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Fairygirl

I've had a thought- since so many people have queries about tomatoes- the most popular edible I think- how about starting a 'proper thread' just for that alone? Many people struggle with all the conflicting info so perhaps one 'tomato' thread would be helpful. 

Italophile

Good idea, Fairygirl, but you'd have to keep the thread towards the top. Otherwise people will miss it and post individual threads as happens now.

Italophile

If only it were ... if only it were ...

Rainwater Fanatic

I have 8 Toms in pots this year and am using rainwater on 4 and tap water on the other half to see if there will be any difference at all in their performance. It is hardly laboratory conditions but I am curious. I clearly have a bit too much time on my hands.

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Italophile

No, RT, it's a very interesting test. Here in Italy, with the peninsula basically a giant piece of limestone, the tap water is massively alkaline. Over the course of the tom growing season, tap water can and will sweeten the soil to an extent that toms don't appreciate. It's something I always have to keep in mind.

Have you ever tested the pH of your tap water?

Rainwater Fanatic

I haven't tested the tap water but probably should do. I suspect that a combination of PH, nutrients, ambient water temp etc may have all have something to do with the outcome. Most people would probably agree that rainwater is better than tap water and I am curious to see what the actually differences will be. Better growth? More crops? Better diease resistence? Better taste?

I am doing the same with sweet pepper and cucumbers as well.

It is all very amateur, as there is only so much that can be done in a Sussex back garden.

Italophile

It will also depend what else might have been introduced into the tap water by various authorities. When I lived in Sydney, after outbreaks of giardia, the authorities loaded the water with chlorine and other things. Not only undrinkable but virtually poisonous in the garden.

Rainwater Fanatic

Our long term weather forecast is pretty unsettled and so those of us growing Toms outdoors may be struggling unless things change. Do you get blight in Italy, Italophile? I suspect less so with the warmer conditions.

Italophile

It's certainly a lot warmer here but also, crucially, it's a pretty dry heat. I still get fungal problems. They're unavoidable. The spores are everywhere in the air. The drier heat, though, helps against the problems multiplying. Humidity is the spores' friend. Back in Sydney, summer temps would sit in the low-mid 30s but the humidity would hit 80+%. A fungal nightmare.

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