Thursday, 5 July 2012

Time For Tennis

I'm not a lover of tennis, but I do love it when Wimbledon comes round each year as I know I'll be eating strawberries, one of my favourite fruits. I've created a new strawberry patch at the allotment this year and the plants haven't really got going yet, but I've got lots more plants in containers in the garden which are producing well. Hubby had started digging up and disposing of the old plants in the last strawberry bed we had at the allotment, but he's only got half of it done so far. I'm not complaining though as we're harvesting bowls full of lovely juicy strawberries from the plants which are left. Strawberry plants are supposed to be at their most productive for three to four years, after which, the amount of fruit they produce will start to dwindle. It doesn't look to be the case with these plants and I'm wondering if we've started to dig them up too soon. I think the plants which are left will get a reprieve, at least until they've given us this year's fruit.

I've started potting up my tomato plants in to their final positions. I'm really not happy with the plants this year, it took such a long time for them to put on any growth, and they don't look to be particularly strong plants. I've got quite a few varieties so it will be interesting to see if any do better than others. My plants are usually grown in the greenhouse, but I decided that I'd try some outdoor ones this year too, perhaps it's the wrong year to be trying this with the lack of sunshine we've had so far this year, but nothing ventured nothing gained. I may be eating lots of green tomato chutney come the end of the year.

It's been forecast that a month's worth of rain is expected to fall in just two days in some parts of the UK this week. It looks like it's already started here, it's been raining all morning with no sign of any let up. I'm starting to think that summer is going to pass us by this year, it doesn't look like it's ever going to arrive.


  1. Oh dear, more rain? I guess its Wimbledon that brings it on. At least strawberries are some reward. The are the perfect fruit in my view - just delicious.

  2. Hi, my tom plants looked like that a month back, now they are healthy, green, srong and full of flowers! Nature is a wonderful thing! Amanda x

  3. we are having a lovely day with sunshine (but I guess it won't last!)

  4. It is a nice day here in West Sussex for a change. You have made me hungry for strawberries. I shall have to get them from the shop though. Hope the summer improves for everyone.

  5. Hate to rub it in Jo - but we have had a gloriously sunny day here today - one extreme to the other eh! I would love to see some pictures of your allotment to see where all the action takes place. It seems to have been a good year for strawberries for everyone which is surprising condering the weather.

  6. Sorry to hear that the Toms are not doing so well. Mine seem to be OK, if a little behind their normal development rate. How are your "Incas" doing?
    To balance things out, you have obviously had a lot more Strawberries than me. I'll know what to do for next year though...

  7. I've hardly even got flowers on my tomatoes so it could be a long wait for the fruit here too! Strawberries are doing well though, best harvest since I planted them 2 years ago. Win some, lose some I guess!

  8. Sorry to hear the toms aren't as good as normal, growthwise ours are romping away at between 5 and 6 feet high although flowers are less than normal, not sure if that's due to cold/wet. Not as many strawberries this year as I dug up some of the old plants up but the raspberries are crazy, more than we can eat at the moment. Generally most things are behind but one or two, like the raspberries are loving this weather it seems.

  9. I have a new strawberry patch this year too and although it has produced a few strawberries I haven't worried about picking those too much as they aren't very big.

    My tomatoes aren't great this year either...I'm still praying that the weather will turn bright and things will catch up...oh well...the weeds are still growing well so i know it isn't a problem with fertility in the soil!!

  10. I'd definitely reprieve those strawberry plants especially if you have new plants set out. I leave ours until I see that they are past it. If you have a couple of beds you can rotate replacemnets so you don't have to be without.

  11. The soft fruit seem to be just about the only things doing well this year in our allotment - we're just about to throw them together for a new recipe for Hedgerow Jam we've just been given!

  12. It's pouring down in Northern Ireland this morning. Whenever we get a break in the clouds and a bit of sun comes through I rush outside to get a few jobs done. They say we'll have milder weather in Sept Oct that will extend the growing season.

  13. Hi Jo - I have a nice scarf pattern for you, I can send it via email if you are interested. Amanda

  14. We've had even more rain, Liz. I don't think it's ever going to stop this year. I love strawberries, I look forward to them ripening every year.

    Hope the sunshine lasted for you, Amanda. I'm hoping that my tomato plants get going now that they've been transplanted. Thank you for the offer of the scarf pattern, that would be lovely.

    It's nice to hear that someone's enjoying some good weather, John. Hope you managed to get some tasty strawberries.

    I think strawberries must be enjoying the rain, Elaine, they're producing well. I don't think I've put any photos of my whole allotment on the blog since I first got it, but I don't think this is the year to be showing it off, it's in such a state.

    The Incas are still small, Mark, but I'm hoping they enjoy being able to stretch their roots out now that they're in their final positions and I'm watching for a growth spurt. I would expect your strawberries to do even better next year, I've found they're at their best in their second year.

    There's always things which do better than others, Su. I've found that strawberry plants like to bed in for their first year and go on to give better harvests thereafter.

    Soft fruit seems to be doing well this year, Damo. I can't believe how tall your tomato plants are, mine are barely a foot.

    I'm sure that both our strawberry patches will produce really well next year, Tanya. I can't believe how behind some things are this year, perhaps they'll catch up at the end of the year.

    They'll definitely get a reprieve, Sue. I wish I hadn't dug any of them up now, I bet I'd have got a great crop. Oh well, I'm sure my new patch will produce well next year.

    Hedgerow Jam sounds delicious, Woolly Green. I think the soft fruit must be enjoying the weather, it seems to be doing well this year.

    We had a nice day yesterday, Kelli, and then it spoilt itself with torrential rain later on in the day. Perhaps we'll all get late harvests this year.

  15. I grow strawberries but much prefer raspberries so wonder if I could do without and grow something else.
    I'll be surprised if I get any tomatoes on the plot plants, but fingers crossed as some are the first ones that I've ever grown from seed!
    As for the weather...! Flighty xx

  16. Mmmmmm - now where are the scones and cream Jo?
    Sadly my straws are not faring well this year - a lot of them have gone mouldy with all this rain but still we've had a few bowlfuls. We had an almost dry all day day here - long enough for the washing to dry!

  17. I've lost a lot of strawberries this year to slugs and rotting but saying that I'm still filling the freezer with tubs of them as we can't eat them fast enough. I've got small fruits forming on my uchiki kuri squashes and cucumber plants so it'll be interesting to see how they do if this weather continues. It is hard to stay positive with so much rain. My shed flooded again yesterday but gardeners are an optimistic lot which is just as well really!

  18. I hope the tomato plants you've grown from seed go on to produce tomatoes for you, Flighty. My plants are only just starting to produce flowers so I don't know if they'll have time to ripen this year, fingers crossed.

    The weather is spoiling so many things this year, Anna, I doubt if anything will do brilliantly. I'm glad you've managed to get some strawberries off the plants, it would be such a disappointment to have to do without.

    Sorry to hear about the shed, Wellywoman, I hope nothing was damaged. I haven't spotted any squashes forming on my plants yet, I'll have to have a good look when I next go to the allotment.


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