Tag Archives: tomatoes

Aloos, gobi’s and shalgums

The hour spent on the plot this morning. Is best described as seminal. A success.

You can find the photographic evidence on the Facebook page. But success is hard to express.

Yesterday, mama h was positively bouncing. There were caulis in the plot. She told that that there was two. One as big as her hand. Today. We found three, the one really was as big as her hand. They’ve been left today. To get bigger still.

Then there was those tiddler tomatoes. These were sunk into the areas cleared of Bolted radishes. There are also some bolted moolis, which I think are going to be left to form spicy seed pods that hark back to my childhood.

As June departs, it’s time to furtle for potatoes. New potatoes at least. And furtling was done. Retrieved a dozen or so new potatoes. Most were orla, and few of kestral. The floo’ers are deceptive. In most cases, the tubers are only the size of a pea or a marble. Alas. We have potatoes. Making that experiment a qualified success.

Will be leaving those for a while though. To see we move beyond all leaf. Ma has plans for the harvest. It’s called dad’s dinner. Curried turnips and swedes. With the spuds boiled and put into aloo paneer.

And my lunch today? Fenugreek chapatti. Not bad that.

Yours in anticipation,

Horticultural Hobbit

Casting a clout

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The fleece is off! Not quite June, by 24 hours, but let’s go!

Mama H and I took a walk down, bits and pieces tucked under our arms. All of the squashes were uncovered as were the cucumbers, sweetcorn and the one tomato that was down there. Mama H huffed and puffed at me; taking off the fleece there. Whilst I was planting out broadband and dwarf French beans, Pops came by. As you do. With two big bags of grass clippings. These were then tucked around the potato foliage. Looking a big ugly, if I might add. Pops pottered around too. Surveying, it’s a Dad thing. I haven’t put the leeks out yet.

Avalon and sweet dumpling have taken a hit. Big leaves eaten. There are smaller, leaves starting to come through. The sweetcorn is 3×3 with yellow scallop and patty pans dotted in between. Looking a bit windburned actually. This years ghost rider has rallied, it looked a bit ropey last week. Womble-wonder which courgette that is-is looking a bit on the petite size; whilst Astia looks all right. Baby marrow is similar.

Cucumbers didn’t look too bad. A couple of crispy leaves. Four of the second sized tomatoes were planted out.

Planted out some Cherokee trail of tears. With the runner beans looking a bit scruffy; not sure if they will actually survive.

Cauliflowers and kale didn’t look too bad in their beds. Having raised beds is certainly making a difference. I’m not quite sure what Mama H is going to do with all her fenugreek and spinach. It does all look very green.

There was a moment of hilariousness. Mama H picked up a big fat black slug, and launched it; screaming at the top of her lungs that I had a big fat slug. It didn’t land far. I then picked it up after and I’m afraid to say; it was euthanised by being slung against a wooden fence. Don’t think it felt a thing.

Not a bad start, eh?

Yours in anticipation,

Horticultural Hobbit

Tiddler tomatoes

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These things are still waiting, and apparently it is British Tomato Week. With the exception of Aunt VVG’s Ukrainian purple; these are sat here not growing very much. The Ukrainian purple is sat on the plot in a raised bed, sporting her fleece jacket.

But what do I do with these?

I couldn’t tell you what varieties there are, I very rarely label. Some are in fact flourishing, others not so much. There are both bush and corden varieties in there. This time last year, the tomatoes were easily three times as big. I’m not in a particular rush for these to crop; but it would be nice to see them crop.

Do I keep them as they are, or do I plug them into the plot. They can’t just sit there?

Yours in anticipation,

Horticultural Hobbit

Waiting in the windows

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As the weather turns on its head, there are still many things lurking with intent on the window sills.

The broadbeans are still there, getting taller. Purely as the weather is having a tantrum. Watered daily, they are being monitored closely. I intend to make further sowings later, after the Easter holidays. By which time further paper pots will be made. Allowing sowings of dwarf French beans and runner beans to be sown.

