This year has been marked by several problems. First of all with the glasshouse heating when the boiler had to be replaced just after the crop had been planted. (See the page - http://ewell-monastery/boiler.html)
So for a month the plants were only being heated by the backup air heater which kept the temperature up all right but the plants really like heat around their feet! Then we found the main pump had suffered a severe setback and had to be replaced. Finally the conductivity meter began to play tricks and had to be sent back for repair! However, tomato plants are always said to be very adaptable to crises and can even pay off dividends after having been administered a shock or two!
But now we are well on the way and the crop should be fruiting at the end of March. The plants are now about 2.25 meters high with the sixth truss in the head. We have begun to use the mobile ladders to get up to the heads to twist and to de-shoot them.
So work has begun in earnest. But the real work begins when we have to lower the plants in about three weeks and to begin stripping the lower leaves to reveal, hopefully, some good fruit trusses. It is always a bit of a gamble at this time of the year. The first truss generally sets all right but only time will tell if the fruit has really swollen properly - that is, that there has been sufficient pollen germinating on the plants in the early weeks of the year. There are some trusses in the centre parts of the house which are bent where they come out of the the stem. This means they have not had sufficient light to give them strength! From now on the light should be getting better as the days get longer. Recently there has been some good sunshine which we didn't have in the early part of last year.
Growers always live in hope!
Return to the Tom home page.

go rightNext letter go backPrevious letter.