Living and Breathing


Opening the greenhouse door this morning I was greeted with the sight of hundreds of pearly drops hanging from the tomato leaves, pearly drops that were neither from watering nor condensation from the roof, but purely the result of overnight transpiration from the leaves (unless someone with more botanic knowledge than me is going to tell us otherwise). Returning with my camera I also took photographs of the progress of the fruits.

Firstly there is a promising cluster of  ‘Sunbeam’, a small plum tomato, and secondly a couple of the rather ugly and beefy looking ‘Black Russian’ I am trialling for Which? Gardening:

tomato.1Also in the greenhouse are some peppers, with this one on the right eventually ripening into one of those small orange peppers. Outside in baskets hanging from the wall are some ‘currant’ tomatoes and another trial of mini cucumbers. The peppers, ‘Sunbeam’ and currant tomatoes came as seedlings from a friend.

tomatoes.2All of these crops are looking very promising, and the courgettes continue with their astonishing progress. I have also picked a few ounces of climbing French bean ‘Cobra’, but there should be plenty more of those to come. I had a bit of an epiphany this week, deciding that next year I will restrict myself to these crops I have mentioned, along with spinach and kale, and that I will use one of my ‘veg beds’ as a nursery bed, already having stored pots of seedlings and young plants there this year while they were being grown on. Having made this decision I took them out of their pots yesterday and planted them in situ; taking my cue from Kate at Beangenie I also retrieved all my unused packets of flower seeds and belatedly sowed them at one end of the same bed. I didn’t have as much variety as she did – some stock, Californian poppy, sunflowers and three packets of sweet peas! – and they are unlikely to flower this year unless we have a very late autumn, but at least they won’t be sitting in a cupboard for another year. Now, what shall I do with four packets of carrot seed…?

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11 Responses to Living and Breathing

  1. Annette says:

    Doesn’t that look very promising indeed?! Beautiful how the drops hang onto the leaves like little jewels – well spotted! I just can’t get enough of these little wonders and am looking forward to eating my tomatoes, aubergines, peppers etc. Don’t have to buy any veg this summer, only fruit and it’s an incredibly good feeling to ramble about in the evening, wondering what to pick and to cook. 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      I am down to my last jar of tomato chutney so I need the tomatoes to start ripening! Good for you to grow so many veg. It’s great to have our soft fruit to add to my breakfast instead of having to get last year’s out of the freezer.

  2. I do enjoy the look of a healthy tomato vine covered with green fruit.

  3. Anna B says:

    Ah! I’ve returned to find something similar in my greenhouse! My peppers aren’t as far on though. Very excited about the black Russians! I didn’t expect them to be big like they are.

  4. croftgarden says:

    If you have room you can grow carrots in your greenhouse this autumn in either beds or big pots. You can sow in September and October for a winter crop and in November or February/March for an early spring crop. I know your conditions or different but you have more light in the winter and they are cold tolerant, although you could cover them in fleece if it gets very cold.
    Alternatively try a late summer autumn crop or early spring crop outside using fleece/cloches. If your seed isn’t too old it should be OK next year – if in doubt try a germination test.
    Nice looking toms!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks for that advice Christine – I think I intended to plant them in pots and just hadn’t got round to it. I was already thinking of using the the bed in the greenhouse for overwintering crops, but there is no space to start any carrots there at the moment, but I will strike while the thought is on my mind and start some in pots tomorrow and then sow the others inside later. I hope to grow salad leaves and rocket over the winter too.

      • croftgarden says:

        I always suspected that you were a closet veg grower. If you have trouble with rocket, try mizuna.

        • Cathy says:

          Only veg that can be generally forgotten about till it is ready to be picked (well, mostly!)…. Has mizuna got a distinctive taste too? I know I have had it in salad mixes but not separately.

  5. Your tomatoes look amazing…wish mine would look half as good.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Donna – this year is the first time I have made sure I potted them on in good time and I am sure this has helped

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