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Latest posts by Italophile

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.

Tomato Problems

Posted: 14/07/2013 at 06:37

Out of interest, bookmonster, what's the pH of the compost? If you still have a bag, the figure should be listed on it alongside the ingredients, etc. Some peat-free composts have a pH higher than toms really like.

Changing soil with chilli plants

Posted: 13/07/2013 at 07:28

Tina, chillies don't overwinter well. They're very like tomatoes, perennials grown as annuals. They will struggle for the necessary sunlight and warmth to survive till next season.

Anyway, back to the original question, chillies can be grown in any good quality potting mix. I'd avoid peat-free mix. Peat is a necessary contributor to the pH levels of the mix.


Posted: 13/07/2013 at 07:23

The dose is usually a couple of tbsps of ES to a gallon of water.

What sort of mix are the cukes planted in? Epsom salts is useful in cases of magnesium deficiency but it's unlikely good quality mixes will be deficient in magnesium. The problem could also be a sunlight/temp issue. Cukes need as much of both as possible.

Tomato Problems

Posted: 13/07/2013 at 07:18

Some commercial potting mixes are better than others, bookmonster. You get what you pay for. The cheaper it is, the more rubbish it is. But a top quality mix will have more than enough of the right basic nutrients for the plant not to show signs of deficiencies. How would you rate your mix?

Shame about the lack of evidence. All you can really do is keep a watching brief and post more photos if the need arises.


Tomatoe problem

Posted: 13/07/2013 at 07:05

It does sound like BER. Here it is in an advanced state:

It's not just irregular watering that can cause it though it can be a factor. Keeping the soil moist isn't a factor. BER is caused by plant stress stifling the plant's ability to distribute calcium to the fruit via its internal mechanisms. Strong winds can cause it, seriously fluctuating temps, overfertilising, etc. Anything that will physically stress the plant.

In addition, some varieties - the plum-shaped ones, like San Marzano, etc - are simply genetically prone to BER. No one knows why.

One or more tomatoes on a plant suffering BER doesn't necessarily mean the plant's entire production will suffer. If whatever is causing the plant stress is addressed, later toms will be fine.

Lavenders in containers leaves going yellow

Posted: 12/07/2013 at 16:06

Okay, try cutting back on the watering.


Posted: 12/07/2013 at 09:06

Yes, everos, especially if the fertiliser is nitrogen-rich. Nitrogen promotes leaf/foliage growth at the expense of everything else. Providing the soil is good and healthy in the first place, beetroot shouldn't need any fertiliser.

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?


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