The trial continues…

For those of you who aren’t aware please let me explain.  I am conducting a trial on behalf of Huntingdon Garden and Leisure Centre.

The trial is to compare a seed grown tomato plant to a grafted plant. If you look back at previous posts you will see the progress that came before this post.

Today’s post sees both plants developing fruit but as you can see the grafted plant, we call her Ele, is weighed down with an abundance to the point she has needed to be given a crutch support.
Ele - grafted
Now I’m sure there is something I could of done to help the plant more than I have. But I found the bottom of the plant stem thinner than the upper stem and it didn’t seem to be able to support itself. Especially with the shallow depth of the grow bag. I have been very worried about it breaking in the windy weather.

Ali, the seed grown plant, is more dainty but bearing her fair share of fruit.
Ali - seed grown

Ele fruit.
Ele fruit 1

Ele - fruit 2

Ali fruit
Ali fruit

I will be doing a survey of the fruit produced by each plant.
Both plants have ripening fruit and I’m hoping to pick a tomato off both plants this week for a side by side tasting. Stay tuned!

Raised veg bed created for free

Thought you might like to see my raised veg bed created all for free.

Raised veg bed
Wood frame- wood came from the roof trusses of my neighbour’s garage that they had taken down to build an extension. Expertly constructed by my handy hubby.

Soil – came from Freecycle. A lovely man had removed it from his mother’s garden to lay a base for her new shed. It needed some sorting to take out various bits & pieces but didn’t take me long.

And the plants came as excess from my father-in-laws allotment.

The net cage was part of my birthday present from hubby & my 5yo daughter.

I’m very happy with the finished product.

Princess Knight in shining armour.

Today was Medieval Banquet day at my 5yos school to round off their topic of castles etc.  My 5yo and I spent 2 hours last night making her outfit.

All I purchased for it was – 57p roll of tin foil.

We had cardboard (old moving boxes), sticky tape, staples and crafty bits for decorating and sword all at home already.

She did the decoration herself. So proud she was excited about us making it and she thought it was brilliant!

Shining Armour

Tomato plant trial – Grafted versus seed grown

Ali & Ele -size comparison

Ali & Ele -size comparison

Well it’s plain to see Ele (grafted plant – left of image) has become a bit of a monster and Ali (seed grown plant) is certainly the “little” sister BUT “as they say” size isn’t everything because there is an interesting development when it comes to flowers on the trusses!

As of the 30th June, Ele, the grafted plant, has developed 5 trusses with between 8-11 flowers per truss.

Ele's truss

Ele’s truss

Whereas Ali, the seed grown plant, has developed 3 trusses so far but has approx 24 flowers per truss.
Ali's truss

Ali’s truss

Ali’s trusses seem to be double stemmed (forked) and so has double the flowers that Ele has on her single stemmed truss. So if both plants successfully develop their flowers into fruit it would appear that Ali will have more fruit. Very interesting turn of events considering the monster of a plant that Ele has become when compared to Ali.

Now, as I am no expert, I don’t know if this development is a feature of the type of tomato plant but maybe Huntingdon Garden and Leisure can comment on that for us.

I’ll keep you posted on this interesting development.

Homemade necklace

My lovely 5yo daughter made me this beautiful necklace for my birthday.  The look of pride on her face when I have been wearing it and telling people she made it for me is worth more than diamonds.

I love it!

Handmade necklace

Handmade necklace

Ali and Ele update time.

Hello it’s that time again. A growth update on Ali & Ele for my tomato plant trail, seed grown versus grafted on behalf of Huntingdon Garden & Leisure Centre.

Now, first things first, I need to confess something. I’ve never used grow bags before and I followed the instructions and planted the plants without punching any holes in the grow bag. Problem is, with all this rain the plants got waterlogged and were suffering from leaf yellowing. In my defence, the instructions on the bag actually say “be careful not to pierce the bag’. Anyhow, after some consultation with my friendly garden centre people, I have now pierced the bags. So fingers crossed now for a return to full health for Ele & Ali. Suggestions as to whether I should remove the yellowed leaves or not would be helpful, thank you.

So growth update – Ali (seed) hasn’t done anything since last measure a couple of weeks ago and is still 35cm whereas Ele (graft) has added another 5cm now measuring 60cm.  You can see from the photo Ele really is towering over Ali now.

Ali & Ele 3/6

Ali & Ele 3/6Ali & Ele 3/6

I have given them another feed today, feeding them weekly as per instructions on the bottle.

And so it continues. . .



What do you do with dodgy bananas?

I saw this idea on the web somewhere, sorry I will get better at citing my sources of inspiration. If you have bananas that have seen better days stick them in the freezer. Then when you fancy a banana smoothie take them out,

Frozen bananas

Frozen bananas

don’t worry they looked like that when they went in but perfect on the inside.

I roughly chopped them (not sure that this necessary) and put in blender with 1/2 pint of semi-skim milk. Gave it a good blend and that’s it.

It was a very thick icy smoothie but really nice. My 5yo came back for more so I think that’s a good test!

Banana smoothie

Banana smoothie