Tomato bed finished

This summer, I’ve had trouble getting my tomato plants out. First, there was no room and then it was too dry. Aka the ground was too hard to get a spade in to make the requisite hole.

I wouldn’t say the ground is now totally soft but at last we have had rain that you could really call rain. And the wind didn’t blow it away before it touched the soil.

Anyway, after weeks of deliberation, I finally took out a load of rocket and chard (both deep-rooted, so they must be good for me and the compost!) which had self-seeded where I wanted to plant the tomatoes. There is still some there but I think the tomatoes have enough space.


I know it is very late to be planting out tomatoes. The first year I attempted them I was late and got wonderful plants but no fruit. This year, tomatoes are appearing on the bigger plants which have been established for a while, so there will be a crop of sorts. But I will have to keep my fingers crossed for enough to make my chutney.

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About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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18 Responses to Tomato bed finished

  1. andy1076 says:

    wow here we go everything harvest! 😀

  2. Awesome update thank you for sharing Helen have a blessed day

  3. Hey Helen .. I think mulch would be a great help for your garden

    • Helen says:

      I did actually mulch this area, Julie. It compacted like hell just the same as where it’s not mulched and the tomatoes have grown less than where I didn’t mulch 😕.

        • Helen says:

          I would say yes if it was say a field where all conditions are equal. After your comment this morning I reflected on why this situation might have arisen and came up with the following. First, the part I mulched used to be lawn, so it must have been compacted to start with in a way the borders which I didn’t mulch wouldn’t be. The area that used to be borders is also more sheltered from the wind because of the fence and the Jerusalem artichokes.

          The mulch will have added nutrients but the compaction is going to take some time to eradicate. Or perhaps never because of the clay soil…. Eg where I built the hugel bed last year and could hardly get a spade in the other day to plant kale.

          Patrick Whitefield did concede that with some soils will require an element of digging, or at least loosening of the soil, on an ongoing basis. You see, as I have learned, the soil varies considerable round the world, in part explains different agricultural practices in different places.

          • Hey miss it sure does vary .. Using a broad fork would help to lift and aerate soil. Have you tried gypsum? This is good to help clay break up. Keep trying to grow that soil .. 😄

          • Helen says:

            Gypsum is alkaline, isn’t it?

            Yes, I definitely need a fork 😉

          • Yes gypsum alkaline .. Quick get that fork

          • Helen says:

            I don’t have a fork, unfortunately – no room in my living room for anymore gardening equipment.

            I’m curious as to why you recommend gypsum? Wood ash is alkaline and after sprinkling it on a hugel bed it appears to be inhibiting the growth of my tomato and pepper plants there.

            That said, there may be other factors such as water stress – eg the surrounding poppies, which have now gone, taking what little water was left in the soil after weeks without rain.

  4. Best of luck with the tomatoes, Helen. I hope you get a crop.

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