Back in November I posted my hopes that maybe having a greenhouse in which to grow my tomatoes may give me some success after a few years of bad luck with weather and blight.
This week has been wonderful as the abundant number of little cherry tomatoes on the tumbler plants have just started to turn colour. I have one yellow and one red so I am looking forward to some colourful salads.
As for the grafted tomato plant? It’s grown very tall and the fruit is big, however the claims that it produces large quantities is not showing to be true.
The plants I grew from seed, Tommy Toe and Gardeners delight have quickly caught up with the purchased grafted plant and they have many more trusses of flowers. So, I will stick to just growing my own from seed next year.
It hasn’t been all plain sailing. Christmas week gave us some very wet, hot and humid weather and as a result some of the leaves of the tomato plants suffered powdery mildew.
Having removed leaves that looked the most diseased, I really didn’t want to break from my organic growing methods, so before reaching for the off the shelf chemicals, I tried a well known homemade remedy.
1 teaspoon of baking powder in a quart of water, plus a few drops of liquid soap.
I popped it into my mister and coated the leaves of the plants in the greenhouse, being sure those with the powdery mildew patches were well coated top and underside.
I was concerned I would have a battle on my hands. But, so far, it has worked well. I will repeat the treatment at the weekend. Fingers crossed!
The other challenge we have had is dealing with the heat. We have had a couple of days where the temperature has soared just over 40 degrees centigrade. The temperature inside the greenhouse early in the morning has been 40 degrees!
I am so pleased I spent the time and money on an irrigation system. I have been able to set the system to drip-water the greenhouse plants several times a day. It has allowed me to keep the plants leaves dry but the roots watered. I did not want the humidity to become too high whilst trying to fight off the powdery mildew.
I am looking forward to a Caprese salad tomorrow!