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Latest posts by Italophile

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!

Tomatos not growing well

Posted: 05/05/2012 at 07:59

Bottom heat won't help them any more than an appropriate ambient temperature. Temps in at least the high teens is what they need, but, more importantly, as much bright natural light as they can get.

My toms are all planted out now, but, a month or so ago, I had them in my small portable plastic greenhouse on the terrace during the day. It was sunny but cool, and even with the door open the plastic trapped enough warmth to satisfy them. The light, though, was the key. They boomed. I brought them inside overnight.

Peppers simply take longer than toms in every way, shape and form. With the toms already planted out, my peppers - germinated at exactly the same time - are still only about 2 inches high.

what should i do

Posted: 04/05/2012 at 11:06

I'd separate them prior to planting.


Posted: 03/05/2012 at 07:10

Mid-April is only a couple of weeks ago. I grow Amsterdam Forcing, a very early variety, and they take 10 days to two weeks to germinate. If you followed all the instructions, I'd give them a bit longer.

tomato growing

Posted: 30/04/2012 at 08:13

The simple answer is yes provided the soil gets a good refresh. I've been growing toms in the same patch for eons with a good refresh of the soil each year. Toms are less likely to be bothered by pests in the soil than by, for example, fungal spores that might have fallen onto the soil from last year's leaves, or some of the viruses that can live on in soil. Fungal spores that remain on the soil surface from last year can splash back up onto the leaves when watering this year, but spores that are effectively buried when the soil is refreshed are no longer a problem. If last year's plants were virus-free, you should be fine this year. If, though, any of the viruses were to turn up, you'd need to rethink the location.

tomato plants

Posted: 29/04/2012 at 17:49

And geoff is right. Baby plants shouldn't be fed. Let them develop their strength unaided.

tomato plants

Posted: 29/04/2012 at 17:47
samshoward wrote (see)

they are in my hall near a window so they are not too cold, I didn't think they were too wet but I will hold off on the watering and hopefuly save the rest of them, I am watering them the same as the other varieties but maybe they don't need so much.

Toms' water requirements don't vary according to varieties. It's always best to let the mix dry out completely between waterings. It won't hurt baby toms in the slightest; in fact, it will do them good. They shouldn't be pampered.

If the strugglers and the ones that are fine have identical conditions, the ones that are struggling might well have suffered a setback of some sort earlier in their short lives.

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