London (change)
Today 10°C / 6°C
Tomorrow 13°C / 6°C


Latest posts by Italophile

Tomatoe plants...basic how to guide needed?

Posted: 12/06/2013 at 10:38

Dotty, you generally get what you pay for with potting mix. It's worthwhile investing in top quality stuff. The cheaper ones can be rubbish. If the "trough" is as small as you seem to be suggesting that could explain why the mix is drying out so quickly.

Beefsteaks grow into big plants - 6' tall or more - with strong root systems. Put them into decent-sized pots with top quality mix. Given that they need to be staked, you'd need pots at least 35cm deep in order to give the stake sufficient mix to hold it up. Too shallow a pot and the stake won't be stable. A strong wind will blow the stake over, taking the plant with it.

Here are a couple of my beefsteak varieties in the ground. They've been in around 5 weeks and have a lot of growing to do yet.


The first BRANDYWINE OTV fruit:



Tomato plant problem

Posted: 12/06/2013 at 10:10

There's also the fact that not all flowers will turn into fruit. If they're not pollinated, they will wither and fall off.

Temps, as mentioned above, can also be a factor. What sort of temps are they getting?

Overfertilising and overwatering can also cause flowers to fail. How often are they being fed and watered?

Beetroot Problems

Posted: 12/06/2013 at 10:07

Yep, beetroot need plenty of sun and warmth. And they'd only need watering every day in the hottest conditions.

chilli plant

Posted: 12/06/2013 at 09:52

Chillies need exactly the same temps and conditions as toms to prosper.

Tomatoe plants...basic how to guide needed?

Posted: 11/06/2013 at 18:55

Dotty, what sort of soil are they planted in? Commercial potting mix? It sounds very odd that the soil is dry and sandy when it's being watered every day.

Like BB, I'd like to know the dimensions of the trough, too.

Have a look at the Miracle Grow pack. You'll see figures for N, P and K. That's Nitrogen, Phosphorous and the K stands for Potassium. What are the numbers on the pack? They're the key figures to look at in fertilisers for toms.

For toms, the N figure should be low, the P and K figures substantially higher.


Posted: 10/06/2013 at 15:08

Stuart, it's definitely a fungal disease. As Dove says, remove the affected foliage and destroy it. And, as she also says, either get them out of the polytunnel or ventilate it very well. Fungal spores thrive in humid air and polytunnels trap lots of it inside.

And cut back on the watering. Toms would only need water every day in the hottest conditions. Let the mix dry out before watering again.

Tomatoe plants...basic how to guide needed?

Posted: 10/06/2013 at 15:02

Dotty, do you mean you're watering every day? They don't need that much water. Let the mix dry out.

What sort of Miracle Grow fertiliser do you have in the shed? Standard all-purpose Miracle Grow isn't suitable for toms. It has way too much nitrogen. You'll end up with lots of foliage at the expense of fruit. You'd be better off buying a tomato-specific fertiliser. Don't use it till you get your first fruit setting and use it only sparingly afterwards.

Poorly tomatoe plant leaves

Posted: 10/06/2013 at 09:43

Yes, could be a phosphorous deficiency, particularly if they've been overfertilised. Overfertilising, ironically, can affect the plant's uptake of various necessary nutrients.

Poorly tomatoe plant leaves

Posted: 10/06/2013 at 09:08
Danielle888 wrote (see)

Italophile - I don't know what variety the plants are as my Nan gave them to me but I will find out

Goodoh, Danielle. It could help determine the size of pots they need.

Poorly tomatoe plant leaves

Posted: 10/06/2013 at 09:07

There's some good sensible advice in that link, Sue. I particularly like the caution against overwatering. I'd extend it to overfertilising, too. There's an old tomato saying: "More plants are killed by pampering than neglect".

The Blossom End Rot (BER) problem is an interesting one. It used to be tomato lore that it was caused simply by a lack of calcium and was remedied by digging the stuff into the soil.

Science now tells us that BER is certainly calcium-related but in terms of the plant being unable to distribute the calcium through its internal system to the fruit. You can have all the calcium in the world in the soil but the plant is unable to use it.

Unfortunately science can't tell us exactly why. The best guess is that it's stress-related, with the plant's physiology under duress and affected. There are potentially plenty of causes of plant stress - climate, culture, etc - so there's no simple answer.

The real mystery, though, is why some varieties are more prone to it than others. The link suggests larger-fruited varieties are more prone, but, in fact, it's the plum or egg shapes - San Marzano, etc - that are most vulnerable. I've had plum/egg varieties in the ground growing right beside beefsteaks and oblates. The plum or egg shapes have been riddled with BER, their immediate neighbours totally BER-free.

Who would be a tomato grower?




Discussions started by Italophile

Italophile has not started any discussions