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Latest posts by Italophile


Posted: 22/06/2014 at 00:59

In simple terms, the tomato flower contains both the anther and stigma - the male and female organs. It only requires some sort of movement of the flower - a foraging insect, a flick with the fingers, etc - to trigger the release of the pollen from the anther. If sufficient pollen is taken up by the stigma, you have fruit. If insufficient pollen is taken up by the stigma, or pollen isn't released by the anther, the flower doesn't produce fruit and will eventually shrivel up and drop.

Tom plants of different varieties adjacent to each other can cross-pollinate but the cross will only reveal itself in the next generation - ie, if you were to save seeds from the fruit that results from the cross this season and plant them next season. This season's fruit will be the variety you planted. It's the seeds inside that are crossed.

It's very hard to tell varieties apart in the early stages unless they are different leaf shapes - eg, potato leaf as against regular leaf. It's sometimes easier to differentiate between them later if you're familiar with growth habits, etc.

Tomato plant problem

Posted: 20/06/2014 at 23:47

Leaf curling is very common, usually the result of minor plant stress caused by temperature fluctuations or even under- or over-watering. It does no serious damage to the plant.

Tomato plants going yellow & dying

Posted: 12/06/2014 at 07:27

Epsom Salts is an age-old remedy for magnesium deficiency, Dan. Richard's peppers are doing well in the same soil so the problem is something specific to the tom plants.

Tomato plants going yellow & dying

Posted: 09/06/2014 at 19:14

Could be onto something, Dov.

Christopher, the peppers are okay in the same soil so it can't be a soil problem. 

Onion bulb gone soft

Posted: 09/06/2014 at 01:01

Had they started bulbing before the move? If so, I fear that's the problem. My one and only attempt to move onions was a failure.

Tomato plants going yellow & dying

Posted: 09/06/2014 at 00:55

Odd that the peppers are coping but the toms aren't. They're twins in terms of growing requirements. When you say they've gone yellow, have there been spots on the leaves? Has the yellowing been gradual or rapid? If the peppers weren't coping I'd be wondering whether the toms are getting sufficient ventilation, overheating perhaps.

Growing Tomatoes in Pots

Posted: 07/06/2014 at 23:13

Putting them in the shade is a good idea. If the pot is big enough they will cope without water for a week.

Growing Tomatoes in Pots

Posted: 06/06/2014 at 22:57

If the pots are big enough you don't need to keep the mix moist. You can let it dry out within reason. As long as the pattern is consistent. Blossom End Rot is more the result of irregular watering patterns than too little water.

And to answer the question. No, you've done no long-term harm. If they bounced back, they're fine. Toms are tough critters.

Growing Tomatoes in Pots

Posted: 01/06/2014 at 14:08

You wouldn't want more than one plant per 20 litre pot. Depth of the pot is important, too, if they need staking. Nothing worse than an unstable tomato stake. As I know to my cost.

Growing Tomatoes in Pots

Posted: 01/06/2014 at 11:39

Provided they're healthy, the spindly ones always eventually catch up. Given that, in your situation, I'd go for (a) the sturdiest that (b) are the darkest, healthiest green without any blemishes. Can you pass on the rejects to someone else to grow?

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