The relief when the first hint of orange appears, is enormous and I can relax and celebrate this landmark event, knowing that now one of the tomatoes has started to ripen, the others on the plant won’t be that far behind. Not surprisingly, it’s one of the shop bought tomato plants that has begun the process. These have always been a couple of weeks ahead of my own grown plants, following a pretty disastrous start to the growing season and yet I’m still not convinced that they are the Gardeners Delight Cherry tomatoes the label said because, for the most part, the trusses are full of larger, salad sized tomatoes. Not that it matters at all, as the Mudlets are more than happy to snack on fresh tomatoes, whatever their size.
There are a load of tomatoes on the home grown plant which shares greenhouse space with the shop bought plants and out in the beds, a dozen other plants have varying numbers of tomatoes on them and it’s to be hoped that the sun will hang around long enough to ripen these for us.
Little Mudlet was delighted at the sight of the very nearly fully orange tomato this evening and grew even more excited when she spotted several fat cucumbers growing on their vines – cucumber is another favoured snack in the Mud household.
Back out amongst the beds and we finally have the first silks of a female showing on one of the sweet corn stalks. Unfortunately 1 between 4 doesn’t divide very well and so fingers crossed for more females showing themselves over the next few days. One of the ‘down sides’ of homegrown corn on the cob is that once you’ve eaten a corn from your own garden or allotment, it is almost impossible to go back to shop bought, They simply can’t compete in the taste department. Plant to plate in under 20 minutes and every morsel of sunshine and rain soaked goodness can be tasted in every single bite …… but we’re still a long ways from that yet and whether or not the corns will ripen before the weather changes is another concern to add to my growing list but there is absolutely nothing I can do to hasten the process, so I’m trying not to think about it.
I have to say that one of the successes of this year has got to be the mangetout. You wouldn’t have thought it to see them a few weeks ago, following the pigeon attack but these have recovered amazingly well and we have had an abundance of mangetout pods for the last 5 weeks or so. And still they keep on producing with more and more flowers following on! Again, the Mudlets are happy to have handfuls of these raw, as a snack or part of their meal and it is one of those cases when the ease with which mangetout can be grown and the prolific nature of these plants, really does make them a worthwhile investment, especially when you consider the price of a small pack in the Supermarkets.
Mangetout don’t even take up that much space, unlike peas and I have two, 6 cane wigwams taking up a meter squared each, as well as another 4 plants growing against the fence behind the wigwams. In terms of the ratio of crop to space needed, I think this is a pretty good trade off and I plan to grow mangetout with Gardening Club next season, specifically a stunning yellow variety which was available at the Real Seed Catalogue this year and I hope will be available in the 2014 catalogue when it goes on-line in October.
Well I think that’s my garden updated for now, other than to say that the Anna Swartz Hubbard Squash, hand pollinated with a view to producing a squash filled with true seed for growing next year, has started to swell but only time well tell if the pollination was a proper success, or if the squash will, as is often the case with squash and pumpkins, stop growing for no apparent reason. My fingers are well and truly crossed on this one, as one day, I’d love to have more saved seed than shop bought in my seed box.