Friday, 20 November 2015

Tomato Growing and Taking Cuttings

Brian started pruning the tomato plants and of course all those lovely prunings could not be wasted. So here we go again, striking them in water before I'll plant them into other parts of the garden just as soon as the roots appear. There were so many cuttings and I couldn't bear to waste any of them.  I wrote about striking cuttings from tomato plants here last year.

 I'm battling earwigs in my section of the vegetable garden where they love to eat cucumbers, beans, zucchinis and pumpkins, but they don't seem so fussed about the tomato plants. After much patience and vigilance the beans are finally away and starting to climb up the trellis. 
I've also planted cucumbers along the trellis at the other end, but they are slow to get away.
Zucchinis and dwarf beans are trying to emerge through the soil, some being eaten off before they become visible to me, but a few are surviving. They are growing in the small round circular "protection" barriers.

I've sprinkled a variety of things to try deterring the earwigs including ash from the fire, coffee grounds and ground up egg shells.
 Fifty percent shade cloth covers the entire vegetable garden during our scorching summers here in South Australia. 

 The earwigs numbers are such a huge problem and when I mulch around my plants they are even worse. I would love to hold the moisture into the soil but the earwigs love mulch.   
It is so frustrating to see the gardening programs on TV with lots of mulch and plants that leap up and out of the ground looking luscious. Short of moving to another area, what can I do?
 I love to hear about what other gardeners are growing at this time of year.
How is your vegetable garden going? What are you growing and have you taken cuttings from your tomato prunings? 
Have you any suggestions about how we could control our earwig numbers without using chemicals? I have traps which I empty every day and feed to the chooks, but the numbers don't diminish.
Happy gardening.


  1. Hi, new reader over from Down to Earth :)
    Have you tried letting your chickens go in there? Maybe if you had a pile of damp mulch off to the side it would tempt the earwigs into there which the chooks would then find. It might take a while, but might be worth a try. (Of course the chooks will need supervising too, being generally pretty destructive things!)

    1. Liz, a great idea with the chickens, and we're doing a version of that. I love to let them into the vege plots and watch them scratching and gobbling up the live earwigs, but they can be so destructive and do more harm that the earwig damage if not supervised. Can you imagine what their crop would feel like full of squirming biting earwigs? In fact you've inspired me to let them into the raspberry patch tomorrow. :)

  2. Have you ever looked at making Olla's with terracotta pots for keeping moisture in the soil. I used them last year for my tomatoes. Worked well! Check a blog called going grey and slightly green 4/8/2014, regards, Sandra from very upper Hunter, NSW.

    1. The olla method looks very interesting Sandra. I couldn't find the particular post you suggested but I googled Olla to check them out. They look much nicer than cut off milk bottles buried into the ground as some of my watering system is. :)


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