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24/07/2012 at 08:16

Gard, toms will tolerate a lot higher than 25C, even in a greenhouse, but the sort of temp you're citing would be a problem. Outdoors it would be less of a problem - mine sit in a baking 40+C all day - but a greenhouse, even ventilated, can become effectively an oven. How likely is that your high-40sC will continue? You might need to look at erecting some shade cloth to keep the temp down.

Your watering routine is right. Requirements will vary with temperatures, etc. Water as and when required, not by rote.

24/07/2012 at 09:25

Well, I've just checked, and not another mite in sight. Oh well. I'll see how or if it progresses. I've stripped all the tomato plants of fungal leaves, so nothing much more I can do for now. Sun is beating down already.

Thanks for taking a look at the pics Italophile.

24/07/2012 at 09:59
Morning! Italophile, I don't know if you've ever lived in the UK, but the weather is literally as changeable as the wind. Locally, today is set to be bright & cloudless, with a top temp of 23C. Tomorrow, cloudy & dull. Temp 18C. Next day, bright with heavy prolonged showers. Temp 22C. I have painted shading on the greenhouse (just a few days ago), but even so, at the moment (9am), the inside temp is 28C.

Around spring, when we had some decent weather, I decided to harden off some new plants, and placed them on the patio. A few hours later, all of the plants had severely scorched leaves. They survived, but looked ugly, until they grew a bit and I was able to remove the affected leaves. The lesson I learned, was not to leave young & tender plants in direct sunlight.

If it was in a greenhouse, Insomnia1973's spider mite problem could be resolved by keeping the air humid (according to the books). An alternative that I have used for most insect problems (aphids, black fly, green fly etc), that works a treat, is garlic tea. There are lots of recipes, but I take a whole bulb of garlic, crush the cloves with the flat of a knife and pour a litre of boiling water over the garlic, giving it a good stir to extract the essence. Clingfilm it and leave it until cold - the longer you leave it the better. Sieve it through several layers of kitchen roll to extract all of the bits, then pour it in to a 2 litre container (lemonade bottle is perfect), adding several drops of washing up liquid (not antibacterial) - this allows the tea to 'stick' to things (I.e. the leaves and insects). Top up the bottle with cold water. When you want to use it, give it a good shake, then pour into a small hand sized sprayer. Spray the affected plants, paying particular attention to the top tender shoots, and underneath the leaves. I usually spray the whole plant and any in the vicinity of the problem. This needs to be done regularly (every few days) until the problem is gone, and then keep checking for any new infestations. Do it early morning to allow the liquid to evaporate before the sun gets too hot and scorches the plant. When I first started using the tea I was greatfully surprised that it didn't harm the plants in any way, it didn't leave the lingering smell of garlic on the plants (just on my hands), nor did any edible plants taste of garlic. I hope this helps.
24/07/2012 at 10:07

Becks -you may not be seeing a red spider mite-they are miniscule and not always visible to the naked eye-usually in greenhouses-you may have been seeing red spiders- a harmless tiny spider that you usually get in the summer

24/07/2012 at 10:14
Insomnia1973 wrote (see)

Well, I've just checked, and not another mite in sight. Oh well. I'll see how or if it progresses. I've stripped all the tomato plants of fungal leaves, so nothing much more I can do for now. Sun is beating down already.

Thanks for taking a look at the pics Italophile.

All you can do is keep watch on the pepper leaves. If it's fungal or bacterial, the spots will change and develop.

24/07/2012 at 10:21

Gard, I used to live in Melbourne before I moved to Sydney before we came here to Italy. I know all about changeable weather. Melbourne has the infamous four different seasons in a day. The only real problem for toms in high temps is that they're reluctant to set fruit. Other than that they will cope providing you keep an eye on the moisture situation, which you're doing.

Yes, you need to harden off seedlings gradually. I've cooked a few in my time.

The problem with keeping things humid in a greenhouse in order to avoid one problem is that you invite other problems - like fungal disease.

Geoff, what do you reckon about Beck's pepper spots?

