Down on the Allotment

What's happening down on the allotment? An intimate account of a passionate veggie grower.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ups and Downs

Tomatoes are in full swing at the moment. The dark plum tomatoes are the Japanese Black Trifele tomato, one of the stars of my plot this year, a wonderful new tomato for me. The others are the black cherry tomato - one of the best flavours ever, the yellow one Ildi - thousands of them! and the small reds are Gardeners Delight.
Now this picture above is what I expect Gardeners Delight tomato to look like. Double strands of smallish but not cherry sized tomatoes. This picture was from my 2010 crop.
And this year all of my Gardeners Delight tomatoes have sort of reverted back to bunches of smaller cherry tomatoes.Perhaps I used a different seed packet, perhaps it was older seed, or perhaps it was my own saved seed. Anyway, this is quite different from the tomato last year. Not unpleasant but I wouldn't have chosen to grow one like this.
Stop press news! There are now 4 lovely shoots on my turmeric pot in the greenhouse! I'm keeping it warm and moist. Looking good!
My garlic chives are just setting flower at the moment. The bees love them! These lovely white flowers always produce masses of seed heads. The plant itself is a very healthy, hardy perennial.
Another dilemma on Matron's patch this year. I have several very healthy and very large Mexican Tomatillo plants. I have grown them many times before, but this time, despite lots of apparent pollination from the bees, none of them have set any fruit. I would have thought that tomatillo would be like tomatoes in that they were self fertile. My tomatillo plants are quite a distance apart from each other, I wonder if they would have pollinated each other if they were closer together. Hmmmmm. Any ideas?
I planted my leek seedlings just a week or so ago. They are romping away, thanks to a generous downpour of rain and a thick layer of cut grass mulch!

10 Comments:

At 8:25 PM, Blogger Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

Everything looks good and yummy! nice going on the Turmeric plant.

 
At 10:09 PM, Blogger Chicken lover said...

Hi Matron
Your toms look great! Mine are just starting to ripen, grown some San Marzano that look promising.
Your leeks look really healthy.
Happy gardening
Jane

 
At 10:29 PM, Blogger the hungry sparrow said...

Hi Matron, I love reading your blog. We tried growing tomatillos and failed. We assumed they would self pollinate but after speaking to a grower apparently they are more closely related to gooseberries and need to be close together to pollinate well.

 
At 3:25 AM, Blogger Emily said...

gorgeous tomatoes! i had the same problem with tomatillos this year--my first year growing them. the plants were huge and healthy, the bees loved them, i shook them to pollinate like tomatoes, i even hand-pollinated them but nothing worked until all of a sudden just a few weeks ago they decided to start setting fruit like crazy. maybe yours just haven't hit that magical tomatillo sweet spot yet.

btw, i've read a number of posts about this tomatillo mystery on garden discussion boards but so far haven't read a good explanation for it, or a good explanation of what makes them finally decide to set fruit. it seems to be a common issue.

 
At 9:09 AM, Blogger melsanford said...

The tomatoes look fab! I've got some Gardeners Delight growing and they look nothing like either of your pictures (I'm just pleased I've got any at all!) They are yummy though! The turmeric and garlic chives look fab :-) Love 'n' hugs, Mel xx

 
At 10:13 AM, Blogger Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

I have to agree with Emily on Tomatillos having a certain period when they decide 'Okay, NOW it's time to produce some fruit!'.

Your Tumeric plantlings look wonderful - did you grow them from cuttings?

 
At 1:52 PM, Blogger Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

Nice healthy tumeric plant! I have one and it is not cared for but it is doing quite fine!Love the tomatoes.

 
At 12:32 AM, Blogger Lrong said...

Envy your tomatoes... my baby leeks got dumped by heavy rains :(
got to try again...

 
At 9:24 PM, Blogger Dim Sum Gardener said...

Wow, that tumeric plant is impressive! Mine's been sitting in a pot outside braving the elements and growing very very slowly. All your vege and fruit look fantastic.

 
At 7:03 AM, Blogger ~Holly~ said...

I think your tomatillo plants needed to be next to each other. Single plants are not self fertile. Try again next year. I grew them in pots and I have bees and fruit galore!

 

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