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The Gardening Coach

Catharine Howard is the Gardening Coach. Contact her for gardening advice and visit www.thegardeningcoach.co.uk for more information.
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Tomato horrors: some fell witch has visited my greenhouse

This is a story of how NOT to grow tomatoes.

Growing in the greenhouse  began so well.    I am new to protected cropping and took great pride in stringing up my burgeoning plants and weaving them upwards.  The cucumbers got the same treatment.   Watered, fed, shut and open doors and all that and  I religiously removed side shoots at their elbows.  Then I went away.  Twice.  Leaving proxy waterers  to heft the can of an evening.

It was the second trip away that really did for them.  I got back to find so much munificent green growth that I could hardly get through the door.  The love lies bleeding was battering on the grass to get inside and join in.   Meanwhile I could no longer see their black pots and so  I gave up on liquid feed as there was no way of judging where it was going.   Had no idea which bits of triffid growth to remove as there seemed to be tomatoes everywhere.   I sprayed the watering can around the place and hoped for the best.

Under these unhealthy sauna conditions, a gremlin crept in and (I’ve studied my Greenwood/Halstead pest tome with intent) and gave them Tomato Blotchy Ripening AND Blight.   No tomatoes for us or even the tortoises and all the chopped down vegetation and fruits looks like contaminated waste and will be treated as such.

Reach for the rubber gloves and Jeyes Fluid.

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