Monday, 3 December 2012

Tom-ar-to, Tom-ay(as in hay)-to

Yep tomatoes.

The cheapest exclusion bag.
If you got them in early enough and depending where you are by the time you read this you may well be eating them, hopefully you have avoided spraying them with copious amounts of chemicals to keep bugs that love them more than you do from eating them. If they are still green and the birds haven't found them and you are looking at spraying them, well STOP NOW, go down to the shops and buy yourself a packet of brown paper sandwich bags, if you happen to have "Tims Taurus" tomatoes growing your going to have to buy exclusion bags possibly.

Tigerella and Cherry tomatoes.

OK once home open the sandwich bags up and take one out, place it over the fruit (on the vine) or some of them, you may end up with a couple of bags per truss, scrunch up the top of the bag and then grab a clothes peg off the line, or the lawn if its like my place :) and put it over the scrunched up bit closing the bag off, this will stop the fruit fly getting in, the bags wont rot off in a hurry with rain and your fruit will continue to grow and ripen, if you have put them on a bit early you may find them bursting from the bags, in this case just re bag them with more bags, every few days check the bag for its contents. Your tomatoes will taste like they should or like they used too and not like some genetically modified orange or red shape full of mush. If you need exclusion bags, try the likes of Greenharvest, they sell a range and can be mail ordered, alternatively visit your nearest specialist garden supplier and ask for them, if enough people want them they will be sure to get them. The bags will not only keep out bugs but will trick the blackbirds into avoiding them, one thing they won't deter is Cockatoos, so good luck with keeping them out.

The other thing to consider seriously is companion planting with tomatoes, check the following link for a great comprehensive listing Permaculture news, breaking this down even further, some crops will encourage growth, some inhibit some improve flavour check the link Tomato Companions who list specific benefits or pitfalls. As this was typed in the blackbirds discovered my tomatoes that i hadn't quite got too with paper bags, so its blackbirds 2, me 5 :)

Camden lays out the "Purple Carpet"

Driving, walking or riding into Camden visitors have had the "Purple Carpet" rolled out over the last month, different regions have their own iconic trees that make bold statements in the lanscape, wether its Noosas Hastings Street, the escarpement of the Illawarra, Grafton or Alstonville on the north coast.

Driving south towards Gerringong you will notice Flame trees standing bold in the green pastures and along the sides of the road, with their bright red flowers on bare branches, followed by a flush of green growth. Drive north into Grafton and you will notice the same "Purple Carpet" has been rolled out as on our streets.

A wet summer last year brought out the Tibouchinas with spectacluar purple blooms and it seems a dry autumn and winter has now done the same to the local Jacarandas.

The final note goes to our blog visitors, seems we have some keen gardeners in Columbia, Brazil, South Korea and the Ukraine.

Enjoy your gardening.

Next Week

  • Potato harvest - one for the Irish
  • Feast or Famine, succession planting is the key.
  • Unusual Herbs and uses.
  • Christmas Recipes

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