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

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Hardening off Tomatoes

 Lovely, warm days in the last few weeks have meant that my tomato plants have been spending days outside hardening off.  The gentle movement of the wind sways the stems and leaves so that they become stronger and more resistant to the outdoor life.   They come into the greenhouse at night because there are still a few late frosts about.
 This is an interesting variety I called 'Quebec' because I bought some lovely beefsteak tomatoes in a market in Quebec in 2008 and saved some seed.  Apparently there was a greenhouse tomato breeding programme in Quebec to find varieties suitable for growing in greenhouses at that latitude. I did ask a market trader what the name of the variety was,  the reply was something like 'Den de L'or" but with a French Canadian accent I'm not sure.
 I have grown them for a few years in my greenhouse, and outside, they are a really lovely, smooth beefsteak tomato.
 This is what they looked like on sale in the market.  I grow them every few years to keep the seed fresh and to keep the strain going over here.
Another interesting variety I found is this dwarf, bush  yellow tomato called 'Sweet n Neat'  I thought they might make a Summer display on the patio.


At 8:54 PM, Blogger Mark Willis said...

I'm doing the same with mine. Outside during the day, but in a plastic mini-greenhouse at night. Roll on double-figure night-time temperatures!

At 10:13 PM, Blogger Carrie said...

oh Matron - you will be so proud....we have tomato plants for the first time in 3 years. Yes we are having it all this year, lots of veggies,fruit, herbs and flowers too.

It astonishes me that your toms are hardening off already, you get summery weather so much earlier than us (bbrrrr)


At 5:25 PM, Blogger Gardeningbren said...

First Day outside for ours but inside at night for sure, at least for two weeks I think. Your plants look great. As for your Quebec tomatoes...I think that is wonderful you are growing them and saving seed.

At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Matron: Thank you for your idea for making liquid fertilizer from comfrey! I knew it was a good idea to spread comfrey leaves over the plot at the end of the growing season then work them in in the spring, so the liquid fertilizer idea makes a lot of sense. So I am going to try it. I just discovered your blog and am enjoying it. Conditions are a little different here in Southern Ontario, Canada, but I am enjoying hearing about your experience with gardening in the UK. ~Laurie in Brampton


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