The trials of tomatoes (and squash and lettuce)

The Thompson and Morgan seed trials are sadly coming near the end, I mean look at the beefsteak tomatoes (above) that are now ripening on the plant and the few we took off today next to an AA battery to give some idea of scale. Whoppers they are and we’ll certainly be wanting to grow them again.

The lettuce that was growing in the shade of the broad bean ring around the birch tree has survived and is looking great. It’s either one or a collection of a few!

And the spaghetti squash has stayed this colour and size for a few weeks now. We have now idea of what they’re supposed to look like when they ripen or when they’re ready but we suspect the time is very close!

Thanks again to Thompson and Morgan for getting us in on the trials and we reckon they’ve been a success our end. We’d had a lot of suprises (the sunflowers and nasturtiums) so we can’t complain! It’s been fun!

In the beefsteaks of your mind

Oh my lord! The Thompson and Morgan seed trial tomatoes are as large as a medium sized eating apple in some cases and they are getting riper by the day. We’ve done the beef/beefsteak variety possibly only once before but with the results on the three plants we’ve got we’ll certainly be doing some more. It was just a case of regular watering and a comfrey feed once a week if we remembered, nowt else. And look at the results!

More trials

Here’s a quick visual update on the Thompson & Morgan seed trials. The tomatoes are looking more like beefsteak ones every day and look at the size of them!

The sunflowers are also doing well too! We love the surprises we’ve had with the trials and it shouldn’t be too long now before we’re informed about the actuals names/varieties of the plants. We’re still waiting on the spaghetti squash to ripen and we’ve a couple of lettuces on the way too. We love the trails we do!

Seed trial update stardate 2.6.19

It’s only been a couple of weeks since the last post about the seeds on trial from Thompson and Morgan but there’s been some changes. The spinach plants in the pot on the windowsill (below) are doing well. We’ll transplant a couple of them in the garden so leaving a couple in the pot and see how they get on. There’s a couple of patches of T&M’s spinach outside that seem to be tolerating our London clay soil.

A sunflower in its very early stages plus one of the tomato plants were transplanted outside yesterday morning with no hardening off. The both of them seem to have survived the searing weather on their first day outside too, let’s see how they get on with the local slugs!

The lewisham recycling bin has the nasturtiums in and they’re making progress, we reckon we’ll be leaving possibly only one in the bin and move the other plants around the garden.

And finally the spaghetti squash is doing well, no slug damage as yet and putting on some growth. Let’s see what the weather brings. Give us a few weeks and we’ll keep you updated with this and the other trial plants in the garden. Ta T&M for the chance of giving the plants a go!

Live at the seed trials

Thanks a million to all at the Thompson & Morgan blog for sending us a lovely package a few weeks ago that contained some packs of yet-to-be-released 2020 seeds to trial in our garden. They came in a nice green wallet and the actual seeds (that were in sealed plain white metallic packs) were labelled simply “spinach 201902”, “squash 201904” etc as the proper names of the varieties are under wraps and will be given out later this year. We love that sort of thing here at Weeds. Very GCHQ. Walls have ears and all that!

Above is a bit of an experiment, we recently moved a small silver birch we originally found in the street a couple of years ago (post here) and around it we planted a ring of broad beans, don’t ask us why but it made sense at the time!

In the circle we thought we’d sow a row of the lettuce and spinach. Hopefully the shade will be just enough to keep the plants growing but not bolting (aka going to seed early) as spinach and lettuce do have a tendency to do so if the weather is too hot. It’s only an idea, let’s see how we get on.

We’ve already started off a fair few tomato varieties this year but we welcome another one with open arms especially one in a plain white envelope just called “tomato 201905”. We may have started them off too late (and we didn’t write down the date of the sowing sadly) but it seemed like they took their time to germinate on the kitchen windowsill (compared to the spaghetti squash that was planted on the same day). Out of the three tomatoes that have germinated so far, nearly all of the seedlings are nowhere near the centre of the pot. When/how did the seed move? There must be a scientific explanation, answers on a postcard please. We look forward to finding out what varieties these are. Will they be small cherry tomatoes or beefsteak ones the size of your hand?

The tropaeolum (nasturtium) was sowed directly outside in the Lewisham Council recycled bottle bin and has germinated like a treat. We’ll transplant a couple of these around the garden. We like the look of the darker leaves than the usual varieties of nasturtiums we usually put or self seed in our garden.

The spaghetti squash is something new to us and it will be great to see what they look like and actually taste like. The seed was germinated on the kitchen windowsill and went out in the garden just when it had two seed leaves on with the minimum amount of hardening off (one night under a cloche!) and it’s doing well!

Apart from spinach in a pot on the kitchen windowsill (above) there’s sunflowers in a seed tray, some lettuce sown (in the ridge) in between earthed up potatoes and zinnias (that we have never grown before but look interesting) sowed straight into the ground. We will keep you posted!