Monthly Archives: April 2011

Tomato Plants


The tomato plants are growing so quickly right now we can hardly keep up with them! Interestingly, they were about the same height for bit but now the first one has overtaken the smaller one again.


They are getting so big that they will want to be transplanted soon. The truth is that we would prefer not to transplant them yet if we can avoid it, so they are easier to move when we manage to find a flat with an outdoor space. At the rate they are growing now I wonder if we might end up forced to transplant them in a week or so. Adam reckons that being in the smaller pot will curtail their growing a bit and keep them smaller. I just hope they don’t get pot bound and suffer for it if they are in a small pot too long.




Basil Improvements


I feel a bit guilty for complaining about the basil almost two weeks ago. I suppose I wasn’t complaining really. I was worried. I was sure it was never going to grow and I didn’t understand why not. Well, it has grown! It appears that it was a simple matter of wanting more heat and water!

The first pot is a bit of a cheat actually. This one is the pot I brought inside and upstairs. But the truth is that I added four more seeds to this pot, which have all germinated. I consider it a success because there is basil in it now but the original seeds did not germinate outside.


This second pot was downstairs in the bathroom. Three of the four seeds germinated and they are doing well. This pot dries out quite a lot so we need to keep an eye on it. But it is all coming along well. I am considering dropping another few seeds into this pot to fill it up a bit. They would be a bit behind the basil in the pot now but there is probably no harm.


Finally this is the stuff which has been sitting on the kitchen windowsill. This pot was the first one to be brought inside so it is the biggest. I also dropped more seeds in this pot when I brought it in and most of them have germinated. So this pot is quite full. It looks good enough to eat!





The strawberries are growing quickly week by week. They have some new leaves stretching upwards. I am not sure how long it will take until we get fruit from them but they look strong and healthy. Strawberries are so easy to grow we really can’t understand why anybody pays so much money for them in the summer. Plus local strawberries always taste more delicious than imported ones.



Pilfered Peas


This is very naughty. We were out walking yesterday. One of the public footpaths we were on went through a field which was planted with peas. Well, we are almost certain they were peas. The path went right through the middle so it was difficult to walk through without trampling the seedlings. I decided that seeing as many of the seedlings will probably be trampled by dogs the farmer might not mind if we took just one specimen home and planted it ourselves. I know it is very naughty but it was just one from a field of thousands.

So we used some sticks to dig one seedling out of the ground. It was surprisingly hard to get out. The soil was very dry and the root went down much further than you might expect for such a small plant. We got down as far as the original pea which had been planted so that s probably the most important bit.


We put the seedling in a small plastic bag with a handful of soil and some water until we managed to plant it. As we weren’t at home it was temporarily planted into a small pot overnight.


This morning we found a nice deep pot for our new seedling. We filled it up with compost, made a deep hole using a piece of bamboo, and planted the seedling into it. Then we watered it well and put it in the sun with the rest of the plants outside. Hopefully it will take.

IMG_0858 IMG_0863IMG_0861

I think that peas are a bit notorious for not liking being transplanted. But, as it survived its first night looking healthy I think there might be hope for it. It will be great to have some peas to munch on in a few weeks if it does work.


Stretching Tomatoes


The tomatoes have shot up since the weekend. The stems stems have nearly doubled in length. They must feel that Spring is in full flow here in London and the weather has been amazing. You can see how the lower part of the stem looks a little bit older and more hairy. The new part which has grown in the last couple of days is still light green.


When they sleep the leaves close up. I think they look like they are stretching up because they have grown so tall. Every night they just stretch and stretch until they are taller in the morning!


Happy Beans and Courgettes


I have been closely observing the beans so today I was amused to see that the original bean, which is about an inch up the stem, is starting to wither and crinkle. The soil is moist and the plant looks healthy. This must be part of the process. The plant must be sucking the last goodness out of this bean now.


The courgette has a new leaf. This leaf appeared almost overnight and it looks healthy.


The one piece of information we can’t seem to find about all our vegetables is how long they will give us fruit for once they start producing. This information is really important for planning how to plant in succession. In the absence of any idea about it we decided to go ahead and plant another courgette seed. This seed is a different variety; All Green Bush. We planted it in a plastic container cherry tomatoes came in from the supermarket. The container is an experiment.


Instead of the traditional method of planting more than one seed in the same small pot we have decided to stick to our method of trying one first and if it doesn’t work then we will plant another one in a few weeks. There will still be time to plant another seed and we won’t end up with either too many plants or having to throw away viable plants.


Weekly Strawberry Update


Here are the strawberries. They are continuing to grow and seem to have some new leaves again this week.


It looks like something has been nibbling a few of the leaves. I hope whoever it was has had enough already and no more leaves are eaten. I did spy a cat inspecting them the other day but I doubt cats eat leaves.