Latest posts by Italophile

What Toms and cucs are you growing?

Posted: 08/06/2015 at 08:00

Determinates typically produce one crop, usually at the same time. You struck it lucky. 

My toms in the ground this season:

Cherokee Chocolate
Cherokee Purple
Marianna's Peace
Brandywine OTV
Camp Joy
Anna Russian
Kellogg's Breakfast
Pink Gaetano
Jaune Negib

Lemon tree

Posted: 08/06/2015 at 07:56

Bf, they're much better off outside as soon as the weather allows. They will easily cope with temps in single figures, even low single figures. Mine go undercover from about November to early March.

They always shed leaves over the winter period, new ones appear in spring. It's part of the plant's natural regeneration process. I don't fertilise over winter when the plants are essentially dormant but I do keep an eye on the soil's moisture levels. Once they're outside and the weather is warming up, I fertilise roughly weekly. Like anything in containers, regular watering flushes out nutrients.

I've never found the need to prune much beyond taking off any dead, weak or crossing branches.


Posted: 04/06/2015 at 10:20

Yes, very very good idea to keep space between the lowest foliage and the soil.


Posted: 04/06/2015 at 08:58

You can remove foliage within reason. Obviously you don't want to denude the plant for photosynthesis reasons, as Ceres says, but what you don't want is a huge clumps of foliage jammed together that will hinder air circulation. Air circulation won't stop fungal infections but it helps make life difficult for fungal spores by keeping them on the move instead of settling.

Tomato leaves turning brown - repeat now with pics

Posted: 04/06/2015 at 08:50

Eve, it looks fungal. The underside of the smaller leaves towards the top right corner of the first photo seems to show lesions. Have a look underneath the larger leaf.

The second photo is different. It almost looks like herbicide damage. Have you sprayed anything near the plant?

Bell pepper slow/no growth?

Posted: 03/06/2015 at 08:46

Joe, the shop-bought plant will have been reared in a hot house. Most of the plants for sale that seem very advanced for the time of year have been reared thus.

Capsicum probably need things warmer than tomatoes because they take a lot longer than toms.

Tomato plants

Posted: 31/05/2015 at 08:37

Carol, don't leave them sitting in water in the bath. If you're only away for a few days they will cope perfectly well without watering. Mix for toms should never be permanently damp, it should be allowed to dry out between waterings.

Planting tomatoes outside, how tall should they be?

Posted: 29/05/2015 at 18:46

What sort of day and night temps are you having, Cat?

Planting tomatoes outside, how tall should they be?

Posted: 29/05/2015 at 17:44

Cat, they're big enough to plant out in their final homes. The advice about protection is good. It all depends on your temperatures. Wind won't bother them if they're staked and tied up securely. The yellowing could be lack of light but, more likely, overwatering. When they're in their pots, let the mix dry out between waterings. The mix should never be permanently damp.


Posted: 29/05/2015 at 17:39

Sounds like you're definitely overwatering, Irene, which - as Dove says - will cause leaf curl. I responded to your question on Simon's thread.

For toms in the ground, the rule of thumb is to water infrequently but deeply. This sends the roots deeper into the soil. Frequent shallow watering only keeps the roots hanging around the surface. As an example, mine are in the ground, the temps are now into the mid-high 20s, and I'm not watering more than once a week. But when I do water it's deeply. 

For toms in pots, the mix should not be permanently damp. Few plants like constantly damp feet and toms aren't one of them. You can afford to let the mix dry out between waterings. And when you do water, water deeply.

As an overall rule of thumb, toms thrive on "tough love". Or, in other words, controlled neglect. A tom produces fruit in order to reproduce itself before it expires and your basic aim is to create an environment in which the plant feels a tad threatened, encouraging it to reproduce. An overwatered, overfertilised plant doesn't feel threatened, just bloated. In short, less of everything is better.

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