Garden Tour – Week 35 – 2020

It’s amazing how much these two potatoes have grown. They look like they really like the self-watering boxes, with all the water and nutrients they would ever need.

It might be difficult to see in the picture, but the leaves are actually beginning to turn a bit yellow near the stems. It turned out that the box was almost empty so I quickly added another 20 litres of water with nutrients.

I’ll come back later and fill up the box completely.

The main stems are growing sideways and new shoots are going upwards. There are a few nearly dissolved slug pellets on the soil.

Although we are getting closer to the end of the season the potato plants are starting to flower. Hopefully there will be fruits too.

The Hokkaido pumpkin is also thriving although it’s late in the season. The killer slugs harvested everything in this box month after month, and this is the sole survivor.

It looks like the killer slugs ate too many slug pellets, because I haven’t seen them for a while now.

This potato tower is looking really promising. One of the stems grew so big that it fell over.

It would be so cool if this works and there are potatoes inside the concrete tower from top to bottom. It would be very easy to scale this idea and set up several towers in the driveway.

I have only watered it once.

This is beginning to look like a carrot bed.

The tomato plants are looking promising too.

A rainbow right outside the window. How about that?

Tomato Spotting

This is starting to look like a small tree. Maybe I should have used a tomato specific fertilizer instead of a generic one.

The self-watering box is definitely delivering everthing the two tomato plants need – and perhaps a little more than that 😉 The box was actually nearly empty so I have filled it up again with water and fertilizer (25 liters / 6.6 gallons of water).

The main stem has grown way to big, so I’ll break it off near the top. This will force the plant to focus on fruit development.

There are a few fruits forming below all the big leaves. I would have expected that there were more fruits and that it would have happened earlier, but let’s see what happens during this month.

These smaller plants in pots seem to be further ahead when it comes to fruit development.

I’m looking forward to see the color change on these during the coming weeks! Looking forward to harvest!

Adding a Potato Plant Support

I don’t think you’re supposed to grow potatoes in a self-watering box. I tried it anyway, and they’re growing very well, with a really healthy-looking green color.

They actually grow so well that they can’t support their own weight and fall over. The exact same thing happens when I grow tomatoes in self-watering boxes.

This is probably to be expected since potatoes and tomatoes belong to the same family.

I normally see these small shoots on tomatoes in self-watering boxes, but not on potatoes, when I grow them in an ordinary garden bed in the ground. I assume it’s because they have access to everything they need and now have the energy to develop fully.

I remove these small shoots on tomato plants in order to maximize the size of the fruits, but I’ll just leave them here to see what happens.

I have just set up a temporary support to keep the plant upright. It would have been better to use one of my tomato cages from the beginning but I didn’t expect that the potato plants would grow this big.

Away on Vacation for One Week – Before and After Pictures

Before – Potato Tower:

After – Potato Tower:

Before – Potato Tower:

After – Potato Tower:

Before – Potatoes in self-watering box:

After – Potatoes in self-watering box:

Before – Potato in self-watering box:

After – Potato in self-watering box:

Before – Potato in self-watering box:

After – Potato in self-watering box:

Before – Carrots in raised bed:

After – Carrots in raised bed:

Before – Carrots in raised bed:

After – Carrots in raised bed:

Before – Hokkaido pumpkins in self-watering box:

After – Hokkaido pumpkins in self-watering box:

Before – Tomatoes in self-watering box:

After – Tomatoes in self-watering box:

Potatoes from Seeds Still Growing Strong

This is the spot in the lawn where my small potato bed was located two years ago. I was going through the concrete blocks one by one looking for germinated flower seeds, and I stumbled on one of life’s little miracles where the two sticks are placed.

It turns out that two of my tiny potato tubers have survived for two year in the lawn, and they are now shooting up and reaching for the light! I thought I had moved all the tubers to my potato tower experiment last year, which didn’t go very well at all, but luckily these two guys are going strong in the lawn and carrying on the genes from my potato seed saving experiment, which started several years ago.

Oh, the excitement! I thought I had lost each and every potato to killer slugs and a stupid mole.

This small potato plant even had to compete with ivy, and it won the race to reach the light. That’s promising for the genes it’s carrying and I’ll be looking very carefully after these two new plants.

After all, we are dealing with two completely new types of potatoes here, since these have been grown from collected potato seeds, extracted from potato fruits (yes – that’s actually a thing!).

Tomato Plants in Pots

I have several wire mesh supports that I have kept from previous years of gardening. They fit perfectly into the bottom of these plastic pots.

This is a mix of 50% soil from a growing bag and 50% compost from the recycling station. It has a perfect texture and I’m looking forward to see if the tomatoes will like it.

One Nemador tomato plant to go.

And, three more.

Now it’s easy to do a comparison with the ones in the self-watering polystyrene box. The two in the box are already looking healthy and growing fast.

Beneath the apple tree the potatoes are also looking good and growing fast. I have underestimated how good the soil is here, but of course the soil has been enriched by all the apples that have been composting here through the years.

There’s even a small flower being developed here. I’ll watch closely to see if it will turn into a potato fruit, that I can harvest for potato seeds.

The apples on the apple tree are still going strong. I’m starting to believe in a great apple harvest this year.

Self-watering Polystyrene Box for Tomato Plants

This is a fine spot for another self-watering box. This wall is facing south and the patio is surrounded by bushes, so the temperature will be high when the sun hits.

Unfortunately, the concrete slabs are not level and I don’t want the self-watering box to break when the water is added.

I will even out the surface but it would be better to use sand instead of dirt, but I don’t have any sand available.

What a dirty mess… But I guess it will work anyway.

Ready for planting.

I have planted two tomato plants, one ‘Nemador’ and one ‘Ikarus’, both organic.

This year I’ll try to annoy any killer slugs that might want to slaughter the tomato plants. I’ve read that the slugs don’t like to crawl on copper, so I’ll check if it’s the same for aluminium. Hopefully, this will make them turn around and go away.

I’m adding a cage to provide support for the tomato plants as they grow taller.

I have attached the support to the ceiling using bamboo sticks and several cable ties.

The bamboo sticks are going all the way to the bottom of the growing bag, through the top, so that the support can’t move sideways and fall of the bag.

I’m adding aluminium foil to the self-watering boxes in the driveway too, to keep any killer slugs away.

It doesn’t look pretty but it’s not that bad. It will soon be covered by foliage.

The Hokkaido pumpkin has germinated and is sending up a small shoot.

I found this guy under the apple tree, but I don’t think he’s interested in the potato plants.

It’s a burgundy snail, but he’ll be escorted out of the potato bed anyways.

The potato plant in the coming potato tower is looking great and healthy. So far, so good, without any killer slugs nearby.

The small apples on the apple tree are looking good too.