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Latest posts by Italophile

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.

Can I save them?

Posted: 17/07/2015 at 07:58

It's fungal, Seb. Spraying with anything is pretty much a waste of time after the plant is infected. Spraying has to be preventive - before any infection. All you can do is remove all the affected foliage, destroy it, and keep an eye out for more.

Fungal spores travel on the breeze and there's no avoiding them if they're around. Early and Late Blight are both common to potatoes and tomatoes and can transfer. If you have spuds in the ground, check the foliage.

As Boater says, things like Blightwatch are only indicators of weather conditions that could be conducive to infection. If the spores aren't around, no problems regardless of the weather. If they are, they will settle on the leaves regardless of weather conditions. Dampness and humidity hasten their progress.

Indigo Rose tomatoes

Posted: 15/07/2015 at 06:10

Our Westie pup - idiot that it is - woke me up at 6am to go for her walk. I'm thinking of putting her through the mulcher. 

Indigo Rose tomatoes

Posted: 15/07/2015 at 05:57

Don't you ever sleep?

Indigo Rose tomatoes

Posted: 15/07/2015 at 05:48

I think so. Start worrying if the blue side is ripe and the other side isn't. 

I wonder what the variety's parents are. One of the "black" varieties would have to be in the mix somewhere.

tomatoes on the vine

Posted: 14/07/2015 at 15:19

It's not uncommon, primrose. A slap (or a tickle) won't hurt the outside ones either. You can't always count on fossicking insects to trigger the self-pollination process.

Indigo Rose tomatoes

Posted: 14/07/2015 at 15:14

I'd never heard of the variety, wg, had to Google it. It's one of those "blue" varieties? What I read seems to suggest that the fruit darkens on the sunny side and reddens on the shady side. Is that what's happening? (Or not happening?)

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