Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a courtyard garden. Which edibles will tolerate less than ideal growing conditions. Discovering how veggies can grow in partial shade.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Apples and Strawberries

I picked a bowl of strawberries yesterday. The smell of the strawberries as I was picking them was divine. This is one thing that people who grow their own fruit and veggies understand. So ripe and so fresh there is nothing to compare. You would never get this quality from any supermarket.

It is a really good year for fruit. I think the long, hard Winter ripened fruit buds on fruit bushes and trees. Look at all these apples on the end of one branch. If left like this, I would end up with a large number of really small apples.

A difficult job to rub off most of these little apples but in order to get much bigger apples they must be thinned.

So I thinned out each bunch to just one or two apples. I chose the best one on the branch and discarded the rest.

A strange phenomenon in my greenhouse as I look at these tomatoes developing in the greenhouse. This variety is Pink Berkeley Tie Dye, an American beefsteak variety sent to me by Dan on his Urban Veggie Garden. It looks as if 3 tomatoes are developing from this one flower. It also looks like they are all joined together! Siamese triplets! I wonder what will develop?

Finally, I managed to get most of my courgettes and squashes into the ground. I have Black Beauty and Defender courgettes. This year for a change I am trying to grow them through black plastic. These are just compost bags split open. I hope this will warm up the soil a bit more and keep some of the weeds at bay. Fingers crossed.


At 8:30 AM, Blogger Paul and Melanie said...

Wow, those apples are huge already. Ours are about a quater of that although like you we seem to have millions of them lol

That tomato looks interesting, 3 beefstakes in one could be HUGE! ;)

At 10:12 AM, Blogger Robert said...

That's a cristate tomato, grown from a cristate flower. It happens a lot with some varieties. The growing point becomes elongated into a line, and this is the result. the tomato will be perfectly all right, just an odd shape.

At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its looking lovely Matron and those strawberries look divine! Will be interested to see how the Black Beauty courgettes do. The black plastic is a great idea. I have used it in the past to grow potatoes. Can l have my strawberries with a dollop of cream please!

At 1:33 PM, Blogger Vegetable Heaven said...

It certainly is a good fruit year.

I find that many of the beefsteak tomatoes can form these monster first fruits from a multiple flower head. Some people take off the first flower so as not to get multiples but I don't mind them.

At 4:39 PM, Blogger LindaG said...

Good luck with the weeds. Mine always find a way. ;-)
That triple tomato is indeed an interesting one!
Everything looks wonderful, Matron. :)

At 7:53 PM, Blogger Anna said...

Mmmmmmm `now where's the cream? Your fruits are certainly further ahead of us ~ here strawberries have only just started to blush. Hope that the predicted warmer weather will bring them on. I planted three apple trees earlier this year so am really looking forward to my first crop. I keep reading about the June drop - had that already happened before you thinned the fruits out?

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Why I garden... said...

Your apples are way ahead of mine!

At 7:57 PM, Blogger Chicken lover said...

Hi Matron
I can tell you are 'down South' our plants/fruit are way behind yours sadly


At 9:35 PM, Blogger Maureen said...

Hi Matron, what a great idea with the plastic bags around the courgettes. I am going to have a go at that as when the leaves get large it's difficult to weed around the plants. Thanks for sharing that tip.

At 6:16 AM, Blogger Steve said...

Hi Matron
Most Beefsteak tomato plants do produce Cristate fruit as Robert pointed out. Some people cut the flowers off, I never do as they produce great big funny shaped tomatoes. it is nothing to worry about. They just look like a triple flower at the early stage.
I will do a blog post about it, as I am sure many people wonder about them.

At 4:01 AM, Blogger Dan said...

That is quite a tomato you have growing. It should start developing dark green stripes before it turns a metallic pink. I always call those flowers super blooms. From what I read here the technical term is cristate flowers.


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