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Italophile


Latest posts by Italophile

Tomato plants in greenhouse

Posted: 29/07/2013 at 11:59

bigolob, there is always new research popping up on these sorts of things.

The science is that the plant needs foliage for photosynthesis in order to develop, but the foliage also serves another purpose, particularly in hot, sunny climates. It protects the fruit from exposure to hot, direct sun that can result in sunburn (sun scald), nasty leathery patches on the fruit.

If your climate isn't likely to bring about sunburn, trim away. Here, where the plants are currently baking in close to 40C all day, I actually tuck exposed fruit behind foliage.

What's more, as I posted somewhere here t'other day, the closer the fruit gets to maturity, the less it draws from the plant. By the time it's changing colour, the fruit is drawing next to nothing from the plant.

Tomatoes

Posted: 29/07/2013 at 06:51

Toms in pots do require more water overall than toms in the ground, Fairygirl. Toms in the ground can send their roots in search of moisture. Toms in pots have no such luxury, their roots are trapped inside the pot.

If it's getting so hot inside the greenhouse it's an idea to put the plants outside during the day if you can. Extreme heat does the plants no good at all, regardless of how much water you pour on them.

 

when do i pick cucumbers

Posted: 28/07/2013 at 15:34

Marketmores aren't a small variety, Girlyfox. How big is the fruit now? Colour and feel are the usual cuke tests. They darken in colour as they mature and should feel nice and firm. Best picked earlier than later, though.

Tomatoes

Posted: 28/07/2013 at 14:17

Girlyfox, you're overwatering and overfertilising. Don't water by rote, water when the plants need it - which is to say, when the mix dries out. Toms shouldn't sit in permanently damp mix. They shouldn't need fertilising more than once every three or so weeks.

Toms will produce at their optimum if they're made to struggle a little bit. Toms, like most plants, exist to do one thing - reproduce themselves. Producing fruit is the tom's method of reproducing itself. And plants are most likely to feel the need to reproduce if they feel a bit threatened. A tom plant full of moisture and fertiliser doesn't feel in the slightest bit threatened. Just fat, bloated and comfortable.

Your hanging baskets plants are still very young. Whether they produce fruit before the end of the season depends on the variety. Some varieties produce earlier than others. If it's sunny and warm where they are, leave them where they are.

Peas peas

Posted: 28/07/2013 at 12:10

Depending on your temps and season you could plant for an autumn crop. They don't like it hot, though.

Aubergines

Posted: 28/07/2013 at 09:41

Sounds like a pollination problem, Eileen. Give the flowers gentle flicks with your fingers to help trigger the pollination process.

How warm and/or humid is it inside the greenhouse? Excessive warmth and humidity can work against pollination.

Tomato plants in greenhouse

Posted: 27/07/2013 at 10:27

You usually end up with impenetrable clumps of foliage when you get branches crossing over each other and lying on each other. It's easiest just to cut off any branches that are crossing. The plants needs foliage for photosynthesis but will cope perfectly well with a lot less foliage than they produce.

Why won't my tomatoes ripen?

Posted: 27/07/2013 at 10:14
bigolob wrote (see)

When they are ready to ripen, they will do so without this attempt to force them to do something which they are not ready for.

I think your problem is that your Toms as yet are too immature (small) and too early to ripen. Keep feeding them according to the instructions on the Tomato fertiliser every 4 days.

I agree generally. The toms in the photo look don't look close to maturity. And temperature is the key to ripening. Optimum temps are low-20sC and above.

One thing, though. Cut back on the fertilising. The closer to maturity the fruit gets, the less nutrition they take from the plant. During ripening, they actually take virtually no nutrition from the plant.

Jalapeno Jelp

Posted: 27/07/2013 at 10:05

Yep, it never hurts to give pollination a helping hand with toms and chillies. Outdoors, insects and even a breeze will agitate the flower's internal mechanism and trigger pollination. A brush with the hand or a flick with the fingers achieves the same thing. Indoors, away from insects and a breeze, it's an even better idea.

Tomato plants in greenhouse

Posted: 26/07/2013 at 13:11

Ah, Laurel & Hardy come to the forum!

LL, Dove's right about the temperature ripening the toms, but it's a good idea, too, to thin out some of the foliage if it's forming thick clumps. Air circulation is a good aid against fungal problems and clumps of leaves stifle air circulation.

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