The Land Rover Owners Wife

Tomato shoots the final update and an ‘aaahhh’ moment

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Fledgling blackbirds taking a bath

Fledgling blackbirds taking a bath

With a sudden surplus of home grown tomato plants and no room for any more, I was almost disappointed when all the tomato side shoots I planted the other week, took and started to grow. I counted them up the other day and I had something like 15 side shoot plants as well as approximately 16 plants grown from seed, 2 plum tomatoes which a friend gave me and the Sweet Millions I got at the village plant sale.

A veritable truss of tomato plants, you might say.

Well one of the side shoots has found a home with a teacher at the school, ten have gone home with a mum from school and the remaining four, together with my last three grown from seed plants have gone to work colleagues of Mud! Finally I am cleared of tomatoes in the greenhouse, well other than the three in the growbags.

Tomato side shoots three weeks on

Tomato side shoots three weeks on – for reference, pot depth is 3 inches

I did take a picture of the side shoots before they went, though, so that you could see just how much they had grown over the 3 weeks since I planted them and, in fact, the one the teacher got was about 15 inches tall and already had tiny trusses starting to form, although I forgot to take a picture of that.

And a few more

And a few more – standard seed tray depth

Taking a decent sized side shoot from established plants is a good way of boosting your tomato plant population, if your germination rate was poor or you feel you don’t have enough plants but it’s too late to sow some more. As can be seen from my own side shoot plantings (although I have to say normally I would wait until the side shoot is 4 to 6 inches high minimum before taking them off) getting them to root is childs play really and I have found that I get a good crop of tomatoes off these transplants.

Female flower forming

Female flower forming, with a male flower in the background

As I ambled about the garden yesterday taking my update shots for certain ‘seed to seedling‘ posts, I came across the All Green Bush courgettes, a variety which, for some reason and I have no idea what that is, I haven’t done a ‘seed to seedling’ post on. I noticed that there was s a tiny female flower forming and so I immediately snapped a picture of it, to include in the next general garden post I did. As with the squash and cucumbers, it is easy to tell female and male flowers apart because the stem at the base of the female flower, is shaped like a tiny version of whatever it is you are growing. The Black Beauty courgette is currently producing only males, so I may well get a cross bred courgette, not that I’ll notice by looking at it and as I won’t be keeping the seeds, this won’t be a problem anyway.

One of the growbag tomatoes

One of the growbag tomatoes

The next thing that caught my eye ear, whilst I was in the vegetable patch, was the sound of splashing, coming from the pond and so I quietly tip toed towards it to find two of the fledgling blackbirds indulging in a bath. Mrs Blackbird was near by keeping a weathered eye on proceedings and, just like mothers everywhere, probably nagging them to remember to wash behind their ears. It was a charming picture and I was able to take a snap which I decided to use as my post header shot, although the young birds have blended into the background, you can just about see them enjoying their bath.

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