Tuesday, 23 September 2014
Mabon, as they say. The day where the sun time is equal to the dark time. Although it's cooler now we're still seeing plenty of the sun, even if it is through the mist first thing in the morning. This is a very good thing.
I'd hoped to make this the post about tomatoes, a follow up to the July entry where the toms were still green but it was a really poor season, possibly the worst we've ever had without blight and I don't even have pictures of some of the varieties when they ripened.
The blame is probably mine. I dillied and dallied over potting material decisions ending up in a rush with some of the cheaper end growbags, peat reduced, not peat free because there was no time left for thinking. Then having potted the poor things up I resolutely failed to feed them adequately (and the cheap bags were next to negative on food anyway) while the high temperatures of early summer shrivelled the flowers before they could set.
Feeding should have been a doddle. I'd treated myself to this rather fine looking compost tea maker, all stainless steel and shiny. But it was fiddly to fill - that central strainer isn't fixed it just sits or rather it doesn't once the nettles are in, it flops around and makes fitting the lid hard to do - and the volume of nettles to water isn't right. Or maybe I shouldn't blame my tools. I will say I regret buying it, particularly as the handle on the lid came off after just a couple of months.
This Cornue Andes was delicious but it was the only fruit from four plants. The Tigerellas above, a modern, commercial variety did best but hardly produced the long bunches of fruit other bloggers have achieved with them this year. The Potiron Encarlote made about half a dozen good fruit which we enjoyed, then the plants collapsed with exhaustion and the Gezahnte Bührer-Keel hated the heat, succumbed to blossom end rot and generally sulked all summer. Now it's cooler they have made a few more fruit but too late for deliciousness this year, maybe I'll make some pickle.
And the weedy plum grown from a Saveol seed behaved as I expected, granting me one tiny tomato before giving up the ghost. But still, I wasn't expecting much there.
So a poor show. Lessons going forward, better compost, better feeding and possibly a different position. The greenhouse is set for maximum sun and light but that's actually too much in a good year.