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Latest posts by Italophile

Tomato plants

Posted: 19/07/2013 at 08:27

Peta, your experience is proof positive that toms don't need to be pampered.

Tomato plants

Posted: 19/07/2013 at 08:26
Jessica Rose wrote (see)

Bit of an update for you, I have a few flowers on my tomato plants..  

how many times a day would you water the plant in this heat? 


The bottom line is water when the plants need it. The mix shouldn't be permanently damp. Don't be afraid to let the mix dry out. I don't mean leave the mix dry for three or four days, but a day without water will not hurt a tomato plant. They're immensely tough, durable critters and will produce at their best if treated as such. More tom plants are damaged by overwatering - and overfertilising - than neglect.

All sorts of factors contribute to a container watering regime. Smaller pots dry out quicker than larger ones, terra cotta dries out quicker than plastic because terra cotta "breathes". The temperature and number of hours in direct sunlight also contribute.

Dove's watering regime (two posts above) sounds about right. You'd need vastly hotter temperatures than you're currently getting to justify more watering.

My toms are in the ground. The temps have been in the mid-30s for a couple of weeks with nothing lower than 22C overnight. I water - very deeply - every four or five days.

first time tomato grower seeks advice

Posted: 18/07/2013 at 10:01

Dove, I replied. You probably won't get the email alert.

first time tomato grower seeks advice

Posted: 18/07/2013 at 09:30

No I'm not. And only getting emails re post responses at about 6pm every day. In one big hit. The site's problems are ongoing.

I'll go and check my PMs!

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

Posted: 18/07/2013 at 07:35

comp, you could have had several issues. Where were the plants? Inside or outside? How often were you watering and fertilising?

first time tomato grower seeks advice

Posted: 18/07/2013 at 07:32

everos, don't be tempted to overfertilise them. If they're planted in good, healthy soil in the first place they just don't need much extra nutrition.

Once when the first fruit appears, then maybe a couple more times over the length of the growing season. Tom plants pumped full of nutrients are less likely to produce to their full potential than plants left to cope for themselves.

Toms, like most plants, exist to reproduce themselves - which, in the tom's case, means producing fruit. They'll be much more inclined to reproduce themselves if they feel ever so slightly threatened. Stuffed full of nutrients, they feel no real need. You'll get fruit, certainly, but less than the plant is capable of giving you.


Posted: 18/07/2013 at 07:20

Bob, I think there's a general tendency to overfertilise in the veg garden. Starting with good healthy soil usually means there's sufficient goodness available.

Tomato Problem

Posted: 17/07/2013 at 07:30

Bf, doesn't matter what the temperature is, the plant will tell you if it needs water. As I say, check them at night after the warmth of the day has passed.

My toms are all in the ground and we're getting temps in the 30sC every day with low-20sC overnight. I water deeply about every four days. Toms don't need pampering. They're very sturdy - tough, even - critters. Mollycoddle them and they won't produce at their best.

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.

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