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09/05/2013 at 10:44

Hi Busy-lizzie,

Thanks for your reply, it's very helpful in my understanding of herbs and plants. Do you recommend any good books I can read?  I've been using the internet and Youtube videos so far to learn about the plants.

09/05/2013 at 14:42

Mizzli, it's good advice about the warmth rising. Temps in the mid-20sC outside can translate to high-30sC inside those plastic greenhouses even well ventilated.

10/05/2013 at 04:20

Hi Mizzli,

if you are having trouble with green/white/black fly then plant french/African/pot marrigolds around they should keep your plants free of flies

10/05/2013 at 09:06

Hi all, thanks again for your advice.

 

Greenp12 - thanks for the tip! I will certainly try that.  I'm planning a visit to the garden centre this weekend so will look for some alongside my greenhouse!

12/05/2013 at 18:18

Hello everybody,

Quick update, finally got round to getting the two tier growhouse for the balcony:

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/23427.jpg?width=544&height=350&mode=max

 

I've moved my tomatoes, strawberries, rosemary, chives and parsley outside.  I hope they won't get 'shock' from being transported to colder temps outside (will be around 7 -10 degrees this week at night).  I'm puzzled how they can get enough sunlight as the greenhouse, is green? Surely it should be clear?

The mint I have split into two pots about a week ago, left one outside and here's the result:

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/23428.jpg?width=544&height=350&mode=max

 

 The other pot, I've left indoors by the windowsill:

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/23429.jpg?width=544&height=350&mode=max

 

For some reason this plant has been growing better than the one outside? *puzzled* I hope the one outside isn't suffering from shock?

I repotted our tomatoes in a bigger pot (pic below) - there's no overcrowding of the roots but it's gone all floppy (stalk and leaves) - we will get some sticks to support it but is it ok?

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/23430.jpg?width=544&height=350&mode=max

 

I am to find some French/African Marigolds this week to put with the plants which will act as a pest deterrent too! Almost there!! 

Thanks again for all your advice so far!

 

12/05/2013 at 18:34

The tom looks healthy. Is that one plant in the pot or more than one? And what's the variety? It looks like an indeterminate, one that will grow a lot taller than the greenhouse will allow.

12/05/2013 at 19:20

Hi italophile,

Thanks, its stalk and leaves are super flimsy though, it looks like it's on the verge of turning into mush. :/

There is actually more than one plant in that pot - again we made the mistake of emptying (following written instructions from manufacturer) the whole packet of seeds into the pot provided with the pack.  So I'm guessing I have to split those too?

I'm not sure what type it is.

12/05/2013 at 19:44

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/23445.jpg?width=276&height=350&mode=max

 Applemint spearmint and limemint

12/05/2013 at 19:53

Nice greenhouse,Mizzli,make sure that you have heavy plants at the bottom and lighter plants higher up,I know from my Mum,s experience that these things can easily blow over in high winds,especially when the front flap is open.

12/05/2013 at 23:25

If it is a normal tomato, not one specially for hanging baskets, there will have to be one plant per largish pot and it should be on the ground with a stake or tomato pole to attach it to. When re-potting a tomato you can bury the bottom of the stem, an inch or two, in the compost and it will make more roots.

The long straggly stems of the mint should be pruned to encourage more growth from the bottom. As I said before, when you use it you cut the top of the stem of which will stop it flowering too soon and make it produce sideshoots. Don't just pick off single leaves.

13/05/2013 at 07:05

Mizzli, separate the tomato plants into different pots. I found a way to magnify the photo so I've had a closer look at them now. They're definitely going to outgrow that greenhouse so they will have to end up outside.

If the instructions told you to plant all the tomato seeds in one pot they're insane.

They're floppy and the stems are weak (and pale-looking from what I can see) for two reasons: the plants' roots competing with each other for space and nutrients in the one pot, and probably a lack of light earlier in their lives.

Here's what I'd do. For however many tom plants there are, buy pots of at least 30cm diameter. Fill them with top quality potting mix. Take the plants out of the current pot and separate the roots. You don't have to do it surgically, just try not to break too many of them.

Then use a pair of scissors to remove all the branches and foliage from the bottom to at least two-thirds of the way up the plants. Nip them off close to the stem. Effectively leave only the canopy at the top.

We don't know the variety but they sure as heck look like an indeterminate to me, meaning they could grow to 5' or more. Get some tomato stakes from your garden centre and, one per pot, push them down into the mix in the new pots until you hit the bottom.

