Saturday, 23 June 2012

Saturday and tomatoes

Yesterday was a very busy day, so busy that I didn't have time to feel tired in the afternoon.  Several mini-meetings, lots of minutes and info to type up, some stuff to organise and some stock to order.  I slept well last night!

I had to laugh - poor children.  They were out lunch play when the heavens opened so they all came in, got books and had just settled to reading them when it stopped and they all had to go out again.  Five minutes later it was 'in time', as they call it!  It was just like the hokey cokey - in out, in out!!  I was working at the laptop just outside the bay and caught a few disgruntled comments but chose to ignore them as it was supposed to be my 'break'.  It was like that most of the day - some very pleasant sunshine interspersed with pretty heavy showers.  Flaming June it was NOT - it was quite chilly at times during the day and certainly overnight.  Snuggling down under the quilt was very necessary.

When I got home, round popped Amanda (another witch) with a parcel that had been delivered to her because I was out.  it was the stuff I ordered last week from Greenfingers, so I opened it all with great excitement (sad, I know!).  I'd ordered a scoop (very mundane), a vegetable planter, three tomato support cages and two garden arches.  Half price sale, you see.

The scoop is just what it says - sometimes handfuls of soil out of a bag isn't enough; the scoop is bigger and the shape means less spilling (I hope) and more accurate depositing.   I've got an almost identical one but with holes in, for scooping peas, etc out of boiling water!

The planter was half price and very cheap and I don't know how long it will last but it is basically a strong poly bag with supports - but shallow and a reasonable size.  I'm thinking of lettuce, carrots, etc - things that don't need deep roots.  Maybe tumbling tomatoes but not uprights because the support canes won't go in deep enough.  We will see.  I doubt I will put it up this year anyway. 

Vegetable Planter
The photo has been copied from the Greenfinger site and I'm hoping the plug will make amends for the copying . . .

The garden arches - well, as my regular readers will know, my garden is pretty minimalistic and I have three raised, brick-walled beds with the rest paved.  For a while I have wondered about having an arch between the left bed and the middle one and between the middle and right beds.  All the arches I have seen have not been wide enough.  However, not only do these seem to be wide enough, they were also incredibly cheap (half price) so I got two in the knowledge that if they don't fit or if I don't like the look of them, I can always give them to DD for her allotment, so they certainly won't go to waste.  Again, I will leave it for this year and have a think.  I could either go the practical route and use them for runner beans or I could go all girly and try climbing roses.  As with the planter - not this year now, although I will fit the bits together, just to check that it all works and fits.  I think that will be today's job.

And finally, I bought three tomato cages and I really am pleased with them, so much so that I have just gone back in and bought some more (still half price, phew).  I got them set up straight away and am a bit 'annoyed' with myself because larger pots would have been better.  I didn't know when I potted up the tomatoes, but the lesson has been learnt for next year!  You won't remember but last year I had to create a complicated and not terribly attractive support structure for the tomatoes that involved canes, string and attaching to the wall of the house.  That meant that the pots were stuck there all summer.  These cages look pretty supportive and, with any luck, I can more the whole kit and caboodle into the shady part of the garden when going away.  My only concern is that they might get too top heavy but we will see. In retrospect, I think larger pots would have been sensible but too late now!
The extra ones are because I am expecting some more tomato plants from DS  (if you're reading this - hint, hint).  I have the larger pots.  I have the compost.  I even have the scoop now!  I just need the plants. 

The tomatoes seen to be getting on a lot better than at this time last year, despite the cold weather.  I'm hoping to be able to start picking and eating before the autumn this year.  Fingers crossed.

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