More mischief

by Richard Jones

Our tomatoes have not done very well this year, a combination of slow start and inadequate watering whilst we were away on holiday.

TomatoesOur tomatoes have not done very well this year, a combination of slow start and inadequate watering whilst we were away on holiday. But further down the street someone has done much better. They've obviously had a glut because a cardboard box on the front garden wall is full of spares, on offer to passers by for a few pence to be dropped into the honesty box. However, they have fallen victim to tomato pirates. A scene of riotous desolation now awaits our thoughtful neighbour, as pips and pulp are strewn everywhere. The culprit? A greedy but nonchalant grey squirrel chomping messily through the crop, completely oblivious of early morning passers by.

Earlier, on Peckham Rye, I had a close encounter with a ring-necked parakeet. They usually squawk from high up in the branches of a tall tree or send out a barrage of screeches as they fly across the open sky. But I was able to eyeball this one as it sat on a low branch, just a couple of metres away from me. It was too engrossed in feeding to notice me. I think it must have occurred to me that, like other parrots, they must principally be seed-eaters, but I had not really given much thought to exactly what seeds they might eat in south-east London. Now I have my answer. It was holding a cluster of sycamore keys in one claw whilst using its tin-opener beak to extract the seeds. Sycamore is such a vigorously invasive tree, so perhaps the parakeets can now keep the seedlings in check.

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Gardeners' World Web User 15/09/2007 at 22:42

I've had great success this year with my tomatoes, its the first year I've planted my tomatoes from seed and I chose the Moneymakers variety. I gave a lot of my plants to family and friends and they too had the same luck. Its my first year growing my own fresh veg, and whilst I'm new to allotmenting, and considering half of it ended a foot under water with flooding, Its not put me off and we've grown lots of wonderful vegs, I look forward to Carol's veg slots and my friday evening update with Gardeners' World. My children are very proud of the marrows they've grown and they have pics as proof??

Gardeners' World Web User 17/09/2007 at 10:33

My gazanias are being attacked, looking like someone has taken a pair of scissors to them, leaving the leaves on the ground, but not eaten. Can you shed any light on this problem. I have grown gazinias for years and this is the first time I have encountered this problem.

Gardeners' World Web User 18/09/2007 at 21:55

I started my tomato seed in Multicompost and transplanted them into the vegetable plot. The growth of the seedlings seemed to be arrested but have recovered and now I am harvesting some lovely sound fruit which are delicious.

Gardeners' World Web User 19/09/2007 at 09:35

Although there was a lot of blight on the tomatoes at our allotment, by picking off the blackened stems, I still got a good supply. The plants in my greenhouse were not effected.

Gardeners' World Web User 19/09/2007 at 20:29

You all had better luck than me this year. Last year had masses of tomatoes on my allotment but this year I planted 60 plants and lost the whole lot to blight with just a small bowl full of fruit to show for it. Maybe it depends what part of the country we are in, I am on coast in East Anglia.

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