The Bearded One

Latest posts by The Bearded One

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Slugs & Snails

Posted: 01/08/2013 at 12:37

You could try copper strips rather than Vaseline, just watch for any bridges they can use!


Posted: 01/08/2013 at 12:33

@ Daisy

Try Tigerella, its suitable for either a greenhouse or outdoors and is an early tomato (so is Shirley) It’s got very nice stripes on it, is heavy cropping and has a nice tangy taste. I grow them for my shop and customers go crazy for them!

Otherwise, I have been recommended Orkado F1, a cordon that ripens well even in the UK but I have never tried this one personally


I should also say Shirley can be done outdoors, it’s not purely a greenhouse tomato and curling leaves shouldn’t be a problem unless it becomes really extensive so as long as you like them, it shouldn’t be much of an issue.


Posted: 01/08/2013 at 12:23

They are, especially whilst in the hands of companies like Monsanto (see the crosspollination issues where they sue farmers when their GM plants cross with farmers)

I suppose it comes down to, there is no need to make chemical resistant crops (a bad idea to start with in my eyes) if growers and buyers vary what they produce, I don’t have a link but there was an interview with an organic potato farmer who didn’t use certain fungicides simply because he didn’t grow golden wonder potatoes... with the money he saved not spraying there was very little difference in profit to conventional growers!

However much I would love to see leguminous tomatoes or more productive staple crops, at the moment I can’t help think GM is shooting itself in the foot a bit.


Posted: 01/08/2013 at 00:53

Mm theres nothing wrong with GM crops used wisely, like the Flavr Savr tomato (basicly reversed the tomatoes own RNA to stop it breaking down so fast and last longer on shelves) but reckless chemical enablement (and indeed reckless chemical use should always be avoided.


Posted: 01/08/2013 at 00:50

It will reduce the infestation but I cant see it making a great impact, what your effectively doing is covering the sphericals (breathing holes) on the insect's body, useful but you need good coverage and they breed at a terrifying rate.

Py would deal with the whitefly far better if they aren’t resistant but the systemic chemical is only recommended on certain edibles


Posted: 31/07/2013 at 19:11

Unfortunately the gel is never absorbed well (wish they could bring back ammonium sulphamate!) as far as I know most of the systemic (non SBK) weedkillers use 7.2g/L glyphosate, the main difference is the carrier. (That said roundup itself is more toxic to plants than the active ingredient I understand)

The Bearded One


Posted: 31/07/2013 at 19:06

A few points to consider, whitefly reproduce incredibly quickly in a greenhouse and that means resistance to chemicals is prolific with whitefly.

The ideal way to get around this is to use two distinct chemical groups, ideally for the casual gardener a neonicitinoid (systemic) and a pyrethroid.

Spraying them alternately at two week basis starting with the nicitinoid would give you good control.

I would recommend Py as the Pyrethroid and something containing thiacloprid (there are lots of products) for the systemic. The idea is to knock out one that becomes resistant to the other.

Other methods to consider are biological controls, however they preclude the use of most chemicals, need to be sourced carefully and they are never 100% effective. Their big upside is they can potentially survive indefinitely (given a heated greenhouse and some care) and even whitefly can’t become resistant to being eaten!

The Bearded One

Pale courgettes

Posted: 31/07/2013 at 18:54

Poor fertilization is fairly common on courgettes, try misting the flowers with a small amount of sugar + water to attract pollinators, it always used to be done on beans and I don’t see why it wouldn’t work on courgettes.

Another thing that may cause it (but probably not in this case) is the flowers can sometimes get waterlogged, just punching a hole in the lower petal solves this issue.

The Bearded One


Posted: 31/07/2013 at 18:51

Curled tomato leaves can be caused by so many things I am almost surprised when I don’t see a plant with at least a few. The three normal reasons are...

Sap suckers (have a look for aphids, but probably quite obvious).

Dryness, check the compost but it looks like your looking after that

 Their unhappy about the temperature, either to hot or too cold at night (Shirley is traditionally a glasshouse cultivar)

This is purly conjecture but as plants curl inwards to reduce exposed stoma on the abaxial side of the leaf in the heat, if their curling to expose more of it could this mean it is getting to cold?

The Bearded One


Posted: 31/07/2013 at 18:37

If I may add to Shrinking's post I have had good success with this using a slightly different method, by making up roundup out of a concentrate with ~10-20% more water and then pouring it in a bottle (it must be clear for good results) you can ball up the bindweed, shove it in and keep the bottle in a light place.

The rational is that by keeping the bottle in the light the bindweed will photosynthesize and draw the weedkiller into the plant at great amounts, therefore hugely overdosing the root system instead of just weakening it.

I have always recommended this in my shop and so far it has been entirely effective.

The Bearded One

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