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. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Confession Time

 My tomato plants have not been well.  For weeks now, despite ideal sunshine, warmth and growing conditions they have been looking sickly and pale.  They have put on no growth in weeks, and at a time when they should be shooting up.
 The only thing I can really put it down to is a lazy short cut  I took earlier in the Spring.  I bought some lovely new seed compost in which to sow the seeds and they did great until it was time to transplant the seedlings into pots... I had an old bag of compost left over from last year in the corner of the greenhouse, so instead of going and buying new compost to pot on the seedlings I used last year's compost.
 The only thing I can think of is that this old compost soured or went bad over Winter. They did not like it one little bit.  So in the last couple of days I tried re-potting a few plants in new compost...
 and in just 2 or 3 days they seem to be coming back to life.
 The one on the left is in old compost and the one on the right I re-potted just a couple of days ago.
That will teach me to cut corners.  I learn so much about gardening by the mistakes I make as well as the successes. They are all now potted up in new compost with a dilute liquid feed and some bottom heat in a propagator to help them on their way.


At 8:05 AM, Blogger Celia Hart said...

Sometimes you know it's not the best thing to do, then do it anyway. A useful reminder why fresh new compost is the right thing to pot young plants.

At 9:32 AM, Blogger Mark Willis said...

What you say is so true. Lots of people have been writing recently about problems with compost, and it just goes to show that plants are as discerning as humans when it comes to food preferences!

At 11:04 AM, Blogger Captain Shagrat said...

Glad you stuck at it, I had a similar thing with my chilli plants Padron some were a luscious green and a couple were yellowing, after some thought I repotted with extra grit into a pot which had better drainage hole and hey presto newer green leaves. As you say it pays to be more careful with your little precious babes

At 5:59 PM, Blogger Midmarsh John said...

At least tomato plants seem to be good at playing catch up. I just have two given to me and this year I am growing them in compost from my wormery for the first time.

At 9:52 PM, Blogger Mal said...

So the compost ain't what it used to be (?) or it was a bad batch in the first place (?). I tried Jihn Inees No 2 for the first time this year - perhaps not such a good idea for tomatoes peppers and corgettes. i ended up adding liberal amounts of "multi purpose compost" to lighten it up. Compost can be impossible so keep your composure.

At 6:38 AM, Anonymous Suzy said...

We used some organic compost last year, we purchased four bags from a local nursery. It smelt a little but we potted all our stuff on and needless to say within a few days we had very very sick seedlings and plants. Heart breaking after all that effort! Never again will we buy from that Nursery or Organic.

At 11:39 PM, Blogger Peggy said...

Lessons learned but it may not have been you cutting corners at all. I tried a peat free compost a couple of years ago and was very disappointed with the results 9 or lack of)
At least now with a bit of TLC they are showing signs of improving


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