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Latest posts by Italophile

Tomato leaf problems - help

Posted: 13/07/2012 at 08:50

Lack of sunlight will certainly hinder their development. To perform at their absolute best, tomato plants need 6 to 8 hours a day of sunlight. They will perform - produce - with less but the performance drops as the hours do.

Passion fruit?

Posted: 12/07/2012 at 10:55

Exactly the question I asked one of the locals here when I was thinking of planting one. They won't hurt you, she said, but they're not very nice. I planted a vine. In the ground. And regretted it. It took over, not only spreading like the plague, but also popping up out of the ground up to 20 yards away. I thought I'd dug all of it out last year. This year it's raring its head again.

Never again in the ground. In a container, perhaps, because the flowers are lovely.

Tomato leaf problems - help

Posted: 11/07/2012 at 12:42

The bottom line with feeding toms is that that they're not "hungry" plants. You'll see it said around the internet that they are but it's more of the misinformation that floats around the ether.

Container plants need more food than plants in the ground for an obvious reason. Every time you water a container plant you leach out some of the nutrients. They dribble out the drainage hole in the bottom of the container with the excess water. They need to be replenished.

The same doesn't apply to plants growing outdoors in limitless soil. Those nutrients stay in the soil - not forever, obviously, but they're present for the roots to access until they're exhausted and that can take months. Bearing in mind, also, that decent soil has a whole nutrient supply of its own to offer the plant.

So given that toms aren't "hungry" in the first place, you could safely feed container plants maybe once a month. Certainly not once a week. The roots would barely get a rest from the nutrients before more arrive. The plant doesn't need that, and, ultimately, it does more harm than good. There's an old tomato adage that more toms are killed by over-feeding than by neglect.

Most serious growers only feed their outdoor toms three times in a season. First, a week or so after planting; second, when the first fruit starts to set; third, late in the season to replenish the soil for the plants that are, by then, starting to tire. This presupposes decent soil in the first place and yours is more than decent.

Only you can determine, by observation, the container plants' water needs. Were the plants showing any signs of distress? Had the mix dried out completely? Anyway, four days sounds reasonable and far preferable to every day. A "good soak" means exactly that. Saturating a dry - not still damp - mix until water trickles out the bottom of the container.

One of the advantages of growing toms outdoors in the garden is that you can drive the roots down deep into the soil - both away from the warmth/heat of the surface, and deep enough to access the soil's inherent goodness. Infrequent but very deep watering is the way to go outside. I'm now watering mine - about 10 hours a day of baking Tuscan sun peaking in the high-30sC - very very deeply every three days.

You'd have to have the crook leaves tested to determine exactly what happened. Plants weakened in any way - by a deficiency, by over-feeding or over-watering - are more vulnerable to disease than plants healthy in themselves. As in humans, lowered resistance is an invitation to disease.

My guess is that the over-feeding and over-watering, combined with a possible deficiency, left the plant vulnerable to a disease that's very very common in greenhouses. You're heading in the right direction in terms of working against it happening again.



Chillies problem

Posted: 11/07/2012 at 07:38

Cut back on the watering. Like tomatoes, chillies react against too much water. Curling of the top leaves is a classic symptom. Let the mix in the container dry out between waterings.

Passion Fruit Vine

Posted: 11/07/2012 at 07:35

It's probably unlikely that the slugs and snails killed the plant. If you haven't already disposed of the brown stick, pull it up and have a look at the roots.

Is/was it a passion fruit vine or passion flower vine?

Talkback: How to collect and save seeds

Posted: 10/07/2012 at 13:14

can i take the seeds out of a pepper and grow them

Yes, but the peppers they produce will depend on whether the parent fruit is a hybrid or pure variety. If a hybrid, you will end up with a version of the parent fruit. If a pure variety, provided it wasn't cross-pollinated, you will end up with the same fruit.

Tomato leaf problems - help

Posted: 10/07/2012 at 13:09

Well, that's a good basic mix. It shouldn't lack magnesium in any way. Cutting back on the feeding - Tomorite is very high in potassium, which can thwart the take-up of magnesium, as Dove suggested - should be a big help.

Toms outdoors in the ground are less prone to these sorts of nutrient conflicts - though not immune to them - because the roots, in the ground, can effectively find what they need somewhere in the soil around them. Roots in containers are trapped and can only access whatever you give them. On top which there's the problem of nurtients leaching from the mix with every watering.

That said, there's also a leaf mould problem, and that is greenhouse-specific. It's why the outdoor plants are fine. I think you probably ran into a perfect storm of fungus and nutrient deficiency, Gard.



Tomato leaf problems - help

Posted: 10/07/2012 at 09:42

That's why I think the problem has been as much disease as deficiency. Or in fact more disease than deficiency. If it were more deficiency, all the plants in the same compost should suffer the same problem.

Out of interest, could you post that recipe you used for the home-made mix?

ES is usually applied as a foliar spray. The leaves absorb the ES, a faster-acting process than going via the roots, whereby the roots first have to absorb the product before distributing it. Mix up 20g ES/litre of water and spray once a day for a week or 10 days and see how things look.

Is my Lavender dying

Posted: 10/07/2012 at 06:52
NEWBY2012 wrote (see)

Does anybody know what causes cuckoo spit as it keeps appearing on my lavender is there a way of getting rid of it


Quickest way to get rid of it is either by hand or with a blast from the hose.

Tomato leaf problems - help

Posted: 10/07/2012 at 06:02

It's been a fascinating couple of days, Gard. A good garden mystery is always fun - except when you're on the receiving end!

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