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Latest posts by Italophile

Minibell Tomatoes- Anyone grown them?

Posted: 04/06/2013 at 18:09

Singy, you just have to make sure you get a growing tip on the cutting.  Like most other cuttings, put it in some damp mix in a small pot, keep it warm but not in direct sunlight of any strength. Some people put them into a jar of water and wait for roots to develop. I do it every year for an autumn crop to save both time and starting more seeds.

Planting Passion Fruit Outside

Posted: 04/06/2013 at 14:11

Passionfruit needs full sun to prosper, NG. I doubt any sun is going to be hot enough to bother it directly after the transplant.

Minibell Tomatoes- Anyone grown them?

Posted: 04/06/2013 at 14:02

Cuttings with growing tips are always a good idea. They're a great head start, taking a month to six weeks off the usual time to maturity.

Tomato Plant

Posted: 03/06/2013 at 07:25

Lu, the temp in the greenhouse sounds fine. It's hard to know about the Moneymaker without seeing a photo.

In your earlier post you say the greenhouse is very small. How small? The varieties you have are all indeterminate varieties. They will grow to around 6' in height. And they will need to be staked in order to support the plants as they grow.

What size pots are they in?

Watering tomatoes

Posted: 01/06/2013 at 07:44
Ben 3 wrote (see)

Remeber that toms grow in hot and dry countries, i tend to soak them say every other day but feed on a regular basis.  Just watch for side shoots.

Toms had their origins in the warmth of mesoamerica growing wild. They were eventually domesticated but would never have been pampered. To this day they remain immensely tough, resilient plants just as they were eons ago. Amazingly so. They thrive on controlled neglect. It's worth a wee experiment to see what effect less water and fertiliser has.

Tomato Plant

Posted: 01/06/2013 at 07:33

Or give them a gentle flick with your fingers or a brush with the palm of your hand. Any sort of contact will give the flower's internal mechanics a wee jolt and help the pollination along.

Watering tomatoes

Posted: 31/05/2013 at 09:21
Nick Winn wrote (see)

Hi Italophile and Verdun,

Are you saying they should be given a really good soak not very often? How will I know when the roots have dried out?

thank you for your advice 

Nick, are you growing in containers or in the ground? In the ground, a good deep soaking infrequently is better than frequent light waterings. The deep soakings encourage the roots deeper into the soil. Mine are outdoors and I only water more than once a week - very deeply - when the temps get into the high-30sC consistently.

In containers, you're more at the mercy of the size of the container and what the container's made of. Smaller ones will dry out quicker than bigger ones in warm weather and terra cotta dries out quicker than plastic because terra cotta "breathes".

One test for moisture is to stick a finger down into the mix as deeply as you can. With the temps the UK seems to be getting at the moment, I'd bet it would take a while for the roots to dry out completely.

Watering tomatoes

Posted: 31/05/2013 at 08:22

The best advice in that link is to allow the mix to dry. Tom roots should never be permanently damp. There are very few plants that like their roots permanently damp and toms certainly aren't one of them. Tomatoes respond best to controlled neglect in terms of both watering and fertilising. Less is better.

Tomato Plant

Posted: 31/05/2013 at 08:15

As steephill says, Alicante would normally grow to at least 6'. It's an indeterminate (cordon) variety. Indeterminates aren't really suited to growing indoors on a window sill. Indeterminates continue to grow and produce fruit on the new growth during the season. Remove all the growing tips, the plant will stop growing and there will be no more fruit.

Lu, can you give us some more information? Varieties? How big/old/mature they are? Current temperatures? A photo would be a help too.


Posted: 30/05/2013 at 17:12

The common ones manifest as spots on the leaves that gradually enlarge. I've got a link on my HD somewhere to a good explanation with photos. I'll find it and post it.

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