The Land Rover Owners Wife

Tomato side shoots (an update) and who’s been nibbling the strawberries?

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The Mudlets enjoyed the strawberries I picked ....

The Mudlets enjoyed the strawberries I picked ….

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I had planted the side shoots I had just removed from my tomato plants, directly into some spare compost. In previous years I had managed to grow whole new plants from these shoots, with very little extra effort. So having planted the shoots, I popped them into the large greenhouse and have pretty much ignored them other than to give them the occasional drink of water.

Tomato side shoots 2 weeks after their 'nip and tuck'

Tomato side shoots 2 weeks after their ‘nip and tuck’

Well two weeks later and all the side shoots are still looking remarkably perky and so I decided to carefully uproot one and see what, if any progress there had been in terms of root growth. As can be seen from the picture below, there is quite a substantial amount of root growth already and I can only assume that the other shoots are doing equally as well, although I haven’t tried to expose their roots.

Root growth after 2 weeks

Root growth after 2 weeks

Of course with 12 seedlings from my third sowing of Gardeners Delight, already waiting for a permanent home, I’ve no idea at all what I am going to do with the 8 or so side shoots which I’ve now successfully cultivated! Sometimes my enthusiasm runs away with me and I create more problems for myself 🙂

Tomato flowers Back in the little greenhouse, the tomato plants I bought as 4 inch high seedlings, are now around 2 foot tall and they have started to flower. With flowers open on both plants, the first crop of this years tomatoes can’t be that far away which will delight the Mudlets as they both love fresh tomatoes.

Tomato flowers

Tomato flowers open and soon to be tomatoes ….. I hope

The gravel path that leads to the greenhouses is lined with strawberry plants, sitting in pots which are two rows deep in places. Judging by the large number of flowers and green fruit already on the plants, this could be a bumper year for strawberries ……. if we get to pick them that is!

Tomato flowers

Tomato flowers – very star like

Getting the timing of strawberry picking right is very tricky because we are not the only ones who like to have a nibble on the nicely ripened fruit. So over recent years I have developed the habit of removing the fruit just before they become perfectly ripe, so that we can enjoy them and not the mice/voles or blackbirds/sparrows. Depending on how far off being perfectly ripe they are, I may leave them on a plate for an extra day or two just to finish the ripening process off but, to be honest, strawberries rarely last that long in our house.

Who's been nibbling in my beds?

Who’s been nibbling in my beds?

Yesterday, I examined the row of plants and managed to pick 5 strawberries graded between very nearly ripe and fully ripe, which I had been keeping an eye on over the last few days. Unfortunately, something had beaten me to the 6th fruit and, judging by the marks in the strawberry, I suspect Mrs Blackbird had been having a juicy snack.

This year we hope to fabricate a dedicated strawberry raised bed between the legs of the engine hoist which we will then be able to cover with netting …….. they are my strawberries and I will not share them!

Well, okay I may have to share them with the Mudlets ………

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4 thoughts on “Tomato side shoots (an update) and who’s been nibbling the strawberries?

  1. Your strawberries are well ahead of mine and mine are in the greenhouse border. Nice green ones but nothing ripening yet. Well done.

    • Thanks Jennie,

      I have about 3 different varieties but couldn’t tell you what they are: 1 lot originate from plants bought from the garden centre about 6 years ago; some are from plants grown from seed 4 years ago; and the third lot are several generations from two plants bought from a plant sale 5 years or so ago which themselves were from original Victorian stock from a local stately home.

      One variety (the Victorian one I think) starts to flower as early as February and then again mid to late summer and the other two flower and then fruit mid to late Spring. If we get to the fruit before the local wildlife we get a nice steady supply for a sizable chunk of the year 🙂 x

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