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Latest posts by Italophile

first time tomato grower seeks advice

Posted: 17/07/2013 at 07:25

Bf, water by whichever means lets you soak the mix without splashing either water or mix up onto the foliage. Don't blast with a hose, for example. Think in terms of a gentle soak, and I stress the word soak.

bigolob, you're right about the watering, but warmer weather shouldn't mean more fertiliser. Overfertilising can be a cause of tomato problems. It bloats the plant, making it susceptible to ailments. Toms in containers shouldn't need fertilsing more than once every three weeks to a month.

Sweet peppers (bell peppers, whatever you want to call them lol)

Posted: 17/07/2013 at 07:18

George, pepper seeds always take a while to germinate, a lot longer than tomatoes, for example. I've often had to wait for a month or more.

It's also highly likely that the supermarket variety is a hybrid, hence the seeds won't grow true to type anyway.

bay tree

Posted: 17/07/2013 at 07:11

Pamela, the most reliable method is probably using the suckers that grow up from the base of the tree.

first time tomato grower seeks advice

Posted: 16/07/2013 at 16:06

Good advice. Even more so for toms planted in the ground. Infrequent very deep watering is the go. It drives the roots deeper into the soil. Frequent shallow watering keeps the roots towards the surface.

Tomato Problem

Posted: 16/07/2013 at 14:18

Bf, the plant looks absolutely healthy. The weather is warm, it will droop a little. Don't be tempted to increase the watering. Out of interest, what does it look like after the sun goes down? In warm weather, you'll often find plants that droop a little during the day will perk up again after dark.

In fact, that's the best test for water requirements for toms in warm weather, particularly planted in the ground. Don't check them during the day. Check in the cool of the evening. If they're drooping in the cool of the evening, water. If not, don't.


Posted: 16/07/2013 at 14:13

That's a bit recent. As I said above, if the soil is decent in the first place, it shouldn't need fertilising. I don't think I've ever fertilised my various beetroot beds.

Tomato experiment

Posted: 16/07/2013 at 14:09

Judy, what's Monty's experiment? Can you give me some details?

first time tomato grower seeks advice

Posted: 16/07/2013 at 14:06
Bf206 wrote (see)

How often would you water tomatoes in pots? Mine are in 25 litre containers but I've been very wary of over-watering. Possibly too much so! I've only been watering them every few days?

Bf, water when necessary. You can let the mix dry out. Within reason, obviously. Don't leave it bone dry for two or three days. If in doubt, stick your finger deep down the side of the pot into the mix and feel for moisture. On the whole, though, as with everything with toms, less is better. Toms will produce at their best with "controlled neglect".

first time tomato grower seeks advice

Posted: 16/07/2013 at 14:03

John, it's a good idea to stick a thermometer inside the greenhouse to get a firm idea of temps.

Ventilation is not only a good idea on warm days. It's essential to keep air circulating as an aid against fungal diseases. Fungal spores love nothing more than still, humid air.

It's a good idea to remove the lower branches and foliage to keep a gap of 12-18" between the soil and the lowest foliage. It's another aid against fungal problems. Fungal spores can and will drop from the foliage to the soil beneath and can be splashed back up again when watering. The gap helps against this.

You also want to avoid clumps of impenetrable foliage. They work against air circulation, hence offer a haven for fungal spores. Trim branches and foliage judiciously to avoid clumps. Don't overdo it, though, you don't want to remove so much foliage that it threatens the process of photosynthesis.

Nip off the suckers/side shoots, those mini branches that develop diagonally at the intersection of the main stem and its branches.

Don't water by rote. Water when necessary. That means when the mix is dry. Don't keep the mix permanently damp. Few plants like permanently damp roots and toms aren't one of them.

Finally, don't be tempted to overfertilise. In containers, a feed once a month will do the job.

fidgetbones, the mix drying out doesn't cause Blossom End Rot. BER comes about as a result of plant stress, one cause of which can be irregular watering patterns. A regular watering pattern - eg, letting the mix dry out between waterings - is fine. It's when you depart from a regular pattern that a plant can become stressed.

is my tomato ok

Posted: 15/07/2013 at 14:10

If it's good quality potting mix it's unlikely to be a magnesium deficiency. Could be the early stages of fungal problems, might be nothing. Wait a couple of days, see what develops, maybe post some more photos.

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