After the total washout of last year, when the only successful tomatoes in the area were the ones grown in greenhouses, I decided this year to do the same. It was partly because I had too many successful seeds and it just seemed to make sense to leave some where they were! So, I have six outside that I bought (Coeur de Boeuf), another four outside in a small corner of the veggie patch that I grew from seed, the three in the greenhouse and three more that I scattered around the flower beds because I had to take some of the seedlings out of the greenhouse and it seemed a pity to waste them. On the whole, I'm glad I did all this as the six I bought all seem to be in a bad way. I suspect it's either mosaic virus or some sort of wilt but I don't know. They all have tomatoes on them so I will wait and see what happens. The greenhouse seedlings are a mix of small salad tomatoes and larger standard ones (I MUST start noting the varieties that I plant!).
Anyway, what's this got to do with sex I hear you ask? When I started work many years ago I used to have lunch with my wonderful grandmother from time to time as she lived just round the corner. She lived in a very sunny flat and grew tomatoes on the window ledge in pots. One day I arrived and she was shaking them, albeit gently. I couldn't understand it.
"Sex darling", she said. I was fairly sure that she wasn't asking about my private life although she could be fairly direct. I asked her to clarify.
"Sex, sex - you know, they have to what's it called? Pollinate, that's it." Hmmm, still not quite there. More clarification please.
"Up here there are no bees to do the sex for them so I shake them and the pollen from the top flowers falls onto the ones underneath." Ah, right.
I don't know if there was any scientific truth in her theory but why not? Yesterday I was in the greenhouse and just thought I'd give it a go. But I sneaked a look around first to check no-one was watching!