Monday, November 15, 2010

Wrap up of The Gardener for The Home Channel

On Friday the 13th episode of The Gardener TV show on The Home Channel was filmed – the last in the series for this season. Amongst the flurry of activity, pots were filled with gorgeous looking plants, pavers were swept and walls cleaned for the big reveal of the patio makeover that will feature in this series. Each episode features a project that is then collectively part of the patio. After the Dorado was cooked on the new fire pit and the salads made, the sparkling wine was uncorked for the party we needed after all the hard work from the DIY team, the cameramen, our lovely producer Juliet and our hard working editor and presenter of The Gardener, Tanya. This is going to be a smashing series with inspiration from gardens around the country and easy DIY projects we all can do. For those needing to programme their PVRs the show starts on the 16 November and is repeated everyday of the week. Times are:

Tuesday 21hoo; Wednesday 09h00; Thursday 13hoo; Friday 17hoo; Saturday 12hoo, 20h00; Sunday 15h00, 22h00

Monday, August 23, 2010

Growing tomato

The answer is yes, apparently this does happen quite regularly, particularly with store-bought tomatoes. Along with tomatoes, corn, rice and squash are also prone to this type of early germination. When seeds germinate within fruit like this they are referred to as viviparous mutants – quite a name! With respect to tomatoes, there are a few reasons given for this 'mutant' behaviour, and the following information is adapted from the websites listed below.

There is a seed maturation agent and germination inhibitor called abscisic acid (ABA) in the gel sac around each tomato seed and it serves a purpose in the natural lifecycle of the tomato: when fruits fall to the ground in autumn the inhibitor prevents the seeds from germinating. (Without this enforced dormancy the seeds would simply sprout as soon as the fruit was mature and the seedlings would then probably not survive the winter.) When spring arrives, with conditions that are more favourable, the seeds mature and germinate. With commercially produced tomatoes the conditions in which the tomatoes are stored may mimic the spring conditions that trigger the germination process, thus prompting the seeds to begin growing. Other theories hold that some tomatoes may not produce enough abscisic acid or that the seeds simply 'ignore' the abscisic acid.

Either way, I'll be a little more wary of any odd-looking tomatoes from now on!

Information obtained from these websites:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Germinating tomato

A reader has sent us this pic of a cut tomato that he left on the ground for a while and when he opened it he found the seeds had started to germinate, inside the fruit. Has anyone got any ideas as what causes this?

Big bean

We received the following e-mail from Pam Sawyer:

It seems that again I must write to you on behalf of one of my friends.
This time their Grandson planted a bean in a jam jar as a school project, it began to grow and then the lad along with his parents left for the U.K.
My friend later transplanted the now growing bean into a larger garden pot and trailed it along the house wall.
Well, it bore a single 'fruit' as per the attached,. We are all now wondering if it is a variation of the 'Jack and the Beanstalk' bean, especially as it is so large and also since it is the only bean to have grown on the plant.
Perhaps you could throw some light on this puzzling bean.
Many thanks for your magazine and the useful advice and help that you provide.
Anyone out there have any ideas?

Friday, May 28, 2010


This is our new blogg where people can interact with each other, ask questions, add tips on everything to do with gardening. Start blogging today.