London (change)
Today 7°C / 3°C
Tomorrow 8°C / 7°C


Latest posts by Italophile

tomato plants

Posted: 10/05/2012 at 18:13

Can you give us a little more detail on the mottling? Are there identifiable spots? More detail will give us a better clue.

Curly leaves on tomato plants...

Posted: 10/05/2012 at 06:48
Giles Buist wrote (see)

Hi All, I too am seeing the leaves on my tomato and chilli plants curl. I can see a variety of possible reasons suggested above and may try to think of a way to test for each with the 3 mature plants that are doing it. But have also provided some pictures below, in case anyone is able to help me pinpoint the cause. As a bit more background, all three of the taller tomato plants I purchased from a garden centre, though I am starting to see some signs of curl on my grown from seed ones and am seeing it on some of my chilli plants all grown from seed. All plants have been sitting on a window sill temperatures probably 13c lowest, 18c average. On watering, it's my first time growing, reading lots of conflicting advice, had been keeping tomato plant soil very moist and chilli plant soil a lot less. I have been potting on regularly, I've checked for bugs and not found any. Any ideas welcome:


Giles, there is a lot of conflicting advice about watering. I can only say that, after 25 years of growing these critters, less is better. From what I can make out from the photos, the curling looks like too much moisture. Let the mix dry out between watering, and if the pots are sitting in saucers, empty excess water from the saucers. You could probably also do with some more daytime warmth if you can manage it.

There's a general tendency to pamper tomato plants. They don't need it. They're tough critters that will produce in the most surprising conditions. In fact, they're a plant that will thrive on a certain amount of neglect. If they're feeling a tad vulnerable, they will seek to reproduce themselves - by producing fruit. Pampered, they will never feel vulnerable.

You're on the right track with the chillies. Chillies and toms are grown exactly the same way. I'd apply your chilli method to your toms.


Posted: 09/05/2012 at 14:55

What would the overnight temp be in the greenhouse? The answer might be greenhouse during the day, somewhere inside and better protected overnight.

peas and frost

Posted: 09/05/2012 at 14:52

Almost a cross post!

peas and frost

Posted: 09/05/2012 at 14:51

Peas are remarkable plants. They cope amazingly with frost when young. In fact, better when they're younger than more mature.

Beans are an entirely different proposition. They're strictly warm weather creatures.


Posted: 09/05/2012 at 14:47

Chillies are very slow to start, but once they get going they catch up to toms quite quickly. Feed them with what you'll feed your toms - a fertiliser low in N, higher in P, and highest in K. But don't overfeed either. They both do best if made to struggle a little. By producing fruit they're effectively reproducing themselves and they will feel the need to reproduce if they sense they're struggling a bit. If they're stuffed full of fertiliser, they won't feel the need to reproduce. It's the same with watering. Much better to err on the lesser side (for the same reason as fertilising). You won't hurt them and they will produce better for you. Toms and chillies are very tough critters.

I'd leave the plant where it is during the day but maybe move it somewhere warmer overnight. Temperature consistency is important.

Self-seeded tomatoes

Posted: 09/05/2012 at 06:21

Crossing depends on proximity of the plants and the volume of insect life, the vehicles for the cross-pollination. Crossing actually isn't as common as some people think. I've had very very few crosses over the years, but if I'm saving seeds, I always bag the flowers prior to their opening just to be on the safe side.

Anyways, with Marmande and Cuor di Bue as possible candidates, you'll know very quickly whether you have a cross. A beefsteak and an ox-heart both dwarf a Gardener's Delight so a cross would likely produce some big Gardener's Delights!

Horse poo

Posted: 08/05/2012 at 17:40

Yes, that's one of the potential downsides of animal poo. If you can compost it when fresh, really get the temperature up, you can kill off a lot of the seeds.

Horse poo

Posted: 08/05/2012 at 13:17

Yes, fresh manure can and will burn plants and their roots if they come in contact. You'd only ever want to dig in fresh manure in autummn to be left to overwinter and break down.

Horse poo tea is good stuff. The only time I made it I left it to steep for about ten days. Very pongy I have to tell you!

Self-seeded tomatoes

Posted: 08/05/2012 at 08:18
chilli lover wrote (see)

Sorry if this is a dumb question but is there any merit in potting up the self-seeded tomatoes in my greenhouse bed? They are such vigourous little plants! thanks

If they're Gardener's Delight, as you say, pot them up by all means. They should be heirlooms, they should produce true to type. Did you have other varieties growing alongside them last season? If so, and a cross occurred, you'll get a version of the original from these plants. If you've got the growing space, it never hurts to find out!

Discussions started by Italophile

Italophile has not started any discussions