24/07/2012 at 10:26

I always bow to you superiors knowledge on this subject-but I would have thought leaf scorch from water droplets-the peppers look healthy enough to me

If you grow something outside not so susceptible to disease?

I think it is unlikely that you will actually see a red spider mite

24/07/2012 at 10:49

I'm not sure it was a spider mite Geoff. It was tiny and orange colour, no wings, but only the one, and nothing underneath, but I flicked it off.

Sometimes Jess waters the plants, and although I stress to her not to get water on the leaves, she does sometimes get them. They also only appeared after they went outdoors. They were inside up until 2 weeks ago. All of the plants were. So don't know.

24/07/2012 at 10:55

My look on this is always don't panic-plants are a lot stronger than we think-they are like children they want to perform for you and most of the time grow out of it-the real nuisances are blights once they get a hold then there is not a lot you can do

If you saw it and flicked it it wasn't a mite.

Do what the PM does-chillax

24/07/2012 at 11:08

Oh, I can do that!

24/07/2012 at 11:35

I have just noticed that some of the dahlia leaves have the same pigmentation as your peppers-convinces me even more it a water-drop or weather related problem rather than a disease

24/07/2012 at 13:15

Cool. Just my toms that are sick then!

24/07/2012 at 13:17

That's why I was wondering about insects. The spots don't look disease-related. Maybe scorch from droplets of water when the leaves weren't fully adjusted to the outdoors.

24/07/2012 at 13:18
Insomnia1973 wrote (see)

Cool. Just my toms that are sick then!

That's why I'd keep as much space between the lot of them as possible.

24/07/2012 at 13:20

I have. Took your advice and they are all spaced out now, well away from each other.

28/07/2012 at 20:54

Italophile - Just how good is your knowledge of tomato plants? And can I test it? LOL When I sowed my seeds, I did 2 varieties, Alicante and Cerise Cherry tomatoes. When I repotted all the seedlings up, I did the ultimate beginner mistake, and never labelled them. From the pictures I put up on page 3 of this thread, can you tell which variety I have left? I have tried googling both varieties to compare, but just can't tell! I also am not sure what a truss is. (I have a bad feeling I pinched them off with side shoots this morning). have you a picture of a baby truss by any chance?

Sorry to be a pain.


28/07/2012 at 21:08

Just as a reminder, I just took some pics.


29/07/2012 at 12:54
Becks, it's just about impossible to tell varieties apart at this stage unless you have different leaf types involved - eg, a potato-leaf variety. It's a case of wait and see. Still, a valuable reminder! Always label! I also make it a practice to trim my nails before sowing different varieties. You'd be amazed how a seed can get caught under a nail and end up in the next lot of mix with very puzzling results a few months later.

A truss is just a cluster of flowers, miniscule when they first appear. You'll know one when you see one. Most cherry varieties have clusters of around half a dozen flowers either in a clump or a line. Some non-cherry varieties produce flow
ers singly.
29/07/2012 at 21:06

Yeah, I thought you were going to say that! I Googled them so much, but just couldn't tell. Oh well. That'll teach me to not bother labelling. Thanks for the reply.

30/07/2012 at 12:03

Becks, I'm back from a couple of days down in Umbria, I could only access this forum on the stupid little iPod.

I don't know either variety but hunting around the internet seems to indicate they both have large-ish, regular leaves. So leaf size isn't going to help. You'll know the difference as soon as the flowers start to develop, though.

Alicante looks like its clusters are in clumps of up to half a dozen flowers, but pretty much bunched together. Cerise Cherry, on the other hand, looks like its flowers develop in long strings of ten or twelve or more. Quite a traditional cherry tomato flower pattern. So very different cluster patterns that you will tell apart immediately.

I was down in Umbria helping a friend deal with her tomatoes. I helped her set up the garden and I sow seeds for her, giving her the seedlings. I took some photos of flower clusters for you. Now these won't resemble yours in terms of the pattern in which they develop because hers are mainly beefsteak and medium-sized oblate varieties, but at least they will give you an idea:

EDIT. Having had another look at Alicante and Cerise Cherry on the internet, I would bet a very small amount of money that the CC's leaves are a bit larger than Alicante's.


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