Welcome to my blog

I was born in Guernsey (but now live in Brittany) and our main industry was growing tomatoes although that industry has now virtually disappeared. Growing tomatoes to a Guernseyman is like wine to a Frenchman, it's in our blood! I do not profess to be an expert, but I have picked up a few tips and techniques which work for me.

Please feel free to add any questions, comments or your own advice. As this is also an info blog, please add yourself as a follower as it could be a good source of information. There might be the odd post about my life in Brittany.


Sunday, 8 April 2012

April in the Poly-Tunnel

Luckily on the coldest nights it has kept above zero in the poly-tunnel, but unfortunately the courgettes that I had planted too early outside, caught a bit of a cold with the frost.


 A rescue operation was quickly needed, so I dug them up and put them in pots in the poly-tunnel. 

You can see the damaged leaves but you can also see the new growth forming in the centre of the plant. 

I will cut out the damaged leaves soon and the plants will survive and will soon  be back in the garden when they are too big for the pots.  .




I planted the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and aubergines into the soil last week and they are really starting to put on a spurt with their roots in the warm soil.
Despite some cold nights the day temperature gets over 20 degrees and luckily the nights are getting  slightly warmer. The new foliage is nice and dark green, so obviously they are getting plenty nutrients from the soil.







The trickle irrigation has been laid in place ready for the coming season. I use a seep hose system which gives a steady trickle of water and will not damage the roots or wash the nutrients out of the top soil, which can sometimes happen when you water with a hose. 
A little and often is the secret when watering tomato plants throughout the season. 

These pepper plants are looking really healthy and I run up four strings to the wire above from each plant to support them. 








The bunches are forming nicely on my tomato plants and should set OK.
 Problems with setting can occur due to low light levels and cold nights with some varieties, but I had no problems last year with early setting and I am growing these Coeur de Boeuf again this year. 

They are a good all round beefsteak style of tomato and crop exceedingly well.




All this gardening can build up an appetite and luckily for me Mrs TK is a wonderful cook, so I thought I would show you one of her more simple dishes, a seafood salad. 
The centre dish is  full of warm scallops covered with a white wine and cream sauce. Prawns, smoked salmon, kiwi fruit, avocados and strawberries compliment the salad. 
Washed down with a nice crisp dry white wine and served with a fresh baguette is the perfect meal after a warm afternoon in the garden.   








6 comments:

  1. Gosh Steve, I can't believe how big your tomatoes are now, but then I did sow mine about 2 weeks ago, not seen anything come up as yet!! not normal, yet my courgettes and cucumbers are going mad!

    So you find Coeur de Boeuf really good I've sown Marmande this year will be interesting to see!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Jilly
    If you read on of my earlier post, I actually bought the plants to save time, so I cheated a little.
    I have Marmande as well and some cherry toms.
    The problem with sowing your own is they should be about 18 degrees day and night to get a good germination. I have not got my heated propagator yet, well that's my excuse.

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  3. Your plants look lovely! I am jealous!!
    Your meal looks pretty great too!

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  4. 10 days in the soil has really brought them on. I am sure that is because the soil was slightly dry and retained the days heat, so the roots at least stayed warm.
    What I have leant is that it is better to get plants in the soil earlier in an unheated greenhouse.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Goodness, yes I'm jealous too. I started my tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines, peppers etc in pots my greenhouse about 6 weeks ago and they are tiny compared to yours. Lost a couple of cucumbers the last couple of nights due to drop in temperature but think it was mainly my fault for watering them late afternoon so roots were sat in cold water too. I have made a raised border along one side of the greenhouse - perhaps it would be a good idea to plant some of the seedling in there to get a similar effect to your planting in the polytunnel? Did you buy your polytunnel in France, I'm looking to invest in one.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Le Jardin
    I actually built my own poly-tunnel http://mr-tomato-king.blogspot.fr/2010/05/mr-tk-building-his-polytunnel.html
    There are lots on the market the hoop type ones. I did buy in my plants this year as you can see in earlier post, so cheated this year.

    ReplyDelete

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