Latest posts by Bf206

Growing tomatoes

Posted: 01/03/2015 at 09:55

Hmm, I really need to get my tomatoes started. Problem is, we're currently selling our house and my wife really doesn't like the idea of trays of compost lying around in our sunnier spots inside!!!

Starting tomatoes indoors

Posted: 18/01/2015 at 08:58
Thanks all! V helpful. Will definitely leave another month or so... Still haven't decided what varieties to try this year, after all.

Starting tomatoes indoors

Posted: 11/01/2015 at 19:07

So, when do people start their tomatoes from seed indoors? I generally put them in seed trays and leave them lying around inside - annoying mrs bf... I've got a coldframe outside but no greenhouse so I generally just use that for hardening off.

I waited till late March last year for sowing but I felt in hindsight that was too late and meant they missed out on a pretty warm spring - if they'd been further along, they could have gone out earlier. Last frost here in SE London was in January!

Reason I started them late though was because in 2013, I started them at the end of Jan and had to keep some pretty large seedings indoors until about mid-June as spring was so cold with lots of frosts! They were looking pretty unhealthy and light-starved - but took off and recovered well once outside.

So, maybe this year I split the difference and go for February!?

Swiss Chard

Posted: 10/01/2015 at 10:33
I've got some seeds which I'm tempted to try this year. What puts me off is leaf miners. They've always ravaged my beet leaves which matters less with beets but presumably is pretty crucial with chard!

Last year with my beets, I did religiously pick off the white larvae on an almost daily basis which I guess is the only way?

Discoloured skin n outdoor grown tomatoes

Posted: 14/09/2014 at 18:14

For those blight survivors out there... all my toms are in pots but I guess i now need to clean those before using them next year - washing up liquid ok? The only other thing is that all the pots stand in the side return, partly on a gravelled strip. That strip often gets weeds in it but some of the blighted toms have dropped in... should I get something to treat that gravel with as well as could spores live in that over the winter? I'll be putting tomatoes in the same spot next year - haven't got much choice.

Discoloured skin n outdoor grown tomatoes

Posted: 11/09/2014 at 19:12

Can I throw my plants into the mix too?!

I got back from hols 10 days ago and saw a couple of my 15 plants with what I was pretty sure was late blight. I (possibly wrongly!) didn't just decide to cut my losses and instead set about removing anything that looked infected on those plants and pretty much stripped the rest of the plants of their leaves too. I know I probably should have taken off any remaining green fruit too but, well, work and laziness conspired with a bit of curiosity as to what would happen...

So, fruits have continued to ripen, mostly healthily and taste nice! But the odd truss has a bad fruit or two on it, which I've been picking off. Now about half of the plants have dark lesions on the stems and some of the trusses have gone brown and fragile - to the point that unripe (but apparently unaffeced) fruit drops off them. Some trusses and whole plants look completely healthy.



I guess this is late blight? The only thing that now makes me doubt it is the fact that all the plants are still alive! Well apart from the horrible looking stem patches and the odd diseased fruit...

I suppose I should still strip all remaining fruit and bin the plants? Sigh. Maybe at the weekend. If the kids let me.





Posted: 09/09/2014 at 11:54

I usually autumn-sow garlic, although this harvest was badly affected by onion fly / maggots.

I thought this / next year I'd try planting cloves in modules rather than directly into the soil. That way I can treat the bed with nematodes and hopefully by spring there won't be any maggots left.

What are people's experience though with module-sown garlic? thank you!

I will/I won't grow that again

Posted: 07/09/2014 at 12:46

i definitely won't be growing marigolds either! have taken over!

I will/I won't grow that again

Posted: 07/09/2014 at 12:45

I found even three courgette plants is a lot! and that trying to save space by using a climbing variety doesn't work. only scaffolding would have kept them upright!

not sure i'll try brassicas again next year. caterpillars have been the bane of my sprouts in particular...

was disappointed with autumn sowings of broad beans and peas. the former grew v well but seemed a small crop considering size / health of plants. the peas got done by snails i think.

on the tomato front, i tried lots of different varities this year - sweet aperitif, katiebell, lizziebell... but two varieties from last year (black cherry and sungold) def still the winners and will grow again next time.

Tomato problems

Posted: 04/09/2014 at 13:46
So, having worried a few weeks ago about blight - when it was rightly pointed out that instead my toms had suffered hail damage - I have unquestionably found some blight this time!

I get the free alerts from Blight Watch and for the first time this year got an alert at the end of last week. Sure enough, yesterday I found two of my plants with a 'scorched' appearance across fruit and stems, wet sunken patches on leaves etc.

I salvaged what fruit I could from those plants and then binned them. I've now given the rest of the plants I have a close inspection. Probably half of them have the odd shrivelled brown fruit and some dark patches on the stem - but otherwise those plants look healthy. So I've stripped off most of the leaves, thrown away any affected fruits and am now hoping for the best.

As it is, in SE England where I am, the extended weather forecast seems good, no rain on the horizon at all. Does what I've done above sound ok therefore? Or do I still risk the blight spreading and should cut my losses and pick everything?

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