I always try to look on the bright side, I think some of the sideshoots have been protected by the larger leaves. I might be able to cut some of them down to a side shoot.
You can see below at the base of this chocolate cherry tomato there are two side shoots that seem to be OK. Perhaps this is natures way of protecting itself in placing new shoots in a protected place under bigger leaves? Fingers crossed I might be able to salvage one or two plants. If these grow back I will be able to take some sideshoot cuttings.
The sweetcorn was quite badly frosted too, a couple seem to be OK, but I had always planned to plant a second crop of these, they will be up and going again in a couple of days.
Potatoes caught a nip of frost as well. These are some first early Rocket new potatoes which I had earthed up a couple of days ago so there will be shoots underground to keep growing.
And I was followed round the allotment today by a very bold robin! It was diving just feet away from me, and I swear it was laughing at me! We can learn from our mistakes. This will teach me to be more careful in future!

27 Comments:

At 6:11 PM, Blogger Nome said...

Oh dear. You're certainly not alone - many, many plots on our allotment site have frost damage today, not least my own! Most years I would be thinking about planting squashes out by now - not likely this year!

 
At 7:18 PM, Blogger Magic Cochin said...

Ooooooh nooo!

I hope some of your tomatoes pull through after all that tlc you've invested in them so far.

Even with earthing up the tips of my outdoor Rocket potatoes were blackened this morning and the leaf edges of the two courgettes under the big plastic cloche looked frost bitten.

maybe being a late starter has paid off this year. A lesson for us all...

Celia

 
At 7:49 PM, Blogger mangocheeks said...

Oh Matron, I am sorry to read this - the weather just does not seem to be making its mind up.

I do hope you can salavage the tommy-tatoes.

RE the robin, I don't think it was laughing at you, it was probably hungry looking for some sweet berries, dry ones of course.

 
At 7:51 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Aww Matron your poor little plants.
We aso had a little frost and luckily everything is fine. You would think eveything was safe at this time of the year.
Luckily you seem a positive person, so will just count this as a small set back.
Steve

 
At 7:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh no! You are taking it very well. I would be fuming, but I suppose that would be pointless.

I haven't been to see what my plot is like - I'm in Oxon.

Carol

 
At 8:14 PM, Anonymous Window On The Prairie said...

OH NO! I had a similar experience last year with a bunch of native wildflower baby plants. It got too hot and most of them died of thirst when I was away from home. It looks like at least some of your baby plants will come around. Good luck!

 
At 8:35 PM, Blogger Roasted Garlicious said...

okay, that was enough to bring tears to my eyes :( all that work, all that loving and nurturing.... i do hope that you can save some of them, and yes, there are some tomatoes in the photos that look like they will make it! tomatoes are actually a pretty hardy breed.. one year i had several in the garden, under a reemay house, it snowed 2 feet, and the exterior ones looked like yours... in the fall, i ate tomatoes from them!!

 
At 8:52 PM, Blogger BilboWaggins said...

So sorry to see you have been "frosted" like this, but you are not alone, this weather is very difficult.

I have been wondering today how commercial growers are coping and what sort of yields/prices we will see later in the year for new potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes and so on.

 
At 9:17 PM, Blogger The Cottage Garden Farmer said...

Oh Matron, what a shame, I know how easy it is to forget to bring the tender plants in, I'm getting fed up of bringing them in every night, looks like you'll still have something left though.

 
At 9:17 PM, Blogger Midmarsh John said...

Hopefully you will be able to start some new tomato plants from the side shoots. It's amazing how fast they can make up time once the weather settles. Two mornings this week I have seen a thin layer of ice in the bird bath.

I think you Robin was pointing out it needed help to find food in the frosty ground ;)

 
At 9:51 PM, Blogger EB said...

I was horrified by the frost - wasn't expecting it at all. I lost nearly all the courgettes - only my laziness in not getting all of them out saved any. I hope your tomatoes recover.

 
At 10:01 PM, Blogger Bob said...

I'm sorry to see that happen Matron hopefully they will recover. Bob.

 
At 10:16 PM, Blogger Peggy said...

It is something we all do leaving young plants out and then something comes up which takes our mind off bringing them in at night.I have been very lucky so far just one or two of the potatoes on the plot have a touch of frost which we seem to get early in the mornings. I would be gutted if all of my tomato plants died but you seem to be taking it on the chin and planning to rescue them.

 
At 11:21 PM, Blogger Robert said...

It's easily done! The toms look as though most of them will recover, and a lot of the corn looks OK. the spuds will recover in no time.

 
At 11:23 PM, Anonymous Damo said...

Oh no sorry to see your toms in a state. Hope some survived.

 
At 12:11 AM, Blogger miss m said...

Oh nooo ... :(

 
At 2:39 AM, Blogger Dan said...

Oh no! Been freezing here too, early spring was like summer and later spring is like winter! Strange times.

 
At 8:55 AM, Anonymous allotment blogger said...

We nearly got caught out too - it was a midnight dash to the plot to get everything under cover! Even so our peas seem to have had a tiny nip (we couldn't cover them, we have acres of peas) and our sweetcorn were already looking sad before the frost got them - they just don't like this cold weather even in daytime. Bet those side-shoots will survive though, they look viable to me.

 
At 9:36 AM, Blogger Carrie said...

it'll be fine and sure if it's not buy more ;)
I like to think robin's are our friends, maybe he was trying to help shoulder the upset as you walked around.

 
At 9:39 AM, Blogger Vegetable Heaven said...

Familiar pictures! My greenhouse toms are mainly ok - but even with lagging, some have frosted tips. Nothing was outside - it wouldn't havce survived here.

 
At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Mark said...

Very late for frosts isn't it! Nature seems determined to catch us out this year!

 
At 3:12 PM, Blogger Caro @ YRG said...

Hi! Another caught-by-the-cold London gardener here. I'm revisiting the sweet corn seed packet as well; mine were hardening off nicely on my balcony, now most have lost their middle stalks - er, which I think is the growing bit! Trouble is, I'm running out of space on the kitchen windowsill…

 
At 3:59 PM, Anonymous Richard said...

Oh my goodness! I would be quite upset in your situation. At least, you are looking on the bright side.

 
At 9:39 AM, Blogger clairesgarden said...

what a shame. it might be easier to pant new seeds rather try to restore those tomatoes, they'll soon catch up.

 
At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Soilman said...

Oo-er, looks like it got you. Me too – as you know. Our thermometer on site measured -6C on Tues night. Pretty astonishing for May, and very destructive.

 
At 5:59 PM, Blogger Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Whoops! We all have been guilty of that one a time or two. The tomatoes will probably snap out of it.
Your potatoes look great. I have never started sweet corn before. Guess I never even thought about it. Have a wonderful weekend and I hope you have no more cold spells.

 
At 4:03 AM, Blogger Christina said...

Oh no! Grrrrrrrrrrrr. I'm sure you were shaking your fist at the sky when you stepped out to see that. I know I would.

 

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