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Latest posts by Italophile

Update on last year's tomato problems

Posted: 15/08/2014 at 08:19

OL, the plums are more prone to BER for some reason. No one knows why, probably something genetic. I've had them planted in the same bed as other varieties - identical soil, watering, everything - and they turn up with BER while the other varieties don't. That's not to say you shouldn't grow them. It doesn't affect the entire crop, it's just irritating.

I only grow heirlooms so that limits my recommendations. Send me a PM with your growing set up - conditions, etc - and I might have some appropriate varieties I can send you to try.

Update on last year's tomato problems

Posted: 14/08/2014 at 17:39

I think Dove is close to the market with the variety selection. There are many hybrid varieties that simply don't offer much taste. One of the first things to suffer when hybridising is flavour. I'd either seek out a hybrid known to have flavour or try some heirlooms. Heirlooms are no harder to grow, the production is sometimes variable, but even an average heirloom outstrips most hybrids for flavour. The great heirloom toms knock your taste socks off.

Pruning tomato vines

Posted: 14/08/2014 at 11:01

Yes, remove the side shoots of indeterminates. They will develop into growing tips and, as a rule of thumb, you restrict indeterminates to two growing tips per plant.

And, yes, toms don't need direct sunlight to ripen. Otherwise why do they ripen when you take them inside? Temperature controls ripening, not direct sunlight.

That said, there are times when it's a good idea to thin out some of the healthy foliage in the cause of air circulation as a help against fungal problems. Fungal spores love a mass of impenetrable foliage. You just have to be judicious with your pruning. 

Ripening tomatoes and chillies

Posted: 13/08/2014 at 08:00

It's down to temperatures, Jason. Optimum temps for toms to ripen is low-20sC+. Overnight temps should be factored in too. Lower the temp, the longer they will take. There comes a point where it will be consistently warmer inside than outside. That's when to take them inside. 

tomato plants in containers all going pale

Posted: 09/08/2014 at 08:10

Patience indeed. The fruit doesn't need direct sunlight to ripen either, rm. Temperature is the key. Optimum is low-20sC and above. The lower the regular temps below that, the longer they will take.

tomato plants in containers all going pale

Posted: 09/08/2014 at 08:00

rm, are they in pots or in the ground? Either way, it's highly unlikely the leaves have turned yellow because they haven't been fed for a couple of weeks. You always get yellowing leaves as they season goes on, particularly lower leaves. They're the oldest, they get tired, they can pick up disease. 

The fruit will ripen if you get sufficiently warm temps.

tomato plants in containers all going pale

Posted: 09/08/2014 at 06:59

In addition, you need to be careful using garden soil - even with rotted manure - in containers. It can compact over time with watering. 

can i top my chillie and pepper plants?

Posted: 08/08/2014 at 08:39

Do you want to keep them a manageable height under the lights? The problem with restricting non-bush variety plants is that you also restrict your potential crop.

Pepper problem

Posted: 08/08/2014 at 08:32

It looks like a fungal problem. How do the leaves look?

Tomato problems!!

Posted: 08/08/2014 at 08:12

pete, if you can't upload a photo you'll have to be a bit more specific. The leaves wither and die? How many? Right across the plant or mainly lower leaves? Are there are any other leaf symptoms before they wither and die?

Keep up the good work, Verdun. 

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