Latest posts by Italophile

Saving tom seeds...

Posted: 12/10/2012 at 07:25
Zoomer44 wrote (see)

and am now looking for a recipe to do a yellow relish.       



Zoomer, here's my recipe for relish. I grow a yellow French heirloom variety called Jaune Negib 'specially for it but it works for toms of any colour.

Per roughly 2kg of toms:

The toms, coarsely chopped. I leave the skins on for texture.

A couple of cups of chopped onions.

Ditto seeded and cored capsicums.

Combine the chopped veg in a baking dish or similar large enough to spread out the veg. Salt well, stir well, cover with plastic wrap and leave overnight.

Next day, drain off the liquid the veg has shed. Put them into a pot, add enough malt vinegar just to cover them. Bring to the boil and simmer till the onion and capsicum are cooked.

Add 400g sugar and simmer, stirring, till it dissolves. Add 1 tbsp of salt and spices of your choice. I use 1 tbsp of curry powder, 1 tbsp mustard powder, a dash of tumeric and some cayenne powder.

Simmer till it reduces to the consistency you want, then taste and adjust seasonings if need be.

Then bottle in sterilised jars.

It's good stuff.


Saving tom seeds...

Posted: 12/10/2012 at 07:07
Zoomer44 wrote (see)


I've found each year seems to throw up different challenges, last year it was BER, red, yellow pear and the cherry varieties I grew seemed the only one's affected and these were grown in pots. It was put down to irregular watering and that some varieties are susceptible to BER.


You got BER on cherries? That's unusual. The pear-shaped varieties are certainly prone to it, though. No one knows why.

Saving tom seeds...

Posted: 12/10/2012 at 07:04
Dovefromabove wrote (see)

As you know Italophile, half of my outdoor Marmande plants showed clear signs of what appeared to be Late Blight in mid July - by removing every affected leaflet as soon as the infection showed (inspecting 3 times per day), and moving the affected plants to another part of the garden away from all other tomato plants, the affected plants continued to grow and fruit and the infection did not spread. 


I'll go to my grave wondering what that problem was. It looked like classic LB, especially that water-soaked leaf. But, anyway, well done. You proved that fungal issues don't need to mean panic and yanking the plants. Judicious housekeeping will see a normal crop. And "blight-resistant" toms are another money-maker for the plant companies.

Saving tom seeds...

Posted: 11/10/2012 at 15:39

Greenhouses offer no protection against fungal diseases. In fact, even with ventilation the relatively closed environment can be an incubator. There are also fungal diseases specific to greenhouses, rarely if ever seen outdoors. There's really no avoiding fungal problems. The spores are airborne, they're everywhere in the air, and all you can do is try to minimise their impact by either preventive spraying or judicious housekeeping.

Blight-resistant varieties are a bit of a misnomer. They've become popular marketing devices. Unless you're hit with the destructive Late Blight, most of the everyday fungal problems don't destroy tomato plants. Providing you take some care - removing affected foliage as soon as infection appears, etc - a plant will usually live a normal productive life.

Saving tom seeds...

Posted: 11/10/2012 at 11:48

Why not try some pure (heirloom) varieties? The good ones taste better than most hybrids because the first thing to suffer in the hybridising process is flavour. Understandable because you're mixing two - and often more - different gene pools.

All tom varieties will grow both outdoors and in greenhouses. Greenhouses only come into play for climate reasons. Toms need as much warmth - and sunlight - as they can get and greenhouses are sometimes the only way to achieve and maintain the necessary warmth.

How long is your growing season? By which I mean, what are your best summer temps and how long do they last?

Saving tom seeds...

Posted: 11/10/2012 at 10:45

There probably won't be a discernible difference in taste in the first generation. As to the variations, it depends how many varieties were involved in the original hybridising and what they were. Similar varieties, hybridised, won't throw huge differences when de-hybridised. There can be anything from two to half a dozen varieties used when hybridising. Obviously, the more the varieties, the larger the gene pool that will eventually unravel.

I know a few growers - with too much time on their hands - who love to try to dehybridise hybrids to try to determine the original parents. They spend years at it.

Saving tom seeds...

Posted: 11/10/2012 at 10:05

Ferline is a hybrid variety. Saved seeds won't produce fruit 100% true to the parent. The first generation will produce similar fruit, subsequent generations from saved seeds will produce more variations of the varieties used in the hybridising as the gene pool starts to unravel. To produce fruit 100% true to the parent plant you need to save seeds from pure (heirloom) varieties.

Saving tom seeds...

Posted: 10/10/2012 at 07:12

Good going, Zoomer. A guaranteed way for the seeds not to stick when they're drying is to use unbleached cone coffee filters. I use the Melitta brand. They absorb the moisture in a flash and don't cling onto the seeds.

citrus plants

Posted: 09/10/2012 at 16:29

Very interesting. Citrus usually need a relatively high nitrogen component, much more than tomatoes.


Posted: 09/10/2012 at 16:26
nodlisab wrote (see)

I have ripened mine in a propagator, a lot of people on hear said it couldnt be done. I put them on a rack so they were not in contact with the base and they have all ripened nicely.

A propagator would provide all the warmth the toms need to ripen. You only need to be careful of the temperatures and the chances of "cooking" the toms. Keeping the toms off the base was a very good idea to avoid bruising.

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