Tomsk


Latest posts by Tomsk

Daff & tulip shoots already?

Posted: 04/12/2014 at 21:01

Between October and November 2013 I planted some Tulip and Daffodil bulbs, which then flowered later than I was expecting in late spring 2014. I assumed at the time this was down to me planting them much deeper than normal (about 8")

Well imagine my surprise when yesterday I went to clear up the garden and found 2" shoots all over the place! It's barely December and they seem to have already made their way up through 8" of soil and 2" beyond.

Has anyone noticed the same, and does this mean I'll now have a longer baron period between my spring and summer bulbs? Perhaps it's down to the long hot summer we had in 2014?

On an unrelated note, I had some dahlias that had a good summer, but as soon as the weather became colder and damp, got completely covered in mildew. The flowers have now all gone and there aren't even any buds on the plant, but the mildew has completely disappeared and there's still a lot of green leaves. I'm leaving them as they are, assuming this is all feeding the tubers for next year?

Wasps

Posted: 25/10/2014 at 23:31

I'm in London and have seen very few wasps this year. Just a handful in the last few weeks (none during the summer), but really not many. I've had plenty of bees buzzing around my dahlias and other flowers. The wasps seemed to sniff around the dahlias but not stick around.

Now I think about it, I haven't had a single wasp in the house either. They usually get in the roof somehow, make their way down to the ground floor and end up either buzzing around a window trying to get out or you find them dead on the floor beneath one.

I don't see many bumble bees these days either.

Lifting Dahlias

Posted: 25/10/2014 at 23:25

I have what looks like mildew quickly spreading all over my dahlias. They've flowered well this year, but they're clearly approaching the end of their cycle now. I don't think any of the buds will reach flowering.

Should I also leave my foliage until it dies of its own accord, or could the mildew poison the tubers?

Protecting a planter over winter

Posted: 25/10/2014 at 23:19

I got a planter earlier this year and grew some tomatoes, which are now all cut down.

Within a couple of days of cutting the old vines down, cats have started jumping into it and messing. The light, fluffy soil doesn't help.

I intend to pull up the dead tomato roots in a few weeks (once they start to decompose) so that the planter is ready for next spring, but are there any tips on how I should protect the planter over the winter? I could cover it, but I'm not sure if that will create a good breeding ground for bacteria or fungus over the winter that could ruin the soil come next spring?

I also thought about laying sticks across the planter, but I think the cats will simply stand on the stick and drop their mess between them!

What do other people do with large planters full of soil over winter?

Tomatoes - End of season

Posted: 20/10/2014 at 20:21

My vines look like they're done for the year, with rot and blight creeping in everywhere.

Is there a right way to handle vines once you're finished with them? Since you don't grow the same vines again the next year, I don't suppose it matters if you cut down all the foliage, unlike bulbs and tubers?

But within the soil will be a huge tangle of roots, so should I just leave them to rot or do they need manually removing if I want to plant things in the same planter next year?

I remember trying to plant new flowers in an old window box once, and in the end I had to empty all the soil into the compost bin because it was just a mass of roots from previous flowers. There's too much soil in my planter to empty it, so I have to work with the soil already inside it.

Tomato Blight

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 21:03

Here's the sliced tomato with a bit of the skin peeled back:


 


 

Tomato Blight

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 20:24

There were a couple of touches of blight elsewhere on the vine or adjacent vines, and some damaged vine that was rotting, but nothing looked wrong with the truss, vines or foliage around these tomatoes. Three tomatoes had black spots in total. The rest on the truss had no spots and are uniformly red all over.

This is a high resolution photo of the third tomato, which was larger and had less obvious spots:


 There have been snails crawling over the vines, blackfly and caterpillars on a very nearby dahlia and probably other garden insects, including bees and wasps (because of the dahlias).

Oh, I've just cut the worst one open, and it seems perfect inside. I peeled back the skin a bit and the black spots don't even seem to be on the inside of the skin, just the surface of the fruit.

Tomato Blight

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 19:08

Today I plucked a few ripened tomatoes from my vines and a couple had black dots on them. I've seen blight on green tomatoes before, but this looks different, and there was absolutely no darkening or unusual textures to the truss or vine. Other tomatoes from the same truss have no black dots

Is it blight or something else, and are they safe to eat?


 

Tomato Blight

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 19:06

Fairygirl - I've never grown tomatoes before, but that sounds like my situation too. I planted seeds in tiny plastic pots in March, but didn't get them into soil until June, long after they were ready for it.

They seem to have been growing slowly and although I've had a couple of ripened crops so far, they seem rather small and the fruits on the vines are still very green.

We'll see what happens next year with more experience and earlier planting, assuming we get another good summer.

Tomato Blight

Posted: 03/10/2014 at 15:34

Thanks for the replies,

The variety is Money Maker, though after cooking some more this morning I think I initially mistook acidity for saltiness. They're much more acidic than supermarket tomatoes, which I think (mine) are usually Alicante.

And they are quite watery eaten raw. I'm yet to try them chopped in a salad, but just eating one raw isn't as strong a flavour as supermarket tomatoes. Cooked, with some of the water boiled off, they're delicious. I left them on the vine until they turned a deeper red and softened.

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