Tomsk


Latest posts by Tomsk

Protecting a planter over winter

Posted: 25/10/2014 at 23:19

I got a planter earlier this year and grew some tomatoes, which are now all cut down.

Within a couple of days of cutting the old vines down, cats have started jumping into it and messing. The light, fluffy soil doesn't help.

I intend to pull up the dead tomato roots in a few weeks (once they start to decompose) so that the planter is ready for next spring, but are there any tips on how I should protect the planter over the winter? I could cover it, but I'm not sure if that will create a good breeding ground for bacteria or fungus over the winter that could ruin the soil come next spring?

I also thought about laying sticks across the planter, but I think the cats will simply stand on the stick and drop their mess between them!

What do other people do with large planters full of soil over winter?

Tomatoes - End of season

Posted: 20/10/2014 at 20:21

My vines look like they're done for the year, with rot and blight creeping in everywhere.

Is there a right way to handle vines once you're finished with them? Since you don't grow the same vines again the next year, I don't suppose it matters if you cut down all the foliage, unlike bulbs and tubers?

But within the soil will be a huge tangle of roots, so should I just leave them to rot or do they need manually removing if I want to plant things in the same planter next year?

I remember trying to plant new flowers in an old window box once, and in the end I had to empty all the soil into the compost bin because it was just a mass of roots from previous flowers. There's too much soil in my planter to empty it, so I have to work with the soil already inside it.

Tomato Blight

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 21:03

Here's the sliced tomato with a bit of the skin peeled back:


 


 

Tomato Blight

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 20:24

There were a couple of touches of blight elsewhere on the vine or adjacent vines, and some damaged vine that was rotting, but nothing looked wrong with the truss, vines or foliage around these tomatoes. Three tomatoes had black spots in total. The rest on the truss had no spots and are uniformly red all over.

This is a high resolution photo of the third tomato, which was larger and had less obvious spots:


 There have been snails crawling over the vines, blackfly and caterpillars on a very nearby dahlia and probably other garden insects, including bees and wasps (because of the dahlias).

Oh, I've just cut the worst one open, and it seems perfect inside. I peeled back the skin a bit and the black spots don't even seem to be on the inside of the skin, just the surface of the fruit.

Tomato Blight

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 19:08

Today I plucked a few ripened tomatoes from my vines and a couple had black dots on them. I've seen blight on green tomatoes before, but this looks different, and there was absolutely no darkening or unusual textures to the truss or vine. Other tomatoes from the same truss have no black dots

Is it blight or something else, and are they safe to eat?


 

Tomato Blight

Posted: 15/10/2014 at 19:06

Fairygirl - I've never grown tomatoes before, but that sounds like my situation too. I planted seeds in tiny plastic pots in March, but didn't get them into soil until June, long after they were ready for it.

They seem to have been growing slowly and although I've had a couple of ripened crops so far, they seem rather small and the fruits on the vines are still very green.

We'll see what happens next year with more experience and earlier planting, assuming we get another good summer.

Tomato Blight

Posted: 03/10/2014 at 15:34

Thanks for the replies,

The variety is Money Maker, though after cooking some more this morning I think I initially mistook acidity for saltiness. They're much more acidic than supermarket tomatoes, which I think (mine) are usually Alicante.

And they are quite watery eaten raw. I'm yet to try them chopped in a salad, but just eating one raw isn't as strong a flavour as supermarket tomatoes. Cooked, with some of the water boiled off, they're delicious. I left them on the vine until they turned a deeper red and softened.

Tomato Blight

Posted: 02/10/2014 at 20:07

Thanks Green Magpie,

Well it's a shame I've ended up with blight, but so far it only seems to have affected a small amount of my vines. There's still a lot of fruits to ripen, so I'm hoping they all make it.

As an aside, I've taken my first proper crop of tomatoes today and used them in cooking. They taste a bit salty and contain a huge number of seeds compared to supermarket tomatoes. Is this normal for home grown?

I wondered if the salty taste of my fried tomatoes is a sign of using too much tomato feed, and whether the large number of seeds is a sign that I did something wrong while they grew? (watering or feed issues?)

Either way, I'm happy with the taste when they're cooked. Raw, they taste a bit watery.

Tomato Blight

Posted: 30/09/2014 at 08:13

My tomatoes are staring to ripen now, but two tomatoes next to each other on the same truss have turned brown at their tops. Is this blight?

If so, there's another three tomatoes left on the same truss that don't seem to have a problem so far. Might they still ripen safely or are they likely to rot too?


 

Tomatoes

Posted: 16/09/2014 at 20:19

Today, after a late planting, I tasted my first home grown tomatoes of the year picked from the lowest trusses of their vines.

The first one was cherry size, despite being Moneymaker and the others being larger. I ate it raw and it tasted a bit weak and watery, though it had a very natural and nice taste. Very different from supermarket tomatoes. The other was larger and I sliced it and grilled it on bread. The grill drying it out a bit concentrated the flavour and it was delicious! The skin was also incredibly thin, splitting around half the fruit just by washing it under the hot tap to rinse off tomato feed splashes.

I think the weak taste may be down to over feeding or over watering?

Either way, I'm looking forward to the rest ripening on the vines more than ever.

I also found a bit of blight toward the top of one vine, so I cut out that branch a couple of inches before the darkening. At the end of that branch were a few small green tomatoes on healthy vine, so I've stuck the end of the branch (after removing the diseased section) into the soil, hoping it somehow draws up moisture and nutrients and the tomatoes continue growing. I'm not hopeful though.

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