Saturday 29 May 2021

Sumer is icumen in

Original score courtesy of British Library

Sumer is icumen in! So, you have Codger's permission to 'sing cuckoo' or as the original has it: cucco - a rather more sensible spelling

The birds are singing and the sun is shining and gardening resumes - or, even, commences as the case may be with you

So, I wish to begin with a series of offers that may be of interest as we get back out in the garden

First, and a s a reminder, we still have plenty of the Cerise bush tomato plants that are so very easy to grow. Three options: a) a plant to pop in the ground - any sunny space will do

b) Cerise in a nice pot that could go on a sunny patio or the like

c) three Cerise in a trough with cane support - a complete growing system

Cerise was popular with readers last year and gave great results - we expect the same again this. Sweet bite-size cherry tomatoes - as with our new offer which comes next ...

Tumbling Tom planted in hanging basket
New offer: Tumbling Tom

We are pleased to add another easy-to-grow bush variety: Tumbling Tom. As the name suggests, this is a variety where the fruit trail, or tumble, down. Thus is is very suitable for hanging baskets - an added feature if you are trying to interest your children or great grandchildren in growing

I have just a few which are supplied already planted, singly, in a suitable hanging basket. I can also supply as a threesome in a larger basket. They are raring to go so please let me know if you would like one - or three!

Offer number three: Gardeners Delight

This remains the gardening nation's favourite, or so I am told. It is very reliable and is widely grown as an outside variety of the more traditional sort. By traditional, I refer to the way the tomato is grown - not as a bush but as a vine climbing up a support

The fruit are a medium size - bigger than the cherry type but certainly not large. Gardeners Delight fruits readily and, providing you handle it right, has a long season. The easiest way to grow it is up a bamboo cane, tying in as it climbs. You have to 'pinch-out' - an easily-learned technique shown a thousand times over on YouTube

I shall be doing an experiment with my own Gardeners Delight as I've read that it can be grown as a bush with no pinching-out. Watch this space!

And an extra: Sakura

I had intended sticking at three but I wish to add Sakura for a particular reason. It is reputed to be the earliest cherry tomato that has high disease resistance. All of mine are already sprouting flower trusses so I'm offering this week, rather than delaying further. Ready to plant now and grow away quickly

Sakura is the type that you need to grow up a support as a vine or cordon, to use the proper gardening term, so what I have just said about Gardeners Delight applies

Tomato edition

Today's blog has been tomatoes four times over. I've got a really good stock because germination was so good way back in March. Last week, keen to get on with the growing, I left an asterisk hanging. I meant it to anchor the quotation about sowing generously and reaping generously

It is, of course, from the Bible where in 2 Corinthians 9:6 the natural phenomenon is applied to the spiritual. Well, since making that quote I am glad to say that we have had generous donations both online and in cash. You can see the current picture by clicking here. By the time you read this I hope to have added in the latest cash donations. We might even hit £3000 by close of play - I must get on!

Buying advice

Before I finish, please let me pass on some shopping intelligence - the spies are on the job! It's a good time to be buying pots - especially the larger type of planters and troughs. There are really good offers at Morrisons, Wilko and B&M. I suspect that prices will be going up when present stocks run out. (There is a distinct upward trend in the building trade - just one indicator)

Wilko have tomato feed at just £6 for 2.5 litres - that's great as tomato feed will do as your standard feed for virtually any plant. And, hot off the press, B&Q are knocking 20% off outdoor plants this Bank Holiday weekend

Angela's sale alert

More about this is due course: the date for Angela Webb's charity plant sale is Saturday 10th July, 11:00 to 3:00pm. Don't miss it. Codger will be there - but don't let that put you off!

In the meantime: grow tomatoes! (And get the plants from old Codger - seven varieties still to come!)

The sun has perked things up this week so a few photos follow

All for now - best wishes from Garden Codger

(wondering about Black Hamburg? Tune in next week!)

Our weigela looking great ...

Percy Wiseman at its best

The famed Miller's Crimson

Our favourite iris: Jane Phillips

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