The Land Rover Owners Wife

Chillies for Christmas

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Not my idea of a cherry tomato

Not my idea of a cherry tomato

 

With September just around the corner, I am preparing myself for the necessary task of pulling out tired and spent plants, digging over the ground and adding essential manure and organic feritlisers to enrich the beds for next years season. However, as well as these traditional jobs, I also find myself sowing yet more seeds! Yes, you read that correctly – it is August 30th and I have sown some more chilli seeds today.
Christmas Chillis? I hope so

Christmas Chillies? I hope so

In my defense I would like to point out that these seeds are from a dwarf variety ‘Little Elf’ and will, I am told, be happy on a sunny windowsill throughout the Autumn and into Winter, producing, if I am lucky, beautiful little orange, purple or red chillies on the plant simultaneously. So this morning I dug out a suitable seed tray and sow the seeds given to me by a friend, covered them with a food bag to act as a propagator lid, stood the tray in a recycled meat tray and put it on the dining room windowsill. Once the seedlings are through, I’ll start a ‘seed to seedling’ thread but for now I wanted to share my excitement at sowing yet another batch of seeds to over winter.

Food bags make great makeshift propagator lids

Food bags make great makeshift propagator lids

Talking of seeds sown for winter, the cabbage and cauliflower have both developed true leaves now and appear to be doing well in the large green house. I’m hoping that now the weather sensitive stuff has been completed in respect of the Ciggy rebuild, Mud will have time to knock up a polytunnel for one of the beds, ready for planting out the seedlings once they are stronger. If I can get some vegetables to grow through the winter, we will be even less reliant on shops and shop prices.Mud is a long ways from being convinced that this plan could work but we won’t know unless we try, will we?

Carrots Early Nantes and ParmexAs for the Christmas Carrots, they are doing really well at the moment and have a nice amount of leaf on them. I really hope to be able to produce fresh carrots for Christmas dinner this year but with the advent of September, I now need to keep an eye on the weather so that I can cover the tub if much colder weather or even a frost, is forecast.

So far the hot summer seems set on continuing and this is helping all my plants to continue to produce, including the Mangetout which, in all honestly, looks dreadful in places (hence the reason there isn’t a photo) but still has a goodly amount of new growth, flowers and pods dotted about. I am loathed to pull up any plant that is still producing but after some 10 weeks of production, the Mangetout plants are very tired but have, yet again, more than justified their place in my patch.

Lots of tomatoes for little hands to pick once red

Lots of tomatoes for little hands to pick once red

Around the garden, the multitude of tomato plants are in full fruit and the Sweet Millions and Gardeners Delight are both turning red now with the plum and the other Gardeners Delight not too far behind I reckon. As for the three plants in the little greenhouse, I think it is now a certainty that the two shop bought plants are not a cherry variety of any description but were mislabeled and are in fact a salad tomato – which one is any ones guess but I’m thinking Moneymaker, or some such thing. Whatever the answer, there are now plenty of the larger salad tomatoes at varying stages of orange to red.

Now these are a cherry tomato

Now these are a cherry tomato

It is worth mentioning at this point, that at this time of year it is worth keeping an eye on your tomato foliage. Sometimes when the flower drops of the newly swelling tomato, it lands on a leaf where it may stay and proceed to rot. This is not good and any leaves showing signs of brown mold where the flowers or anything else for that matter, have dropped, need to be cut off immediately and disposed of.

All things considered, there is rather a lot of red in the garden at the moment thanks to the various tomato plants and the cayenne peppers but trust me when I say that the Mudlets and their love of tomatoes, will soon even up the colour balance.

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