Posts Tagged ‘tomato


Hard Labour Weekend Approaches

Prepare yourselves people! Hard Labour weekend is here. So named because traditionally it’s the time to work your butt off in the garden getting those vegetable beds full of deliciousness so you can kick back and relax with fresh homegrown produce this summer.

This year’s attempts at horticultural excellence at LPL homebase may be stiffled by the sniffles of the two adult household members. Babybel is so far immune. (Yes, I think referring to my child after a block of cheese is appropriate-she’s delicious, round and can be quite smelly.) So this is our to do list. What do you have planned?

Chickweed – It’s been keeping a nice groundcover between the veges, but it’s starting to get a bit tall and potentially trap water around vulnerable stems causing rot. It’s going to have to go. Likely to end up as pesto.

Tomatoes – The traditional time to get your tomatoes in. There is a huge range of tomatoes now available in NZ. Make the most of them. But due to the horrible effects of the psyllids due try to plant some phacelia to attract predatory insects.

Seeds – I’ll be making seed-raising mix and sowing capsicum, chillis, beans, beetroot, corn, amaranth, marigolds, zinnias, sunflowers, basil, parsley, more lettuce, and tending my yams.

Digging over the bed the corn will go into – I like to plant seeds at the same time I prepare the beds. Double digging and adding compost now means the gardens will be in prime condition-the compost spread through and not creating hotspots, the worms having a party-in time for my seedlings to go in in 4-6 weeks. Corn does best direct sown but I’m a bit late in prepping that bed.

Feeding – The strawberries are looking bountiful and just about to set fruit so now is a good time to give them a bit of a feed. And I’ll be using seaweed throughout the garden.

Comfrey – Time to make another batch of comfrey tea and dig up and distribute some of the roots. I’d like to put some more around our fruit trees.

Flax – I’ll be pulling out the flax stalks and turning them into something useful… You’ll have to check back next week to see just what.

General tidying up and preparing for a fantastic summer.

And of course the all important…

Even I will punctuate the weekend and lift the Rugby Exclusion Zone in my house to watch Sunday night’s All Blacks vs France. My snubbing of the Rugby World Cup thus far has little to do with the sport and more a reflection on the socio-economic consequences of the alcohol-fuelled, machissimic, and overly expensive requirements of throwing a ‘bash’ for the totalitarian IRB.  But I’m down with popular culture and feel that I should watch, helped greatly that we have some damned fine looking All Blacks. Something to do on a Sunday night anyway.

Enjoy your weekend everybody.


Heritage Tomato Seeds in New Zealand

red-strawberryFabulous list of heritage tomato seeds available from Bristol Plants & Seeds in Wanganui. They’ve been busy at work with Mark Christensen from Central Tree Crops Research Trust to grow and test heirloom varieties for superior levels of nutrition. I haven’t seen a report on the results but they do have a very impressive 170 varieties on sale within New Zealand for $3 a packet through the website.

This list is worth a gander just for the names alone. Who wouldn’t want to grow some Big Rainbow, Old Ivory Egg, Hawaiian Pineapple, Super Sioux Lakota, Zapotec Pleated.

Pictured: German Red Strawberry Tomatoes from Bristol Plants & Seeds.


Auxins, geotropism & upside down tomatoes

green-tomatoes-stunt-action-upside-down-shotI may be a little obsessive but tomatoes are on my mind again…

Upside-down tomato plant hanging contraptions have been hanging around for years and I’m a bit skeptical. bit skeptical. I’ve heard lots of people marvel over them but I’ve not seen a pic of the plants actually growing in them. The only pics I’ve seen have clearly been taken for advertising purposes when the plants are in full fruit. Do upside down tomato plants work?

My heart always goes “Oooo, that looks nice”. But my head goes, “but what about the auxins?” Auxins are hormones that control aspects of plant growth – things like the flowering, fruiting, bulb formation, dormancy etc.

More on auxins after the jump, along with links to how to test these mad ramblings…

Continue reading ‘Auxins, geotropism & upside down tomatoes’


Cherry Tomatoes

Homegrown organic cherry tomato yumminessI think that’s the last of my cherry tomatoes. Just as well really, I was getting totally sick of them. We had sooooo many. It was a bad year for tomatoes in the Wellington region and nearly all mine ended up being cherry-sized.

I even had to buy a couple of kilos to produce the year’s supply of tomato chutney. Neither us nor our friends, can live without the all-time famed Anna & Richard’s Tomato Chutney. (Recipe not forth-coming – you can have anything else, just not my tomato chutney recipe. It’s the sauce of my popularity. I shall not share!)

We’ve made a gallant effort with our bite-sized crop but I’m fed up with the rest and I’ve been jarring them. Here’s how. Bottled cherry tomato recipe after the jump…

Continue reading ‘Cherry Tomatoes’

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August 2020

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