Cut Your Losses

Why did I ever bother to grow tomatoes outdoors this year? With blight lingering I decided to cut my losses and salvage the green fruit before it too was riddled. Having just finished the last batch of green chutney made three years ago at least we’ll have a new supply and I won’t ever bother growing outdoor tomotoes again!

A long overdue job was digging out the compost heap that I started last year. As you can see it was well rotted and has reduced from three and a half foot in depth (after being regularly topped up) to two foot. I’ve learnt a couple of lessons along the way – firstly don’t put any woody material in no matter how small in diameter – unless the heap is going to stand for years it’s not going to rot down. Secondly remove all plastic, that’s every scrap of tape on the cardboard and don’t bother including the hoover contents – especially if you have kids – as you’re always going to have scraps of plastic in there. But apart from that it was good stuff that’s now been spread over the beds.

I used the quick cook method which I can recommend – it’s based on heat rather than worm action (that’s about as technical as I get). If you want to know how to use this method check out my earlier post.

Today’s main job is the annual hedge cut – a mixture of beech, conifer and a few other assorted trees – I find it best to do the job once a year in August and I usually blitz it all in a day. As I left it until the Bank Holiday weekend I’ll have to endure the traditional heavy downpours but at least I won’t upset the neighbours trying to enjoy their gardens!

Hope you all have a great Bank Holiday weekend!

10 responses to “Cut Your Losses

  1. Have a good weekend yourself.

  2. WE don’t bother with outdoor tomatoes now – but one year we even had blight get into the plot greenhouse!

    • Not had blight in the greenhouse yet although the door is permanently closed for the cucumbers. The tomatoes take their chances in a less than ideal environment but they seem to be holding their own and we’ve already had dome fuit off them.

  3. Damo, you should try growing Ferline and/or Orkado tomatoes. Mine have successfully suvived the blight where the others have succumbed. I don’t have the option of growing greenhouse toms (no greenhouse!) but I wouldn’t ever want to be without home-grown tomatoes.
    Trimming hegdes is my least favourite job – so I “outsource” it these days.

    • Thanks Mark that’s a good idea I shall put them on my seed list.

      The hedge trimming turned into a 10 hour marathon as I decided to take the conifer hedge down by about 4 foot. I’m outsourcing the clear up though as there’s no way I can get all that lot down to the council tip in my car!

  4. Boo for your tomatoes. Blight got our few outdoor ones this weekend too – and all the plants in our greenhouse, for the first time ever! 😦

    • Sorry to hear that. The tomatoes in the greenhouse have to survive a sealed environment so I know blight won’t get in unless it sneaks in when I do the watering!

  5. There are few things more depressing than watching a really promising crop of tomatoes succumb to blight, I don’t blame you for giving up on growing them outdoors. The hedge trimming sounds exhausting! We are waiting for our next door neighbour to come round and lop our conifers, which we will then remove, and replace with something more wildlife friendly. Apparently we can get the electricity company to come and prune any tall stuff that might interfere with the overhead wires!

    • It’s a shame after you’ve cared for them for a few months to have to take the fruit off early but we now have enough chutney for the next couple of years! I got the SEB to take down part of a beech tree that was around an overhead cable. I’d like to get rid of our conifer hedge but it’s such a big job it’s a case of making the best of what’s there I think.

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