Thursday, 25 June 2009


My attempt at seeing how much food I can grow myself at home, despite only having a small patio, continues to go well! The tomatoes are doing splendidly and are beginning to produce flowers, as you can see here:
I've had to do some minor structural engineering to support them though. I've grown tomatoes before and the plants do seem unusually bad at supporting themselves. Looking at the leaves and the stem closely reveals them to be covered in lots of tiny hairs, which makes me wonder if in the wild the tomato plant would sort of 'Velcro' itself to other plants growing around it. Otherwise, I really don't see how they would get on in the wild with no one to make some sort of supports for them. Of course, tomato plants such as these are the result of many, many years of careful selected breeding, so it's quite possible that the original tomato plants were more than capable of supporting themselves. Through selective breeding, plants will have been developed to produce the most fruit, which could well have lead to plants that seem intrinsically top heavy and unable to support themselves.

I have also been growing chillies, although I haven't blogged about these before. A friend has very kindly been looking after these for me whilst I was in the process of moving, which was much appreciated! However, I now have them in my flat and they are doing really well! They have produced fruit before and I did have an attempt at making curry from them, which worked well, but I am looking forward to perfecting it. I did try eating one of the fruits whole, straight from the plant, which was something of a mistake. They may be small, but they are very powerful! The plants themselves make quite nice house plants as well; they produce small, pale purple flowers which actually smell really nice. When the sun shines on them through my patio doors it makes the whole living room smell! Home grown chillies and free air freshener to boot, you don't get much better than that.
The sweet peppers I planted are also continuing to do really well:
I believe that these will get to be about one or two feet in height before producing fruit, so they have some way to go yet. It's interesting that one of them has got to be much bigger, by almost a factor of two in terms of height, then the others. I'm not sure what could have caused this, except perhaps it has had more sunlight, so I have rearranged them to see if I can't even things out a little bit.

I have also planted some butternut squash seeds, which have germinated and are growing very quickly:

This is quite impressive as I only planted these just over a week ago! These will be able to go outside once they are strong enough. Luckily, I have two spare spaces in the grow bags I'm using for the tomatoes, so I shall plant these there.

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