Latest posts by Italophile

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First time seed grower !!

Posted: 26/04/2016 at 18:35

Don't feed them until they're planted out and the first trusses of fruit are forming. And don't overfeed them beyond that point. Toms thrive on controlled neglect. If they're in the ground, they don't need more than a couple of feeds in their lives. If in pots, no more than once a month.

Transplanting Delay = Stunted Tomatoes, Or?

Posted: 23/04/2016 at 11:51

Toms, from their earliest days, are best left to their own devices as much as possible. They're tough critters, very tough, and will always respond best when treated that way. Tom plants producing fruit are only doing what nature dictates - seeking to reproduce themselves before they expire. Overfeed and overwater them and you bloat them with nutrition and moisture, conditions not conducive to forcing them to reproduce themselves.

Transplanting Delay = Stunted Tomatoes, Or?

Posted: 21/04/2016 at 08:05

As above, they will be fine in decent growing conditions. Don't be tempted to try to help them catch up via feeding them. Toms thrive on controlled neglect.

sulpher tonic

Posted: 19/04/2016 at 07:48

Verdun is right, best to test the pH level first. It's very difficult to lower the pH in a soil that is naturally very alkaline. To keep it low, that is. Anything you do might have a short-term impact but the effect will pass, particularly if you use anything water-based, because it will leach out very quickly.

First time seed grower !!

Posted: 18/04/2016 at 07:59

Temperature is a little less important post-germination, relatively speaking; bright light - preferably sunlight - is the key. They will cope with temps in the teens C. I put my seedlings in a crate, wrap it completely in bubble wrap, and put them outside during the day even with temps in single figures. The bubble wrap soon creates warmth. In fact, on a sunny day, I have to watch they don't overheat. Bring them inside at night.

Most important of all, DON'T overwater them. Make sure the pots are well drained and let the mix dry out between watering.

Soil fertiliser?

Posted: 12/04/2016 at 08:25

Do you have access to compost? That would be a start. Access to aged, well-rotted manure of any sort would also be a huge help. But it has to be well-rotted, not fresh. Neither will add a huge amount of nutrients to the soil but they will aid things like worm and healthy bacteria activity which are very important. If you don't have direct access to manure, have a look around a good garden centre for bags of things like mushroom compost.

If everything grew well last season, the soil is obviously still healthy.

Re posting a photo. In the panel across the top of the posting box you should see a symbol of a tree, second last symbol from the right hand side. That's where you start. Then just follow the instructions.


Growing tomatoes from seed

Posted: 08/04/2016 at 08:13
paul honnor wrote (see)

One thing that does worry me is that I'm on holiday for a week at the start of May, by then I expect to have repotted into larger pots but not sure how I'm going to keep them hydrated, thinking I may put some water in the bath and stand the pots in them, any ideas? Cheers

No, don't stand them in water. Never stand toms in water no matter their stage of development. The roots will become waterlogged which can spell disaster. If they're mature enough to have been repotted, they will cope without you. Put them outside in a protected spot where they will get either morning or afternoon sun. Water them well before you go. They will be fine.

Help! Aphids on my chilli seedlings

Posted: 06/04/2016 at 11:34

It will be fine. You only need to be careful of spraying when direct, hot sun is around. Which probably isn't the case just yet.

Help! Aphids on my chilli seedlings

Posted: 05/04/2016 at 12:19

A garlic or chilli spray will knock over the aphids. You have to hit them with it, there is no residual effect. There are recipes for both all over the internet. It won't hurt the seedlings provided you spray sensibly.

What's the secret to raising strong tomato plants?

Posted: 20/03/2016 at 10:21

Whenever you transplant, either first transplant from the propagator or later planting out to wherever they're going to grow, bury them to the point where the top leaves virtually sit on the surface of the soil. By the time you're planting out, there will be baby branches and foliage up the main stem. Nip them off cleanly, all the way up to the canopy foliage, and plant with the canopy almost sitting on the soil. All of the main stem that is buried will develop into root stock.

Tomato plants are very tough critters, more are killed by pampering than neglect. They thrive on controlled neglect. Stuff them with water and fertiliser at your peril.

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