Create deep holes in the mix adjacent to the stakes and bury the plants as deeply as you can. The canopies should be virtually sitting on top of the mix. All of the stem that is buried in the mix will turn into root structure. Pack the mix down very well around the plants and the stakes. And water.

Leave them outside during the day in a place where they will get as much sun as possible. This is the most important thing. Even if it means moving the pots around a bit during the day to maximise the sun exposure.

They're not going to fit back into the greenhouse and you can't take them back inside at night. If the overnight temps stay around 7-10C, get some garden fleece from your garden centre and double-wrap the plants in late-afternoon or early evening as the temp starts to drop. Once the overnight temps get into comfortable double figures you can do away with the fleece.

Don't overwater them. Permanently wet roots will damage a tomato plant. Let the mix dry out to a large extent before watering again. And don't overfertilise them. A feed of commercial tomato fertiliser every 10 days or so will suffice.

Sorry about the long post! Let's know how you go.

 

13/05/2013 at 09:21

Glad you explained properly Italophile. I couldn't tell how big they are from the photo, so I thought they were smaller than they really are.

13/05/2013 at 10:03

Lizzie, I don't know what variety they are but even the size of the leaves seems to indicate they're not determinates (bush variety). Imagine the plant(s) standing upright rather than flopped over and you'll get a better idea of their size.

It sounds like Mizzli has been seriously led astray with some of those instructions that came with the packages.

13/05/2013 at 10:14

I went to a talk given last year by the herb expert Jekka MacVicar. She said that supermarket herbs are grown specifically to have a short life span. She doesn't grow for supermarkets, and she didn't say what they do to ensure this.

I just found this though: ]About supermarket herbsabout supermarket herbs. It appears that they just put too many plans in one pot.

I've planted out parsley from a supermarket pot after it started to look disreputable, and it grew brilliantly.

13/05/2013 at 10:20

Apparently Morrison's herbs are good for growing, and cheaper than most: Growing Morrisons herbs

I'm just off to split the herbs on my windowsill now!

13/05/2013 at 10:24

Blueboots, the supermarket herbs are hot-house grown and forced as well as over-sown. They will live on if you repot them early and treat with some TLC till they establish themselves.

13/05/2013 at 13:32

Hi all,

Thanks for the really useful information, Italophile.  I will def look at making another trip to get some more pots and stalks to tie the tomato plants.  This might sound shocking but I think there were at least a dozen or more seeds in that packet and we were told to sow all at the same time. I think I will throw away the weakest stalks and just keep a few of the strongest as space is somewhat limited on our tiny balcony.

I am actually getting to the point of being extremely annoyed with the Boots, supermarket and B&Q bought grow your own packs.  They provide you with the soil, seeds and pot and tell you to sow all of the seeds in the packet without telling you to repot or plant in a garden (which we don't have anyway).  For someone with very little knowledge about gardening, it was getting really confusing why all of my homegrown herbs and fruits just wilted and died so soon after germinating. I bought a grow light, plant food, kept the temps warm and kept it watered.  Thank God, I found this forum!

Blueboots, thanks for the link - that site is very resourceful.  It's actually worrying that these places are setting amateur gardeners up to fail.  From now on, I will plant only four/five seeds in a pot!  I'm actually wondering if my mint plant is at the end of it's lifespan now as I've given it a bigger pot, took it outside and it doesn't seem to be making much of a difference.

13/05/2013 at 13:41

You can't kill mint - I'd chop them back quite short (use the prunings with new potatoes, peas, mint sauce etc) and leave them on the balcony - let them get dryish between waterings.  Stand well back - as the weather warms up they'll really begin to grow 

13/05/2013 at 14:20

Mint lasts for years, as Dove and I have said "prune it" you could feed it a little fertiliser then put it outside and let it grow, which it won't do overnight!

When growing tomatoes, you sow the seeds into small pots, 1 or 2 seeds a pot, or little trays, seeds about an inch apart. When they are about an inch tall with their first true leaves you take them out gently, holding them by the leaves and put each plant into a bigger pot with new compost and put them somewhere warm and light. Then when they are about 6 - 12 ins tall you transplant them into new much bigger pots or growbags or outside in soil once the frosts are over. Next year you will know all about it and you'll have super tomatoes. Much tastier than shop bought.

13/05/2013 at 14:35

Mizzli, those instructions are just irresponsible.

Dove and Lizzie are right, usually you can't kill mint with an axe. In the ground, it can be an invasive pest.

21 to 40 of 44 messages