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Latest posts by Italophile


Posted: 06/08/2012 at 16:14

Toms are self-pollinating but you can always give them a help along by brushing the flowers with your hand or giving them a flick at the back with your fingers. A friend of mine used to use an electric toothbrush. By disturbing the pollen inside you increase the chances of it hitting the right spot.

Bacterial Spot will attack tom flowers but the major cause of flower failure is lack of pollination. Temps too high or too low or too much humidity can all impact.


Posted: 06/08/2012 at 15:29

Bobnmal, you might find you'll get more toms with less fertiliser. Toms aren't naturally big feeders, in fact they tend to produce more if they're left to struggle that little bit. They will feel the need to reproduce - ie, produce fruit. Overfeeding can also leave plants vulnerable to disease.


Posted: 06/08/2012 at 14:25

I wouldn't bother with baking soda. It's been claimed to work as a fungicide but the evidence is anecdotal at best. There's no scientific basis for it. If you're going to spray, use that Bayer product, spraying every leaf and on both sides. Otherwise just remove the affected foliage. You just have to be careful not to denude the plant. It needs foliage for photosynthesis.

Flowers will shrivel and die if they're not pollinated. It's normal. In extremely hot weather, as I have at the moment, they don't even get to get to bloom. They just frizzle up and die.



Posted: 06/08/2012 at 13:06

Exactly. Nitrogen-rich fertiliser, in particular, will give you tons of leaves and not much else. Stop feeding altogether and see what happens.


Posted: 06/08/2012 at 13:04

There's evidence of fungal infection on a couple of the leaves but it's not bad. You've already removed the more affected foliage so you're winning at this stage.

Some toms develop blemishes, a physiological thing. But I still think some sort of critter has been at work. It's certainly not a caterpillar, they leave holes you can stick your finger into. The black edge amounts to a bit of infection. At worst you'll probably have to slice out that little bit of fruit after harvest. If you have enough fruit to spare, and you're curious, you could sacrifice one of the toms, cut it open and see exactly what's inside if anything.

But, on the bright side, you don't have Blossom End Rot, the curse of those sorts of varieties!

Tomato blight

Posted: 06/08/2012 at 12:51

Janiesings, you posted the same in the other tomato thread and I replied, here:

Curling tomato foliage

Posted: 06/08/2012 at 06:46

Yes, they can react to cool weather too. How often are you watering? I'd knock off the watering completely for a while to see what happens. The plants won't suffer if the weather is cool.


Posted: 06/08/2012 at 06:43

No, definitely not BER. The photo isn't terribly clear but you've probably had insect visitors. Have a good look around the foliage - both sides - at night with a torch.

Talkback: Tomato blight

Posted: 05/08/2012 at 14:44
Green Monkey wrote (see)
I have just had my first attempt at growing anything as we moved to a house with a garden- 30 tomato plants 3 different variety's all healthy and at least 4 foot high then over the space of 4 days the all died- the leaves went brown ,the stems started going brown and the fruit all started to get brown patches then completely covered so today I dug them all up and binned them. MY question is can I grow anything else in the same spot ? I have various chilli and pepper plants next to where the toms where growing and I still have 60 to plant out from the green house- A very gutted Green Monkey

Sounds ugly, Green Monkey. Condolences. Is this what they looked like?

If so, it was Late Blight. It's about the only disease I can think of that will demolish a plant within four days. It's exactly the same disease as Potato Blight.

I'll wait for confirmation - or otherwise - before suggesting action.

Talkback: Tomato blight

Posted: 05/08/2012 at 14:27
diggingdoris wrote (see)

I lost all my outdoor plants to blight last year, and someone told me I can;t grow toms in that patch for 7 years. Someone else said 5 years and another 3 years! Anyone know which advice I should follow? The link to the rhs site didn;t say either.

If it was a bona fide Blight - Early Blight, say - you can grow toms in the same spot again the next season. There will likely be fungal spores on the soil surface. Turn the soil over and bury them. I've done it many times. Fungal spores can't do any damage underground. When a new lot arrive next season - and they will, because they're everywhere, you can't avoid them - they will be airborne. They travel on any breeze.

If, on the other hand, you had one of the several tomato virus diseases, you wouldn't want to plant in the same spot again. The viral pathogens can live on in soil.

So if you're sure it was fungal, turn the soil over very well and happily plant away next season.

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