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Plants are a growing!


Mattishall, MG Robert demonstrating

There has just been that sudden turnaround in temperature, which we all hope heralds the start of Spring.

I usually do all my seed sowing in the last two weeks of March, but this year I have delayed a week in the hope of getting the plants off to a quicker start. I find that in the long run there is some difference in trying to avoid the seedlings sulking in the cold and poor light levels of too early a planting, perhaps I should go for a good heated propagator.

One of the things I intend to experiment with this year is grafting tomatoes. I have brought grafted plants in the past with limited success, and grown on side shoot cuttings, but in reading through some of the seed catalogues they are claiming increased productivity and healthier plants. It would appear that all the commercial growers use grafted plants, so perhaps it’s time to experiment.

I, and many other gardeners have noted the prolific nature of Shirley and Moneymaker, but sadly the lack of that rich ripe tomato taste, the bloom of freshness that in an instant transports me back to my Grandfathers greenhouse and the untold luxury of being able to eat as many tomatoes as you liked, but only one at a time. These are going to be my root-stock on the grounds that I hope they will provide the vigour as to scion, or top bit, I’m currently spoilt for choice.

However the important thing is to plant all your seed at the same time as you need to have similar girths. As to technique there are two possibilities which I will outline next week, one of which, and possible the easiest, requires some grafting clips which I am in the process of sourcing.

That only leaves me to add the comment that I received early in my gardening days, there’s no better dividend to the labour of weeding than to attack vigorously in the early moist soil of spring before the plants are fully awake, for even the deep rooted personalities tend to slide out without breaking their roots.

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