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Latest posts by Italophile

Tomato Problems

Posted: 12/07/2013 at 09:02

A couple of things, bookmonster.

First, spraying against fungal problems has to be preventive - ie, spray before the fungal spores arrive. Once they're in situ, with symptoms showing, spraying is a waste of time. All you can do is remove the affected leaves to try to minimise the spores' spread.

Second, your spray recipe isn't going to help even if sprayed preventively. It's claimed by some that bicarb can alter the pH of the leaf surface to create an environment unsympathetic to fungal spores but the evidence is entirely anecdotal. There's no scientific evidence to support the claims.

About the only available* spray that has been proved scientifically to help against fungal problems - if sprayed preventively - is one of the copper sulphate products. They're organic and they used to be every tomato grower's best friend until concerns were raised about (a) copper being a metal capable of building up in the soil; and (b) its impact on foraging insect life.

*The very best spray against fungal problems is a chemical that, to my knowledge, isn't available to the domestic market in the UK. Unlike in the US where it's widely available and very widely used even by many organic growers such is the product's otherwise benign properties and qualities.

Unfortunately this site's photo software is playing up again so I can't get a good, close look at your plants. Any chance of some closer photos?

The second photo seems to show a fungal problem. The pale leaf colour, though, could be a nutrition issue. Are you using commercial potting mix or home compost?



Posted: 11/07/2013 at 16:42

everos, too much nitrogen can cause the problem. Either already in the soil or added by fertilising. Have you fertilised them?

Overplanting can also cause it, bulbs not having room to develop.


Posted: 11/07/2013 at 09:04

Yes, it can be the variety, or a hiccup during pollination. Any sign of insect pests?

Lavenders in containers leaves going yellow

Posted: 11/07/2013 at 08:59

Nigel, those pots should be all right for the moment. What sort of mix do you have in the pots? I agree with the others (above). The mix needs to be very very well drained. Lavender thrives in dry conditions. If the roots become waterlogged, the plant is history.


Posted: 11/07/2013 at 08:51

joy, the female flowers have miniature fruit at their base, the male flowers are just flowers on a small stalk. The male exists only to pollinate the female. It won't produce fruit.

Here are some photos to show you.

Femspot Cucumbers

Posted: 10/07/2013 at 09:00

Janice, I've never grown that variety so I don't know its traits. You can get genetic glitches from time to time in any plant. Wait and see what develops. If you get two cukes, and the plant is supporting them both, you've doubled your production. If one is compromising the other, you might need to sacrifice one.

Leaf changes

Posted: 10/07/2013 at 08:54

Lindsay, I'd suggest that you're both overwatering and overfeeding the toms, especially if they're in large pots. It's preferable to water as required rather than by rote. Let the mix dry out between waterings. They also shouldn't need fertilising more than once a month. Toms perform at their best when left to struggle a little. It's a fine line, obviously, but "controlled neglect" is the way to go.

jasmine not flowering

Posted: 08/07/2013 at 12:13

They can take a while to get going, Michele, but three years is stretching things. How big is the pot? What is the feeding and watering regime?

Chilli peppers!!!

Posted: 08/07/2013 at 10:29

min, chillies can take a while to germinate, longer than tomatoes. Give them as much sunlight and warmth as you can.

In the meantime, here's a photo of what you can expect:


Tomatoe plant leaves

Posted: 07/07/2013 at 13:09
Jazzy2 wrote (see)


do I remove any leaves to allow more light to speed up ripening or do I just leave all the leaves on the plant, there appears to be too much foliage which restricts the light.





To answer your first question, it's temperature that ripens toms, not light. It's why toms will ripen inside on the kitchen bench. Optimum temps for ripening are from the low-20s upwards.

You can remove side shoots, and it's a good idea to keep a gap of 12-18" between the soil and the lowest foliage purely for housekeeping purposes. Fungal spores can and will fall from the foliage to the soil beneath and can be splashed back up again during watering. The gap helps against that.

For the same housekeeping reasons, it's also a good idea to avoid clumps of impenetrable foliage. Air circulation is a big help against fungal problems and impenetrable clumps hinder air circulation. You have to be judicious, though. The plant needs foliage for photosynthesis to keep growing and developing.

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