Friday, 21 December 2012

The tomatoes finally go in

Garden folklore in Victoria says you should plant your tomatoes on Melbourne Cup Day, which falls on the first week end of November. The same can be said for many other solanums (plants in the Solanaceae family) like capsicums, eggplant and chilli. This year that was never going to happen, but it's better late than never, hey! This week I've been planting nothing but solanums, the eggplants and capsicums are all in and today the tomatoes went in. 

With tomatoes, every year it is the same story, I get completely carried away and propagate hundreds of plants of every variety that I get my hands on. In fact, this year was probably worse because I have my own big garden to plant out. 

So many plants...

So with 120 tomato plants (over 15 different varieties), Steve and I set out to get on with planting.

Tomato seedlings 
Little forest of stakes

Little tomato plants

We planted two tomatoes to a stake, soon I'll go back and label each stake to keep track of each variety.

Elsewhere in the garden, some failures have occurred. I guess it can't always be good news... The cabbages are suffering serious damage from cabbage white butterfly caterpillars. The seedlings should have been netted right from the beginning, my efforts of inspecting and squashing are obviously not enough. However, there are a handful of plants that seems to be growing faster than the caterpillars can eat them so not all is lost. 

The other failure are the beans and peas; as predicted the seedlings have not fared well. Of the bush beans, only Violet Queen transplanted well, Golden Wax were the worst. Vitalis climbing beans have survived as well, unlike the peas. This only goes to show that impatience never wins in the garden. I have direct sown to fill in the gaps.

Almost everything else in the garden is growing beautifully. The zucchini are just starting to put on their first fruit and amongst the failed cabbages, fennel are starting to bulb up nicely. 

Next to go in will be the chillies, tomatillos and potatoes, then all the solanums will be taken care of.

Zucchini fruiting

Florence fennel growing