Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Constant Gardener

Gardening is a never ending task, even with a little balcony. But a joyous never ending task none the less.

The tomatoes have started to accelerate with the slightly warmer weather, and to protect them against the wind I've tied them to the stakes, and tied the stakes to Phil's fancy new windbreak. Every morning new shoots have grown between the main growth stems on the plants so they need to be pinched out. They also soak up quite a bit of water so need a check most mornings. Very therapeutic.

As they seemed a little lonely, even in their herd of 18(!), Phil decided to accompany them with a very friendly Acer in a lovely new pot, and also take his herbs to the next level with a decent pot and some fresh soil. Hopefully the parsley will come back to life.

When I was in the UK last weekend I did the obligatory trip to the garden centre (Geoff will understand), and was browsing through the seed packets thinking about what I could grow should I have an allotment. I came across some quick grow salad leaves, and spied that some lettuce could still be planted, and harvested in August/September. So, the seeds came back to Germany and this morning I bought some nice long pots and some more of the wonderful tomato compost they sell here. The girl in the shop spoke excellent English, even enough to explain to me that using wire to tie up my tomatoes would damage their stems. So, twine it was.

The salad and lettuce have now been planted out and have 'completed the square' giving us nice plants all the way around the balcony. I've been surprised at how much we can get on without it getting too cramped, which gives me a lot of inspiration for next year. Seed trays will abound come February, to ensure everything has a better headstart than it did this. Der Frühjahr ist sehr schön in Hamburg! Der Winter ist kalt und ein bischen mies! (German lesson on weather and the seasons today.)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Flowering too early?

I wanted to put some shots online to get people's opinions on whether some of them have set flower too early? I'm a bit worried they wont grow any taller. Only the more bushy variety appearing to be doing this. I've pinched out every side shoot that's appeared so far...


The non bushy non flowering yet plant is at the top.

So what's been going on over the weekend with the little chaps? Well, we've had a lot of rain in Hamburg, which has been tough for them, and the wind has been blowing strong. But, we had some sunshine late this afternoon and early this evening, and as you can see they look very healthy in the sunshine. Let's hope that Hamburg delivers some more sun over the coming months. Thanks to the advice of a certain Mrs. Chambers we might also be planting some other 'Gemüse' of the cucumbers and peppers variety over the next few weeks. Will keep you posted.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Time to step it up a gear

So, what hasn't featured on this blogspot yet is the secret youth squad Phil and I have been holding back ready to unleash on some more pots. We now have 12, repeat 12, pots and 6 tomato plants in a grow bag. Needless to say things are getting a little out of hand... I hope everyone likes tomato soup!

Why did this happen? Well, I was loathe to throw so many good plants away, and as they'd done so well in their little greenhouse I thought they deserved a chance in life.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A wet and windy week

Well, here we are, a week further on. They've been through the mill with the potting process, have established their roots and are now starting to accelerate. I've noticed a thickening of the stems, plenty of strong leaves and I now expect them to be shooting upwards. I've noticed the odd side shoot trying to make its way between the side branches and so have pinched it out immediately.

It has been a difficult week in Hamburg for those of the tomato species. Windy and cold weather, particular felt on a balcony high above St Pauli. Tough living. But, I think with this kind of upbringing we will breed tough tomato plants which will generate succulent fruit in the sunshine of July and August.

You've so far seen 6 in pots. Tomorrow is a big day as I'm going to buy another 6 pots and plant out the remaining plants from the seedtray that been growing ever more vigorously. Photos to follow.