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Sunday, 8 July 2007

Yellow thumb

This had to happen at some point. I think I've hurt my tomato plants.

I'm not sure whether I mentioned this in any previous posts, but the nice guy who delivered my new tanks spotted my tomato plants as he walked by them and commented appreciatively about their healthy condition. As a novice gardener I was immediately in awe of his expertise (he recognised the plant on sight!) and so I took his following comment quite seriously: "you just have to make sure they get enough sun otherwise the fruit won't ripen."

Oh! Not enough sun? Well I'd better move them then!

And so I relocated the pot from where these plants had grown from seed to their obviously healthy and vigourous condition, complete with the first tiny green fruit starting to appear, and plonked them firmly into a full-sun position. "There you go," I thought. "Drink up that warm sunlight."

Over the next fortnight I was encouraged to see lots of flowering and the setting of new fruit. But at the same time, things started appearing to be less than ideal overall. Some of the lower branches wilted slightly. Some of the leaves dropped off. And in the past few days, a distinct yellow tinge has appeared through maybe a third to a half of the plants.

I don't know what exactly might be the cause of this. It could be completely normal, for all I know. Or maybe the change in position was harmful. Maybe there's a lack of nutrients, or a less than ideal amount of moisture. But it's worrying.

In my continuing ignorance I have moved the pot back to its original position. I have topped up the pot with some of the nutrient-rich soil I have been excavating from the site where I'll be installing one of my water tanks. I watered that through and then added a layer of dry grass clippings on top as mulch to try and conserve the moisture and protect the soil from the cold, dry winds we've been experiencing recently.

Now I'm just crossing my fingers and watching to see what happens next.

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