Latest posts by Italophile

Nettle feed for tomatoes

Posted: 23/07/2015 at 10:08

It usually takes 3 weeks to a month. You'll tell when it's ready by the stench. It's high in nitrogen so not the best fertiliser for toms.

You need to dilute the finished product too. 10:1.

Topping off tomato & no. of trusses?

Posted: 23/07/2015 at 07:06

Depends on the variety. What's the variety, plumtastic? For starters, I'd get the plant into a bigger container.

Help needed to solve tomato problem.

Posted: 22/07/2015 at 12:14

Russell, disease can affect one plant and not another. Or take time to spread anyway. I only suggest it because I'm not sure either why a Mg deficiency would affect one and not the other in identical conditions. I haven't known many toms to be bigger feeders than others. Toms aren't big feeders anyway. All they need is the basic essentials.

There's always the possibility of the tom phenomenon known as "who the heck knows!" Weird and wonderful and apparently inexplicable things can happen to toms.

Help needed to solve tomato problem.

Posted: 22/07/2015 at 10:21

Any chance of a photo, Russell? With identical growing conditions, I'd be surprised if it's a magnesium deficiency in one plant alone. My hunch would be disease, but have to see the problem.

Tomato Black Russian?

Posted: 22/07/2015 at 07:13

I have to tie up individual branches - and sometimes even trusses - with some of my larger beefsteaks.

Topping off tomato & no. of trusses?

Posted: 21/07/2015 at 08:14

Meomye, you can leave the fruit on the plants until either (a) they ripen; or (b) the temperatures drop to the point where it's warmer inside than outside. Optimum temps for ripening are low-20s and above. Lower the temp, the longer they will take.

You also need to factor in overnight temps. Once the daytime temp gets down into the low teens - with even lower overnight temps - they will probably ripen quicker inside. Bear in mind that toms don't need direct sunlight to ripen. It's all down to temperature.

Fruit that is still solid dark green will take a long time to ripen inside. Fruit that has started its transition to a lighter green can - provided it's warm enough inside - take about the same time it would have outside on the plant.

Tomato Black Russian?

Posted: 21/07/2015 at 08:05

Hi Barbara. Black Russian is one of the many, many "black" varieties. Not to be confused with Russian Black, a smaller variety. The "black" varieties - they're not really black - originated in and around Crimea. Hence the variety Black Krim, basically Crimean Black.

There are so many "black" varieties, with many almost indistinguishable from each other, that a number of tom afficionados think that their boom in popularity a few years ago led to the re-naming of established varieties to cash in. 

They're not my favourite tom. I find the taste a bit thin and harsh.

Are these edible? What are they?

Posted: 21/07/2015 at 07:51

Me too.

Topping off tomato & no. of trusses?

Posted: 18/07/2015 at 07:21

It's a good point about working out how much of the fruit will actually make it to maturity. Unless you're keen to try out your green tomato recipes, you're better off letting the plant concentrate its energies on the fruit that will mature. It means knowing your growing season, calculating roughly when your temps are going to drop below a viable level.

As a rule of thumb, a tom that is just starting to change colour from its dark green to a paler green will take, under average conditions, another 3 or 4 weeks to mature. 

Blosson end rot on my tomatoes?

Posted: 17/07/2015 at 08:08

pansyface is right, plum varieties are more prone to BER than others. No one knows why. I've had them in the ground alongside other varieties, identical growing conditions and watering, the plums can be riddled with BER while the other varieties are clean. Very frustrating if you like growing plums.

That aside, BER is caused by plant stress, the stress interfering with the plant's internal mechanisms that deliver calcium to the fruit. Years ago it was believed to be insufficient calcium in the soil but science eventually put that to rest. Yet you still see and hear the myth perpetuated.

Plant stress can be caused by any number of things, irregular watering only one of them. Sometimes it's impossible to identify the cause. I have a beefsteak variety in the ground, one of 16 plants growing side-by-side in identical conditions. The plant has tossed up half a dozen fruit with BER, the other 15 plants none. I've grown the variety before without a hint of BER. Go figure.

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