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Latest posts by Italophile

Strange branches on tomato plant

Posted: 25/06/2013 at 10:03

SandLake, what variety is it?

evergreen star jasmine

Posted: 24/06/2013 at 12:46

Certainly too much fertiliser, I reckon, K 9. Mine, in a pot, gets a feed in spring and that's it. At most, you'd only fertilise every couple of months. I don't know what your temps are like but I'd be surprised if it needed a gallon of water a week either. Mine, in full sun, with temps in the mid-30s, is only watered every couple of days.

rasperberry Canes

Posted: 24/06/2013 at 07:30

NewBoy, Dove is right. Sweet Millions is an indeterminate, it can grow to 6' or more if allowed, meaning it has an extensive root system. Your plants are already telling you they need more room for their roots.

Indeterminates need at least 30cm pots, preferably bigger, if they're to reach their potential. But pot depth is even more important for indeterminates. The plants will be need to be staked and tied up to the stakes as they grow. Too shallow a pot and there will be insufficient soil to keep the stake stable. The first strong wind will blow the stake out of the pot and take the plant with it. Look for pots at least 35cm deep and sturdy stakes. The stakes will be carrying/supporting a decent weight as the plants grow up.

You can control the height of an indeterminate by nipping out the growing tips - the tops of the stems that are growing upwards. They're called the "leaders". They're easy to identify. They're the ones producing new foliage and flowers, not the side branches.

When you nip them out depends on how many toms you want. Indeterminates continue to produce foliage and fruit as they grow during the season. Once you stop the plant growing, that's the end of your ongoing fruit production. You'll harvest only from the trusses that have already formed below the point where you stop them growing.

You've got 7 plants, they're a productive variety. You have to decide how many toms you want the plants to produce. Or you can just let them grow through the season and harvest the results.

All Dove's advice is excellent. Nip out the suckers/side shoots that develop in the intersections of the main stem(s)/leaders and side branches. Left to grow, they will form more growing tips which will become leaders themselves. The rule of thumb is that two leaders is sufficient.

Don't overwater - let the mix in the pot dry out between waterings - and don't over-fertilise. Toms in pots don't need fertilising more than once every three weeks. Toms produce best when treated with controlled neglect. Over-watered and over-fertilised plants are less likely to produce at their maximum, and, in fact, are more prone to disease.

Hard to know what's going on with your lower leaves without seeing a photo. It could be the plants' roots protesting about the lack of space in the pots, could be the early stages of a fungal infection. Can you post a photo?



Posted: 23/06/2013 at 16:56

I plant them deep enough just to bury the white part.


Posted: 23/06/2013 at 16:26

John, fluctuating temps can be one cause. Or too cold or too hot. Or irregular watering. Anything that gives them a fright. They're just neurotic creatures.


Posted: 23/06/2013 at 15:42

Onions have to be the most neurotic veg on the planet. The only need the slightest disturbance to think they're in peril and will seek to reproduce themselves by producing a flower, which is what bolting is all about. Fluctuating temps can be enough to do it. I now wait till temps have stablised before planting them.

Chilli peppers!!!

Posted: 23/06/2013 at 15:24

Depends on the variety, lee. Some grow into sizeable plants, some stay on the small side. Yours could be the former requiring more growing space. What variety is it?

Agree with Paula about the care, too. Less is better. It will cost you fruit. Very much like tomatoes.

Cayenne Pepper

Posted: 23/06/2013 at 15:15

Cayenne is a variety. I grow them. Lovely and hot.


Posted: 21/06/2013 at 16:53

Depends on the variety, tag. I grow Amsterdam Forcing which are an early-maturing variety and they can take 70 days to maturity. They usually germinate within 10 days.

Carrots need soil that's deep enough to more than accommodate the length of the carrot and free of lumps, pebbles, rocks, etc.

Sowing in Jan-March? I don't sow mine before April here in central Italy. The soil needs to be warm enough for them to germinate.

Talkback: How to grow tomato plants from cuttings

Posted: 20/06/2013 at 06:32

That's down to your growing conditions. If you get decent weather you should. A cutting is basically a huge headstart on a second generation of plants. Looked after properly, you should be able to plant out the cutting - as a viable plant - within two or three weeks.

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