In April, Marie and Jim @4_muddy_boots agreed to stage a competition in their large allotment on behalf of Natural Grower. Marie and Jim split their tomato seedlings – grown at home on the window shelf – into two batches.
• Jim potted his tomato plants into pots using grow-bag peat-free composting soil. He kept some inside the greenhouse, while he put others outside.
• Marie also used the same grow-bag mix in her pots for the greenhouse. She cut the bottoms off her pots and nestled them back into the grow-bag to give the root system somewhere to grow. For her outside plants, Marie squeezed 3 tomato plants into her raised bed, along with the runner beans.
• Jim used ‘Tomorite’.
• Marie used Natural Grower liquid fertiliser.
• They both fed the plants at the same time, every Sunday lunchtime.
Above: Jim’s greenhouse tomato plants on the left, Marie’s on the right
Highlighted here by her photos, it seems that Marie’s tomato plants stayed healthier and grew more luscious fruits than Jim’s tomato plants, both in the greenhouse and outdoors too.
“My tomatoes have been best hands down, especially my outdoor varieties,” said Marie. “They have been incredible this season. Jim’s got blight in August, which didn’t help the competition between us. And mine got blight in early September, but luckily there wasn’t much fruit left to harvest then. There was a difference in other vegetables too. I used the NG liquid feed on my squash and pumpkins which looked so much healthier than Jim’s. But Jim used it on his courgettes, while I didn’t, and his courgettes were much better than mine,” said Marie.
“To be fair, at the beginning of the season, all the tomatoes looked like they would do well. But Jim’s greenhouse tomatoes seemed to lag behind mine,” Marie added.
On the right are some of Marie’s greenhouse tomatoes. “The fruits look so much healthier than Jim’s (on the left). I only have this one picture of Jim’s outdoor tomatoes. They look compact but the plant was very short and in the end this plant got blight,” Marie said.
“My outdoor tomatoes did really well fed by Natural Grower’s organic fertiliser,” said Marie. We think the tomatoes above are Alice’s Dream, but Marie also grew Black Beauties too.
“These were Jim’s fruits on the left: not that many and the quality seemed poor,” said Marie. “Jim’s greenhouse tomatoes succumbed to blight. My greenhouse tomatoes were blight free. The picture on the right is one of my harvests.”
In summing up, Marie said: “It has been great fun having a bit of a competition going on between us and we were initially surprised with the results but, then again, we weren’t…the liquid feed looks and smells like it’s going to do great things!
Many thanks for asking us to take part this season, Charlotte, and we’ll do this again in a heartbeat if you’d like!”
You can see more of what Marie & Jim have grown – using Natural Grower products on their plot – on Instagram at @4_muddy_boots.