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Tomato Problems and Strange Weather Growing

Strange Weather

Saturday’s weather varied between sunny and the heaviest of grey skies with hail pouring down. Much as I love the plot, ice showers and wet soil don”t really enhance the growing experience.


I titled ‘strange weather? but is it so strange? I remember snow on the 26th of April some 25 years ago. My daughter was born later that day, so it sticks in the memory. Three years after that it was glorious boiling sunshine on the same day.


The fact is that we have had a run of mild wet winters drifting into mild springs and this year is more normal. The fact that carbon dioxide has never been so high since the dinosaurs must be having some effect on the climate but in Britain we always have weather.


Tomato Troubles


After managing to cook my outdoor tomatoes in the greenhouse, the rest of them are looking really poor. I don?t know why but the leaves are browning and most are curled. I suspect the compost but it?s only a suspicion.


I think I?d best do a re-sow in case they don?t recover. Better late than none.


Web Site


Since people have been posting photographs up on the forums and asking how to do it, I took a bit of time on Friday to look at the possibilities. Decided on an add-on for the forum system (phpBB) so I downloaded it. It?s amazing how much wonderful free software there is available. The most popular server software, Apache, is free. If a fault is found, thousands of users across the world put forth a solution.


Anyway, I wasn?t going to risk destroying the forums by a silly mistake so I cleared a test server and installed a copy of the allotment forums on it.


Saturday morning was the time to start the upgrade. The install instructions stated that the time to do it would be 15 minutes. Of course, this assumes you know exactly what to do and are not being interrupted by a cat demanding more food every five minutes.


So two hours later the photo albums were running on the test server but there were a few faults. Checking on what I?d done I found the faults, I?d added some code into the wrong place in one file and missed another. Bit more testing and I was ready to do the live version.


This time it only took two hours to have it running properly and configured plus a post on how to use it. I hope that post doesn?t sound too prissy or authoritative, but allowing people to post photographs does present some risk.


I?m not so much worried about someone posting mucky pictures although this is not the place for that sort of thing, as inadvertently posting pictures with children that are identifiable. The basic rule with children on the web is to avoid giving information like ?My grandson Jimmy in the garden with his friend David?. This opens up the possibility of someone approaching Jimmy who knows what he looks like, where he lives and who his friend is.


This is the official advice for schools using pupil photographs in their web sites:


Avoid using the first name and last name of individuals in a photograph. This reduces the risk of inappropriate, unsolicited attention from people outside school. An easy rule to remember is:



  • If the pupil is named, avoid using their photograph.

  • If a photograph is used, avoid naming the pupil.

Well, I don?t want to end on a negative note – I?m really looking forward to seeing what other peoples allotments and gardens grow.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary Tagged with: ,

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