Rough winds shaking the buds of May

Apple blossom.
Apple blossom.
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Tomatoes have a colour code that indicates which food they need. Yellowing between the veins indicates a magnesium deficiency, purple is shortage of boron.

Leaves curling upward are complaining of too great a variation between day and night temperatures.

Tomato plants grown in the house need full light to avoid weak, drawn growth. The windowsill position works well.

They can also be grown in the garden, but choose a sunny, sheltered spot and anticipate slight thickening of skins and unwelcome interest from blackbirds as the fruits ripen.

Rough winds have been shaking the darling buds of May, flowers too, but not before honey bees were able to visit them. We observed them during the recent short spell of warm, calm weather.

Eight different apple cultivars all flowered at once so the timing was right, and there was a buzz of activity over three days, long enough to feel confident that pollen was transferred and a crop secured.

Soft fruits, raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries and assorted currants, are all progressing well.

Under glass, the peach fruits have reached golf-ball size, and vines are carrying tiny flower bunches that will soon transform into grapes.

To ensure all nutrients are concentrated into swelling the crop, the growth of each side shoot has to be stopped one leaf joint beyond an embryo bunch.

Removing side shoots from tomato plants and the vines becomes a way of life from now on.

There’s also anticipation of bright summer displays in the half hardy ornamental plants rapidly developing in pots under glass.

The trick is to keep them moving steadily onward, avoiding the checks to growth that go with neglecting to water, pot-on, or feed when necessary.

Check the compost for moisture daily, don’t let them become pot-bound, and anticipate the growing medium losing nutritional value by offering a liquid feed.