Home My garden Fried green tomatoes…

Fried green tomatoes…

Collapsed tomato and tomatillo seedlings, 11.30am, March 31
Collapsed tomato and tomatillo seedlings, 11.30am, March 31

Blog: I’m not happy with my seed compost, heat mat or memory…

It’s so typical that the only year I’ve left my seed sowing to the last minute that anything that could go wrong, has gone wrong.

Luckily, most of the chillies overwintered well, so losing two more varieties wasn’t the biggest deal.

However, the collapsed tomato and tomatillo seedlings last Monday were the last straw – a combination of very poor seed compost, an elderly heat mat and me forgetting to open the conservatory windows.

Perked-up tomato and tomatillo seedlings, 5.30am, March 31
Perked-up tomato and tomatillo seedlings, 5.30am, March 31

Shockingly sandy seed compost

The seed compost (I don’t want to embarrass the maker) which although peat-free, seems to be a combination between dust and sand. It appeared to be damp in the morning, only to be bone dry in the afternoon.

It also seems this damn compost has weed seeds in it! I shall be writing in the strongest terms to the manufacturer when the world is back to normal.

I found them flopped and it seemed the only chance of survival was surgical repotting into modules of decent peat-free compost. The tomatilloes were in particularly bad shape (I remember they were very leggy last year).

Say your prayers!

In went tomatoes Rosella and Apero and I said a quick prayer to any listening deity. Someone listened because, in 6 hours, they had perked up.

As a back-up, I sowed a free packet of Maskotka, even though they’re not cordons and won’t fit into the conservatory!

My Reisetomate seeds also finally arrived to trial, so they’re ready to pot on. Panic averted (I hope)!

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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