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More gardening confessions


By peter


After visiting RHS Wisley and Hampton Court I was back in my own garden on Sunday. It was good to actually be gardening but the weather down here turned bright and sunny over the weekend and all is not well in my garden. I can’t really blame the weather though and my Grows on You blog seems to be turning into a string of gardening confessions.

The first lesson of the weekend is not to leave tomatoes for long when they have outgrown their stakes. For about a fortnight I’d been putting off getting new canes, and together with the wind the plants had become a bit of a tangled mess. The first problem was untangling everything without snapping the stems; although they looked limp the plants were quite firm and I snapped at least one while trying to unravel everything. Even after I’d managed to separate them and tie them to the new canes I realized that a lot of the young tomatoes had been knocked off in the process!

The gardening equivalent of a Rubik’s Cube.

Although they got a bit knocked about, the tomatoes look a lot better for re-staking but the watercress looks like it may not recover. We were away for the weekend and when we left on Friday there was a large, rich green harvest of watercress to be had. Unfortunately leaving it without water and in direct sun for half the day meant that by Sunday afternoon it was yellow, wilted and looked like it had been stuck to the floor. It’s been heavily watered since then and has shown only small signs of recovery.

Not very watery cress!

The courgettes (well, courgette) also seems to have suffered but it’s a bit of a mystery. Last week there was an 8cm long courgette on one of the plants but now there’s nothing. It’s either been eaten by something or was so dehydrated that it’s shriveled to the size of a bean and gone almost black – the only thing on the plant that doesn’t look like it should be there. The rest of the plant looks OK but the single fruit has gone.

My poor courgette?

I had looked forward to blogging about my successes in the garden but I figure that mistakes teach you more and I’ve decided to share those too. I hope the pictures of plants in distress aren’t too disturbing, I think it’s only the watercress that’s unlikely to recover.

A few plants were harmed in the production of this blog.

More blog posts by peter

Previous post: Visiting Hampton Court Flower Show

Next post: Harvest Time!!!



My advice (tongue-in-cheek) is that you stop galavanting and adding to your carbon footprint, and stay at home tending your poor plants. I say this tongue-in-cheek because I have just returned from a 120-mile round trip to the glasgow Passport office to get my son a new passport - all for phot ID to get onboard a flight to London! What with the cost (double normal for the passport, petrol, bridge tolls, not to mention the flights) I feel ashamed, and am making up for it by gardening until it is pitch dark (about 11.30pm here). All the family except me will be going so I am saving some carbon emissions, I hope, LOL. Seriously, tho, it is all part of the learning process, and I need to get a camera like yours!

10 Jul, 2007


Thanks for the advice David :o) You'll be pleased to here I didn't venture quite so far this weekend and my little patch hasn't suffered nearly as much. I've even compensated a little this weekend - tonight we'll eat the first veg of the year from the garden! Blog entry to follow.

15 Jul, 2007


Dear peter, have just read that one and am very pleased for you. It was the difference in taste between bought and home-grown that got my kids eating all fruit and veg they can get their hands on! For our dinner this evening we had courgette souffle (with our own courgettes and onions), with homemade tomato sauce drizzle (using bought tomatoes), with a side salad of lollo rossa, Welsh onion, radish, oregano, chives, red onion, chives, cucumber (all homegrown), with a dressing I had made from vinegar infused with homegrown rosemary. I am still washing this away at midnight with wine (am going to try making my own elderberry this year). And to think, we only started all this grow-your-own last year! I say all this because you have probably got the bug now - once you taste the first home produce, there aint no going back!

15 Jul, 2007


Hi David, sounds delicious. We're not at the stage yet where we can have an entire meal from what we've grown but just being able to replace one ingredient with home grown is worth it. I've planted a small patch of herbs that produce more than we use which is great, even Pimms consumption can't keep up with the mint :o)

16 Jul, 2007


Ah, the Pimms! Another use for comfrey flowers. You can always pick some of the herbs, chop finely, and freeze in ice cube trays with water for later use?

17 Jul, 2007


Peter, if that happens to your tomatoes again and they are difficult to untangle, you can grow them on the ground if you tuck a bed of straw undeneath them

17 Jul, 2007

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