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Latest posts by Italophile


Posted: 07/09/2013 at 06:30

Yep. Looks like the rootstock has contributed something. Truly weird!


Posted: 07/09/2013 at 06:26

Congrats, mias, they're wonderful San Marzanos. Best sauce tomato you can get. They're the ones in the top quality imported Italian tinned toms. You struck it lucky avoiding any BER at all!

Growing toms in the ground - indoors or outdoors - is pretty simple. Don't overload the soil with nutrients, toms aren't big feeders. Good healthy soil will do the job.

I grow mine outdoors in the same bed every year. I just refresh the soil by digging in some top quality potting mix, some home compost, and a couple of handfuls of pelleted chook poo. That's it. The pH should be slightly on the acid side.

The big advantage of growing in the ground - even in a greenhouse - is that the roots have the room to go in search of moisture. Infrequent, very deep watering will encourage the roots down deep where, in hot weather, the soil is cooler. So it's a good idea to dig the soil down to 18" or more during preparation.

Here, where the temps sit in the high 30s and low 40s, I don't water more often than about every three days, but I water very very deeply. If your temps don't get that high, providing you water deeply, you shouldn't need to water more than once a week.

The plants will tell you when they need water. In hot weather, they will often droop during the day. That's no guide. Check them at night after the heat of the day has passed. If they've perked up again, they're fine. If they're still drooping, water deeply. Watering by need is far better than watering by rote.

Fertilise a couple of weeks after planting out, again when the first fruit sets, then a couple more times spaced out over the growing season. That's all they need.


Posted: 06/09/2013 at 17:04

Yes, it's the little Tree symbol in the options above the message box.


Posted: 06/09/2013 at 16:03

jo - I was wondering how you get on! Glad the toms worked for you. The Soldaki's a lovely tom, for sure.

Teresa - you're right, cukes and squash don't cross-pollinate. The interloper might only look like a squash. Those "celebrity-named" varieties are always hybrids. It could be just a gene pool glitch. Any chance of a photo?

Tomato pest

Posted: 06/09/2013 at 14:37

Caterpillars love tomatoes, Clarky, red or green. Unless you want to spray against them you just have to hunt them down, pick them off, and destroy them.


Posted: 06/09/2013 at 14:34

The seed you planted might have been "crossed", Teresa. Saved from a cross-pollinated fruit. I had a few of those last year with melon seeds.

No fruit showing on Butternut Squash in polytunnel

Posted: 06/09/2013 at 14:25

If they're still green they haven't ripened yet.

how to freez onions

Posted: 06/09/2013 at 11:46

No idea, wardclerk, but White Lisbon is an old, very popular variety:


fruit cracking

Posted: 06/09/2013 at 06:10

They're in the greenhouse, aren't they? Mine are in the ground. I water about every three days but very very very deeply. The roots are driven down deep into the soil away from the heat near the surface.

They're very high temps for a greenhouse because the heat is even more intense in the enclosed environment, even with ventilation. So you have a bit of a vicious circle in place. For the future, it's probably worthwhile trying to keep the temps down.

fruit cracking

Posted: 05/09/2013 at 16:59

I haven't grown Moneymakers but some cursory research suggests they're not known as natural splitters. I think it might be down to overwatering, ccllaarrkkyy. The toms just can't absorb the amount of moisture they're getting. Twice a day is an awful lot of water. Mine never get that much and my temps are in the high 30s and low 40s.

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