The tomatoes are sat there too, having grown leggy in modules. Being transplanted, they sulked and they pouted. They remain in that state.

The Lyon 2 prize winner leeks are still standing. Just. These are also being watered, in their up, down, shake it all about state.

In other news, desert the cactus is flowering. Beautiful red bloom.

Yours in anticipation,

Horticultural hobbit

Planning post puddles

As I sit here, planning world domination, sleet falls outside with the weather being its nefarious wanton self. Spring seems to be hiding its face, as further inclement weather hits blighty.

Should the weather change the face it currently pulls, it would be nice to get things going. As it stands, the classroom sills are full of seed trays. The windows are not in the least bit big. Lyon 2 Prizewinner leeks are still standing, very wiry young things that they are. Don’t seem to be getting any fatter, and further towards the pencil thin girth that they need to have. The cauliflowers that were sown, purple cape, mayflower and all year around, grew very leggy. Subsequently keeling over. Celery, remains, as does the beetroot. At last check, the aquadulce claudia broadbeans and suttons dwarf were just starting to poke their heads through the dirt in the paper pots.

The chilli adventure is still altogether frightening. At the last observation, five baby seedlings had stood up. The paper pots were removed from the heated prop and into a cold one, lined with white paper by way of reflecting heat and light. They had keeled over previously, in not being warm enough or having adequate enough light.

I would like to sow more cauliflower, and in turn some some tomatoes. There are still lots of other things to be sown too. Such as cabbages. I must still fill the raised beds. Damp lead mold has been used to get the raised beds at least a thirdish, or half full. Poop-that pops and I gathered-has then be used to cover the top of this. I have one bag left to pour into a be. Beyond that, I envisage topping the beds up with compost. Not filled entirely, but enough to get sowing. An aim, had been to sow various spinach seeds and fenugreek for Mama H. That would truly mark the start of the sowing season.

Last week, I took delivery of potatoes and spring garlic. It is most likely too early for either of these to be sown. The potatoes may well find themselves in the raised beds somewhere. I’m not sure where. Whilst I have garlic, these will replace those many that were eaten by the elements. However, I feel the section of the plot designated to them, may well be too wet, and not able to drain as quickly as I would like.

Thinking now, as to how many tomato seeds I wish to plant. I have both cordon and bush varieties. Yet, hobbitland is a blight hotspot. There yellow, red, and black tomatoes. So a veritable mix. These will be started off inside, and might just make it outside. Last year, they got to about 12 inches high inside. All very nice, but butchered by the weather, and therein a horrible waste. In the seed stashers, a hoard of beans to be sown. I don’t anticipate doing them yet. But will consider do so, in about six weeks perhaps. The mythology is to sow around the time of St.Patricks day.  This is most likely another paper pot job, one copy of an atrocious paper that will remain nameless, produces provisionally 50 pots. That is a lot of seeds. Mama H has made her opinion know. There are to be runner beans. Yes, Ma. I have those. The old favourite of Scarlet Emperor-the first runner bean that I ever grew-sits alongside one called painted lady. Furthermore, there dwarf varieties of French beans. Tender-something, as well as borlotto beans and purple queen. Though I can see Mama H pulling faces at the purple dwarf beans. Whilst I am convinced of their metamorphosis from purple to green on cooking, Mama may have her queries about them. Flicking through seed catalogues, I was trying to hunt down yellow ones.  The plan with the legumes, is to plant them where ever possible. The advantages of planting them by way of nitrogen tapping and its volume of doing so, are debatable  I was advised by an allotment neighbour, of ‘if in doubt, sow beans’, so this will be an interesting hypothesis test. Does the ground actually have better characteristics having formerly housed legumes. A half plot of beans may well seem a waste, but could potentially be useful. Having inherited a plot that is deemed a waste in itself, the challenge is to get something productive out of it. As it stands, garlic and onions have done well. Now the bar is set higher.

The snow is coming down apparently, outside. I do wish it wouldn’t. Makes planning that much more difficult.

Yours in anticipation.