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16/07/2013 at 09:55

Lots of leaves ,lots of yellow flowers. Not sure what and how much to cut away. Can the greenhouse get too hot and when should I open the window? Watering every evening and feeding as per instructions. Keen that my first foray should succeed, all help appreciated thanks  John in Aberdeen

16/07/2013 at 10:05

Windows and doors should be open now, mine have been for weeks. What exactly do you want to cut away ?

16/07/2013 at 11:06

I'm leaving the window & door open all the time at the moment.  It get's very hot during the day so I'm watering first thing in the morning, mid-day & in the evening. I pinch out the side shoots as they grow, everying seems ok at the moment.

16/07/2013 at 12:28

My windows, doors and vents are all open. You may need to shade the greenhouse. Fine netting is good, because if it starts to rain you can just take it off.

Just cut leaves off if they go yellow or brown. If they are green they are providing food for the plant .

 You may need to water twice a day in this heat. If they get too dry while the fruit are forming you get blossom end rot.

16/07/2013 at 13:55

How often would you water tomatoes in pots? Mine are in 25 litre containers but I've been very wary of over-watering. Possibly too much so! I've only been watering them every few days?

16/07/2013 at 14:03

John, it's a good idea to stick a thermometer inside the greenhouse to get a firm idea of temps.

Ventilation is not only a good idea on warm days. It's essential to keep air circulating as an aid against fungal diseases. Fungal spores love nothing more than still, humid air.

It's a good idea to remove the lower branches and foliage to keep a gap of 12-18" between the soil and the lowest foliage. It's another aid against fungal problems. Fungal spores can and will drop from the foliage to the soil beneath and can be splashed back up again when watering. The gap helps against this.

You also want to avoid clumps of impenetrable foliage. They work against air circulation, hence offer a haven for fungal spores. Trim branches and foliage judiciously to avoid clumps. Don't overdo it, though, you don't want to remove so much foliage that it threatens the process of photosynthesis.

Nip off the suckers/side shoots, those mini branches that develop diagonally at the intersection of the main stem and its branches.

Don't water by rote. Water when necessary. That means when the mix is dry. Don't keep the mix permanently damp. Few plants like permanently damp roots and toms aren't one of them.

Finally, don't be tempted to overfertilise. In containers, a feed once a month will do the job.

fidgetbones, the mix drying out doesn't cause Blossom End Rot. BER comes about as a result of plant stress, one cause of which can be irregular watering patterns. A regular watering pattern - eg, letting the mix dry out between waterings - is fine. It's when you depart from a regular pattern that a plant can become stressed.

16/07/2013 at 14:06
Bf206 wrote (see)

How often would you water tomatoes in pots? Mine are in 25 litre containers but I've been very wary of over-watering. Possibly too much so! I've only been watering them every few days?

Bf, water when necessary. You can let the mix dry out. Within reason, obviously. Don't leave it bone dry for two or three days. If in doubt, stick your finger deep down the side of the pot into the mix and feel for moisture. On the whole, though, as with everything with toms, less is better. Toms will produce at their best with "controlled neglect".

16/07/2013 at 14:12
Bf206 wrote (see)

How often would you water tomatoes in pots? Mine are in 25 litre containers but I've been very wary of over-watering. Possibly too much so! I've only been watering them every few days?

When you do water make sure you water enough. Water til the water runs through the bottom and then again so compost completely wet then walk away for a few days til dry again. It is pointless watering little and often as it will not reach the roots.

16/07/2013 at 16:06

Good advice. Even more so for toms planted in the ground. Infrequent very deep watering is the go. It drives the roots deeper into the soil. Frequent shallow watering keeps the roots towards the surface.

16/07/2013 at 17:18

brill, thanks. have indeed noticed the odd flash of root near the surface in a few pots... There's a bit of space for me to add a little more compost. I suspect I haven't been getting the water deep enough. What would you say is best, ie watering can, hose on a fine spray (splashes up though), more of a slow trickle..?

16/07/2013 at 17:20

Watering Toms is entirely according to how hot the GH is and how damp the growing medium is. It is NOT every few days no matter what. Water when the compost or in pots or soil is drying out otherwise the fruit can split if dryness occurs.

Fertiliser can be applied weekly or at present with the hot weather every 2 days. The common way to feed is every secong watering.

16/07/2013 at 22:52

I leave my greenhouse door open all the time now, although it's netted.  My Toms are all in pots and this year is the best I've had in the last 5 with plenty of fruits!  I wouldn't worry about surface roots, and the hose setting hasn't really made much difference to mine...

 

17/07/2013 at 07:25

Bf, water by whichever means lets you soak the mix without splashing either water or mix up onto the foliage. Don't blast with a hose, for example. Think in terms of a gentle soak, and I stress the word soak.

bigolob, you're right about the watering, but warmer weather shouldn't mean more fertiliser. Overfertilising can be a cause of tomato problems. It bloats the plant, making it susceptible to ailments. Toms in containers shouldn't need fertilsing more than once every three weeks to a month.

17/07/2013 at 21:39

My tomatoes are planted in the ground in the greenhouse. They are in flower now, when is the best time to commence feeding? 

17/07/2013 at 22:39

everos, start feeding as soon as you see the first tiny tomato appear.  This will be very soon now they are in flower.

18/07/2013 at 07:32

everos, don't be tempted to overfertilise them. If they're planted in good, healthy soil in the first place they just don't need much extra nutrition.

Once when the first fruit appears, then maybe a couple more times over the length of the growing season. Tom plants pumped full of nutrients are less likely to produce to their full potential than plants left to cope for themselves.

Toms, like most plants, exist to reproduce themselves - which, in the tom's case, means producing fruit. They'll be much more inclined to reproduce themselves if they feel ever so slightly threatened. Stuffed full of nutrients, they feel no real need. You'll get fruit, certainly, but less than the plant is capable of giving you.

18/07/2013 at 07:47

Hi - sorry to jump in here  - Italophile - think you may not be getting Private Message Notifications?

18/07/2013 at 09:30

No I'm not. And only getting emails re post responses at about 6pm every day. In one big hit. The site's problems are ongoing.

I'll go and check my PMs!

18/07/2013 at 10:01

Dove, I replied. You probably won't get the email alert.

25/07/2013 at 17:28

I've also got my first tomato plants, though they randomly grew in my garden rather than me planting them or cultivating in a greenhouse. I suspect they originate from the compost bin because in March I filled a window box from the compost box, but there was some compost mixed in with the soil.

One of them appears to be plum tomatoes and has so far sprouted just 5 small tomatoes. The other has grown taller but has only just sprouted a single tiny round tomato, which I suspect is a non-plum variety.

Up to last week, there were a fair few yellow flowers, but they seem to be going brown falling off now. Does that mean I won't get many tomatoes? I'm still trying to work out whether the tomatoes grow from the yellow flowers or if they grow separately to the tomatoes?

What time of year do they normally ripen, and what should I do to the vines (they're growing happily in large pots after being moved from the window box) when none are left? I'm hoping I can just leave the pot and new tomatoes will grow from the roots next year, but do I need to prune the vines down to the soil?

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