Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tomato Habits

 Tomatoes like to grow in different ways.  Some varieties like this Tumbler tomato like to grow in a bush.  These Determinate plants send out lots and lots of side shoots and produce fruit from many different trusses.
 Sometimes with the best will in the world I can't get my tomatoes to grow up a single stem, like this Beefmaster tomato, it just wants to send out side shoots everywhere.  I have given up with this plant and will give it 3 or 4 canes to support the plant then it can do whatever it likes.
 Other varieties like this Sungold tomato are Indeterminate plants.  They grow up a single stem and can reach heights of 8 feet if allowed at the end of the season.  Pinching out side shoots is still necessary, but once a good height is reached then it is probably better to pinch out the lead shoot so that the plant can devote more of its energy to producing and ripening fruit instead of height.
 Meanwhile my lovely Masterpiece Broad Beans are showing signs of life.  I look forward to picking my first crop of tender beans in a few weeks.  Actually, you can pick them whole when they are this small size and cook them like a mangetout.  I've never tried it, perhaps I should... seems like a waste of beans to me... perhaps I might try.
 I bit the bullet this week and planted out some of my squash plants.  A generous gift from my Blogfather Stan, some Patty Pan squash,  Yellow Scallop squash and some Lebanese Squash.  I've not grown any of these before so I look forward to seeing what happens.
 I bought some sweetcorn seedlings because all my self sown ones failed to germinate.  It is still a bit too cool to plant out, sweetcorn just love the heat... will we ever get a Summer?
And finally, I picked a bucket full of nettles this afternoon. Weighted down in a bucket and filled with water this will make a powerful liquid feed in a couple of weeks.  Pegs on noses when it does mature!


At 7:43 PM, Blogger Midmarsh John said...

Sometimes I plant a few reasonable sized tomato side shoots to give some extra free plants.

At 10:08 PM, Blogger Matron said...

John - yes I do too.. particularly when the F1 seeds are so expensive. Just 4 or 5 in a packet, so side shoots are worth rooting up.

At 2:39 PM, Blogger Celia Hart said...

I cut off quite a few side shoots on my more bushy tomatoes just to give them more light and air, but didn't plant them, I reckon 30 plants to be ample!

At last things are growing, I have courgette, cucumber and squash plants racing along now and have some lovely flowers in my veg plot!

C x

At 11:37 PM, Blogger Caro (UrbanVegPatch) said...

I'm about to risk putting out my courgettes and squashes - it's a real gamble with the weather, isn't it? Hot one minute, cold the next! Hope it stays settled for you!


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