Tag Archives: carrots

Trussing up tomatoes and furtling for carrots #gdnbloggers

Eau De tomato. There is nothing quite like it. The spiced warm scent that nearly all tomatoes provide if you so much as touch their foliage. Then there is that yellow pollen that lingers on your fingers tips; staining them as though you’d smoked one too many.


Was a bit warm today, weren’t it, and tomorrow things gets warmer still.

I hid for most of today, doing school work and then watching ‘Henry VI part one’-Didn’t particularly rock my world that play-as it was rather warm. Once it had cooled down a little at tea time, I took to the plot with pair of scissors and some wool. I wanted to sort out the triffid like tomatoes that over the last few weeks have become wonderfully luscious and sending out cascades of yellow flowers.

My thoughts were that as the weather had been so erratic, that like the squashes, the tomatoes would be a little stroppy. However, for some daft reason, Blighty finds itself in the middle of a temporary heat wave. I add the caveat temporary, as it may well be our entire summer compressed into a few weeks.

Anyway, off I pootled, having forgotten to take a drink-I eventually got thirsty, came home and then returned with a bottle of squash-and spend a good three hours trussing up tomatoes. Unlike a more seasoned grower, I don’t defoliate very often, and I don’t arm pit the stems that turn up in the nook between the stem and branch. Primarily, as I can’t keep up, forget or find it some form of torture for a plant that I really want to do well and be happy. Result being, I end up with plants that have three or form long gangly arms that sprawl across the bed. Tomatoes take on an almost alien like quality and become monsters. The long extended limbs then need tying to canes and being raised aloft. It also helps prevent the foliage getting all tangled and promotes air flow.

It dawned on me, as I was trussing up the tomatoes, that this was an exercise in mindfulness.  I actually smiled as I thought it. There is the undeniable scent of the tomato plant. The feel of the fluffy leaves, as you try and detangle them and stretch out the tomato vine. The sound, of nothing but birds and the occasional “All right, Punam?!” from a passing allotment neighbour. You know it’s mum, when you hear ‘HAYYYYY PUNERRRRRM!”

Slowly but surely, I went around each of the 15 plants-mum’s got the same number, I just didn’t get so far as trussing hers up-and carefully tied up leafy limbs. This is the same concentration, that I use when colouring and knitting. The sort of concentration where you pause your mind, and take stock of the moment. Take stock of all that you see, hear and feel; take stock of your experience. A really profound effect of gardening, this is why I will always stand by it as a therapeutic intervention when it comes to mental health.

So that occupied me for a while. And I liked it. It was only later, that I remembered that tomorrow it’s meant to be a bit hot again. I should then perhaps open the vents in the poly.

poly chillies

That is my polytunnel. It’s not a huge great big thing; it’s two by three metres. And rather filled with chillies; I would adopt more tomorrow if I was so tempted to do so. There is quite a diverse range in here. On the left, you have Sparkler, coffee bean, devils rib, apache, red scotch bonnet and orange habanero on the staging. On the right hand side, we have patio sizzle-one plant-patio sizzle, jalapeno, purple haze and hungarian hot wax in the corner. You can just about make out the white flowers that have started to appear. I have opened the vents to offer some breeze to the plants. Otherwise, they may well cook to death in there; it is not fun trying to revive a chilli that whilst it needs warmth, might well have been cooked alive. I am aim to water them tomorrow evening anyway as it does get wonderfully hot in there. When we have a temperature of late teens to twenty something, the mercury sky rockets anyway.

Now what might I do with all of those chillies? Well, if they all crop, I have a plan to make chilli powders as well as use them in Mum’s kitchen. There are many flowers, so for now, we live in hope.

I also furtled for carrots. These were an experimental sowing direct into the raised beds. They are small, but they are straight and have a wonderful carrot smell. One of the crops that I haven’t sown very often, so might have again. And yes, there is a stray snow ball turnip in there.

Argh allotment challenge Epi 3

Argh Allotment challenge Epi 3

Opened with a plethora of beautiful blooms. Not a weed in sight.

Competitors but gardeners first. Not so sure about that at all.

Carrot challenge, of three perfect carrots. Uniform, free from pests. No forking. A disaster if inadequately prepared. It’s a bloody carrot! Sand was shovelled in, all very conscientiously. In waste pipes.

And done with precision.

The Volkswagen of carrot growing. Functional, technical, precise. Mention of the carrot fly, we are getting the names dropped now as far as pests go. A tad more realistic. Carrot fly does take on the role of being a comic book villain.

Who’d thought that a carrot would inspire such whispered hushed tones. It’s not a state secret, it’s a root vegetable.

And not eaten by Jim. Come on, a carrot is not going to be a work of art. Surely, the aim of growing your own, is eating it. The proof should be in the pudding. In the eating of it.

I will not be coddling my carrots. Wonky is good enough for me.

Gladioli always remind me of Miserable morrisey, and I like them. I would rather like some bright purple ones. They were lovely on my plot last year. Definitely want some more. As for table arrangement. Not interested.

A bit technical terminology from fern, a nice thing, as she explained about succession growing. That was okay, we like fern.

I like gladioli, so I’m not going to complain about those. Some beautiful whoppers. And some
Vitriol for Thrips too.

Chutney and cordial for eat. Was what the difference was between a chutney and a relish. Always good to see chillies, with their “phwoar” moment. Being a Bollywood, the aubergine chutneys gained my attention, with the different spices being used. Having made a courgette chutney that was very Bollywood, that bit was useful.

Grow your own is emerging slowly. Still very crafty. But getting there. The bearded blokes in ties are rather refreshing as are the mum an daughter team.