The Big Greek Tomato - Oct 02, 2014

Dear Gardening Friends,

In February I was having a coffee at the Lebanese Café/Tobacconist opposite Gloria Jeans in Queen St Campbelltown.

While I was ordering my coffee I noticed an almost soccer ball sized tomato sitting on the shelf.

I enquired about the tomato and Carl told me that Arthur from Kings Charcoal Chicken shop had just given him the tomato. The tomato was huge. It must have weighed over a kilo. I had never seen this variety before.

Carl offered to give me the tomato and after much discussion and a promise not to tell Arthur, I took the tomato home so I could extract the seeds.

Weeks later I was ordering lunch from Charcoal Chicken and was set upon by Litsa for stealing Arthur’s tomato!!!! Carl had dobbed me in big time.

I had to do some fast talking. Anyway, Arthur was happy for me to have his tomato and with the surname Panoutsopoulos I knew this tomato was definitely Greek! Turns out Arthur’s Family back in Greece has been growing this tomato for ever in a small village called Petri. They have a farm there where they grow olives and grapes.

The tomato tasted delicious and it had fewer seeds that other varieties.

We have sown the seeds and now we have just 87 plants to sell.  If you have Greek heritage or perhaps you’ve been to Greece, then you might like to grow one of Arthur’s Big Greek tomatoes. We are selling the plants for $4.50 and all money raised is being donated to The African Aids Foundation in Camden.

We recently raised $1050 with the Plant for Africa. If you bought one of these great plants thanks for your support (see photo if you missed out). This is an heirloom tomato so you know it will taste delicious! We are not discounting the price because we want to raise as much money as possible. If you know Arthur, let him know you are growing his big tomato!

I only just planted up my vegetable garden so you still have time to plant up your veggie patch too.

We are open all long weekend to help you. If you are dreaming about having your own vegetable garden but don’t have room why not rent a patch in The Camden Community Garden in Exeter st Camden.

I visited the gardens on the weekend and was impressed by the standard of the gardens, So much home grown vegetables and some great gardening ideas too. I love how this old ladder has been used to grow climbing beans! Check it out!

If you have bought plants from us recently make sure you don’t leave them sitting on the concrete near your tap.

The concrete heats up during the day and cooks your plants roots and dries out the potting mix. As the potting mix dries out it shrinks leaving a gap between the plastic pot and the soil.

When you do remember to water, it just runs out through this gap. Days latter after more slow cooking the potting mix shrinks even more and the water runs out even faster!

The plant is now drooping and leaves are starting to fall off. You are blaming the nursery for selling you sick plants.

Solution; never leave plants sitting on concrete. Sit them in your garden on soil. It is much cooler than concrete.

Plant your shrubs ASAP. Dunk them in a bucket of water prior to planting. Dig Planting Compost into your soil. This has a wetting agent, compost and an organic slow release fertiliser.

Mulch around the base with sugar cane or termite resistant woodchip. Mulch insulates the soil and helps prevent evaporation so your plants get up to 80% more water. More water equals more growth.

If you want to keep your plants in pots then repot them into bigger pots using Tim’s Best potting mix.

The bigger the pot, the more potting mix it holds, the more water it holds. Gardening is all about math’s!

Choose pots with saucers where ever possible. Saucers catch the water and allow your plants to get more water.

Group potted plants together and they will help shade the concrete so it stays cooler. They also shade each other so there is less evaporation.

More water = more growth = happier plants.

We have beautiful Phalenopsis orchids here in our shop.

If you are visiting a friend over the weekend take them an orchid instead of a bunch of flowers.

They cost about the same price as a bunch bought from the florist but the orchid can last forever. We can gift wrap them for you.

They love a bright well lit position inside.

Pig has jumped on The Bunnies Bandwagon and Simon i so happy for him has kindly brought in his heirloom bunnies flag to proudly fly next to his milk crate.

Pig follows The Tigers of course but he would love to see The Bunnies finally win something!

I hope your team wins too.

Happy Gardening