London (change)
Today 19°C / 12°C
Tomorrow 21°C / 12°C


Latest posts by Italophile

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.

Runner beans - masses of flowers, only ONE bean.

Posted: 15/07/2013 at 11:57

Yup. Don't let them dry out when flowering.


Posted: 15/07/2013 at 08:00

Bf, fresh fertiliser isn't good for root crops. For most, it's best to sow/plant into soil that was fertilised, say, the autumn before. They won't need fertilising again during the season.

Tomato Problem

Posted: 15/07/2013 at 07:56

Sandlake - re the pots. Fair enough, all I saw was the wee pots, didn't see the grow bags. Serves me right for not paying more attention. I'll have a close look at those leaf photos later.

Runner Beans

Posted: 14/07/2013 at 09:05
MARIE5 wrote (see)

Have also been  giving them some tomato liquid fertilizer once a week is that OK ??

If the soil is decent to start with, they don't need any fertilising. They manufacture their own nitrogen supply anyway.

How to harvest rocket

Posted: 14/07/2013 at 09:03

Pick the larger, outside leaves first, leaving the younger, inner leaves to develop.

Freshly picked peas

Posted: 14/07/2013 at 09:01

I'm with Welshonion. As soon as they come back to the boil at an absolute maximum. I usually don't even wait that long. All you want to do is stun the pea's growth enzyme and contact with the boiling water is usually enough for that.

Tomato Problem

Posted: 14/07/2013 at 08:57

SandLake, it's not a nitrogen deficiency. I'm not sure that it's TMV either. The best way to check for TMV is to look at the newer, younger leaves. It usually produces a mottled mixture of light and dark green on the leaf surface. Easy to see if it's present.

The fruit looks healthy too. TMV will affect the fruit.

Disease-resistance only means that a plant will, supposedly, last longer with the disease than a non-resistant plant. It doesn't mean a plant won't get the disease.

One other thing. Those small inner pots are very very small for an indeterminate variety. First thing I'd do would be to pot them up into at least a 25-30cm pot.

Discussions started by Italophile

Italophile has not started any discussions