Monday, 18 June 2012


After a few days of seemingly not a lot happening, mainly due to the weather, it was becoming apparent that some plants weren't looking too great. That can get a bit depressing to me, you think you're doing everything right, putting in a lot of time and energy and still things don't seem to work out.

 I know to some it's only gardening but the thing is, to me it's also about nurturing. I want to grow stuff and I want to be good at it! There are going to be things that are beyond my control and I have to live with that, but the things that are within my sphere of control I have to be good at or find out how to get good at.

My first and largest tomato had been looking spotty. Initially, I thought it was just a water mark. A week later, more spotting. Time to get out the gardening books.

Plants in grow and greenhouses need ventilation and because the weather has been so bad I haven't really been able to leave the grow house even slightly unzipped for fear it would fly off. And so my poor tomato plant has suffered and we have our first fatality, one tomato. Thankfully, with a slight improvement in the weather I've taken off two leaves that were affected and removed the tomato, now I can leave one zip undone allowing for ventilation. I hope I caught it in time to avoid major problems and the plant will be ok.

The grow house had seemed like a good way to get the peppers, aubergine and the odd tomato plant to come along faster. The plants haven't been doing as well as I thought they would, but with some better weather hopefully things will improve. Because I haven't been able to unzip the growhouse very much, there's not much evidence of pollination on the tomato plant, where as the outdoor tomatoes are thriving despite being lashed by wind and rain.
Outdoor tomato plant

I am definitely on a steep learning curve as far as tomatoes go. My other cause for concern was the maskotka toms I had planted up in a hanging basket.

I had noticed that the leaves were a very pale looking green. After looking in my trusty book, it became clear that I'd overfilled my basket. I had planted 3 tomato plants with a marigold thinking this would be ok. The basket wasn't that big, the marigold thrived and was clearly taking up valuable space. I had severely underestimated the space needed. At the risk of losing all three plants, I very roughly separated the plants whose roots had all intermingled and were pretty chocker block so I had to be quite ruthless. All the four plants are now planted singly. One in an old colander, one in the hanging basket and this one in the old grow bags that had been waiting for something to fill it. Hopefully these too will recover and go on to crop.

So, I now know a bit more about what tomatoes do and don't like. There is nothing like learning on the job!

And so to end on a success, my first cosmos to flower. I'm very proud of having grown it from seed (though it was straightforward to germinate and grow) and it's such a lovely variety.



  1. I don't have much luck growing tomatoes so fingers crossed that yours do better than mine.
    I only sowed some cosmos seeds a week or two back so I've a long wait for mine! Flighty xx

  2. Thanks Flighty, hope you have better luck with your toms. x

  3. Hi Maggie, its great fun learning with you. I now have to go out and check my tomatoes for the mould ... thanks for the info!! Niamh.

    1. Thanks to you Niamh for your kind words. x

  4. Your toms and Cosmos are way ahead of mine. Given the weather, I think you've done very well to get away with losing only one tomato - and a good-sized one at that. I didn't realise marigolds could be such thugs - I hope the tomatoes appreciate all the effort you've put in to save them and present you with a bumper crop!