Growing demand for gardens
EVERYONE keeps saying it, so it must be true. It really has been the worst year for growing tomatoes.
Why this particular vegetable (I know technically it's a fruit, but who keeps their tomatoes in the fruit bowl?) has been particularly affected by our autumnal summer I don't know. This year was the first time we attempted to grow vegetables and the tomatoes, chillis, courgettes and sweet peppers were all nurtured from seed. Despite my insistence that most packet seeds were dead on arrival in the county's gardening aisles, every single seed grew leaving us with countless tomato plants of five different varieties, more than ten sweet pepper plants, three chilli plants and eight courgette plants. We had an urban vegetable jungle that took up half of our back courtyard.
The plants themselves grew quickly – aided by growing liquid which glugged out of the bottle and looked like treacle – but there was little produce to be found. A few months passed and courgettes started to appear, followed by flowers on the chilli and tomato plants. Then came the rain. The cold weather and constant downpours resulted in mouldy courgette plants and defeated looking tomato plants.
Fortunately a glint of summer sunshine brought out the tomatoes and one sweet pepper. The yellow tomatoes quickly ripened, one was wrecked in storm-like weather and the other we cut off the plant and divide into two mouthfuls. Having anticipated the sharp, sweet yet succulent nature of a cherry tomato, we were bitterly disappointed by the mushy, tasteless specimen we had grown from seed.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
To add further insult to injury we worked out the tomato had cost us at least £3 because the bountiful produce we expected to receive from our crop of plants was not forthcoming.
Yet despite seeing endless articles, tweets and Facebook posts about failed vegetable gardens, an increasing number of buyers in Devon are looking for properties with sufficient space for a vegetable patch. According to local estate agents Connells, vegetable patches have become "an essential".
The trend is being seen right across the range of properties on the market in Exeter, according to John Waldron, Connells area director. He said: "It doesn't matter whether someone comes to us looking for a small flat or a larger home, customers are now asking for the space to be able to do some cultivation.
"Many see vegetable growing as a very good supplement to the family income and our clients are now adding allotment space to their criteria for a new property."
Although I still like the sentiment of growing your own, at £3 a tomato I'm afraid the supermarkets have won this vegetable – sorry, fruit – battle.