Latest posts by Boater

Sungold Tomatoes

Posted: 02/10/2015 at 12:24

All I can say is thank goodness for the conservatory and some reasonable weather the last few weeks. I sowed my toms early but, and I'm sure the varied and often cool weather this summer is the reason, had virtually none ripening before September. I picked a lot last week, some actually got over ripe on me and getting more each day.

Tomatoberry have mostly been great, but some are coming up small and/or with very thick skins. Shirley have developed a matt texture and some of them don't have much taste and/or occaionally thick skins, but on the whole they are all still better than supermarket ones so I'm happy, just surprised how long they have taken this year! Several kilos of green tomatoes still on the plants, I'll have to see if I can keep the conservatory warm enough to ripen them.

I suspect the variations are down to the changeable weather, some will have had development stunted by one or other cold snap I guess, and then accelerated again by a warm spell. That must affect how the fruit forms?

PS: I'm in Scotland, I'll bet other areas had things a bit more consistent?

The best way to keep to store

Posted: 06/09/2015 at 14:11

Valerie - they sound like better ideas than drying. I'll go for freezing the heads because I rarely chop it finely enough to be putting in ice cube trays!

Fruit canes in Heavy Clay Soil & low light

Posted: 02/09/2015 at 23:50

I should look it up, but off the top of my head I also think the ph (acidity) of clay is wrong for raspberries (raspberries like slightly acid soil, clay is slightly alkaline - or did I get it the wrong way round?)

I have raspberries growing in half of a whisky barrel against a 6' fence, on the east side of it so probably quite similar to your area, they seem to do pretty well. The top flowers are above the fence now (autumn bliss so not quite ready yet, will need to protect from the birds soon though). Using containers means you can use the right kind of compost if your garden soil is unsuitable.

The best way to keep to store

Posted: 02/09/2015 at 23:43

My mum has always salted runner beans and as far as I know still does (if dad manages to grow any, he had some trouble with them this year) - she prefers salted runners over frozen or fresh.

She washes the salt off well before cooking them for a meal - I was never especially aware that they tasted better, but she was a smoker until quite recently so maybe it's the only way she could actually taste them? Some of the salt must be absorbed by the beans.

Anyway, this thread reminds me - whats the best way to store/preserve Parsley? I have grown way more than I can use as I go - I presume drying is good, since that's how it normally comes in packets, but how do I dry it?


Posted: 19/08/2015 at 13:48

Mine have really come a long way in 2 or 3 days of decent weather, some trusses I was considering cutting off because the flowers dropped weeks ago and no sign of tomatoes have suddenly started developing tomatoes.

Of course, I am growing under glass which gives me a chance to keep the temperature up for ripening. I suspect I may be trying green tomato chutney this year though - I am more of a pickle person normally.


Posted: 19/08/2015 at 01:24

Probably best not to move them once the fruit has set, in any case be wary of ground that has grown spuds because toms and spuds can fall to some of the same diseases.

Its been a terrible year so far in the west of Scotland (cold, dull, wet), everything seems to be running late, but the last couple of days of warm weather have made a massive difference to my tomatoes, a few tomatoberry have started turning red, and the Shirley's have increased in size massively. If the promise of a warm September comes true you might just be lucky to get some fruit from yours - hopefully the flowers have been pollinated and if you look closely there will be tiny green balls hiding behind the dead petals.

If they are cordon/vine tomatoes and you haven't already, now is probably the time to pinch out the growing tips (and keep on top of side shoots) so the plants will concentrate their efforts on the fruit. I have done most of mine already, but struggling to find time to go through and check them all.

By the way, I sowed my seeds in propagators pretty early, probably in the first week or 2 suggested on the packets, hate to think where they would be now if I'd sown them late like last year!

wooden or aluminium

Posted: 17/08/2015 at 12:08

You can choose a naturally rot resistant hardwood, or use treated softwood.

Build on a base so you don't have timbers into the soil and make sure the air can circulate all around them so you don't get damp patches and many woods can last a long time without being painted.


Posted: 14/08/2015 at 17:01

I've been thinking about this, and I reckon if you start them in a way that you can plant them out without disturbing the roots (peat pots, card pots, paper tubes, roottrainers) carrots probably don't mind being started in 'pots', the trouble is they want to put a very long straight tap root down quickly so you either need very tall pots or to plant them out whilst still very small.

I haven't had a problem with the taste of bolted carrots, they are so hard you can't really get a bite to taste..... the texture will make you spit it out right away

Outdoor tomatoes

Posted: 14/08/2015 at 16:56

Signs of colour turning on my indoor tomatoes last night, after weeks of cold weather all day last night ws still 21 deg at 10pm and very muggy - vents left open all night! (never got below 18).

Amazing how much variation there is from one part of the country to another....

Strawberry disease?

Posted: 11/08/2015 at 00:49

I was hoping to get another year out of them, but right now I'm wondering if it is even worth letting them finish cropping this year. Looks like Verticullum can affect a lot of things I like so I'll have to be careful what I rotate into that bed.

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