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Growing tomatoes: how to care for, blight prevention, other tips
Tue 20-Jul-10
10:47 pm
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shelley
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Danny said:

It's not a bad idea, Joanna. there is one tomato guru out there who sells an ebook that encourages stripping off most of the leaves anyhow. Apparently it greatly increases the fruit yield. Obviously, there is a balance between enabling the plant to to thrive versus the plant putting too much energy into just growing leaves. I don't have the full details.


I generally take a lot of the foliage off my tomato plants once they are fruiting to allow  air and sunlight to the fruits to allow them to develop and ripen; I generally garden by instinct more than rules; but am really luckily quite successful!!

On another note did anyone every experience woodlice in their veg plot??  I have had all of my ripe gherkins have their centres eaten neatly out; today I found a woodlouse in one!

Also I had watched my first yellow tomato ripen nicely this week and went out to see if it was ready, only to find it half eaten; perhaps by birds cos it was too high for slugs: I was soooo disappointed!

Wed 21-Jul-10
3:41 pm
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KateUK
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Side shoots- remove if a cordon variety, the plant will put its efforts into becoming a tree and fruiting in several months time instead of producing tomatoes NOW while the days are long enough.

Ring culture- definitely gives more fruit for less effort.

Remove growing tip after five trusses, but leave a leaf above the last truss to draw the sap up the plant.

Remove lower leaves completely ruthlessly to encourage the sap to go up the plant,make the fruits ripen sooner and improve air circulation, as the upper trusses start to swell and get ready to ripen, remove leaves higher up too. By the end of August you will have ungainly stalks with fruit and one leaf at the top. Bloody fabulous fruit though!

Have the greehouse door open to circulate air and to let in the insects you want to fertilise things.

Have a pot of African Marigolds by the open door and no whitefly will come near the place.

 

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Wed 21-Jul-10
7:44 pm
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JoannaS
Latvia

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A friend of mine told me to scatter the tomato leaves amongst the cabbages to get rid of bugs, better than spraying the tea I think or will the alkaloids end up being absorbed by the cabbages? Hmm! Guess it won't be as bad though.whistle

Sun 25-Jul-10
8:44 pm
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devongarden
Devon, UK

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I took lots of leaves off my tomatoes today to increase air circulation. I just hope that I haven't left room for the neighbourhood cats to get into the bed as a result.

Has anyone else seen the article in the recent Organic Way (the Garden Organic publication) about blight? It says that blighted leaves can be composted (just cover them to avoid spores blowing around) but not the fruit. But it reports that blighted fruit of one type of tomato was treated at 40C for 12 or more hours and then ripened normally, and suggests a poultry incubator to get that temperature consistently. If anyone tries it, let Garden Organic know the results.

Thu 29-Jul-10
11:13 pm
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KateUK
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Most of my tomato plants this year are 'surprise' tomatoes brought home by Sir from the Office. When I asled what varieties thay might be he said that the person who grew them didn't know....so, some of them I had to guess if they were for big pots and cordons or smaller pots and bushes or hanging baskets. My guessing was not 100% successful!

So far I've identified a hanging basket/patio pot variety "Gartenperle". A dainty plant, producing very attractive bright pinkish fruits, yield good, they seem to like to be fed A LOT- rather more than I have fed them in fact: The flavour is ok, but hasn't driven me wild, but the colour looks fabulous with yellow cherry tomatos in a salad.If I had given them even more food I think I would have been swamped by the quantity of fruits! I'd grow them again next year really for the colour- just one plant in a larger pot with lots of manure....

A plum tomato "San Marzano". I have two of them in the greenhouse and one outside. The outside one has hardly set any fruits, the inside ones have BUT the fruits have been prone to blossom end rot- something I've never had a problem with before and not had it in any of the other varieties I'm growing this year. The fruits have a little pointy bit at the end that the dead flower is attached to and I wonder if it rots because the dead flower just hangs on and on and on instead of dropping off. I had a pepper last year that was similar, the flower rotted on the tip rather than just dropping off and wrecked the fruit. I discovered ( too late) this variety likes to have some side shoots left and this encourages a heavier crop- without sideshoots the cropping is ok, but due to the loss from bud rot, I'm less than impressed, it needs to be under glass too. The flavour had better be good or I won't save seeds.

I also have a variety that is stripey- too early to work out what it is as it isn't yet ripe- and a big yellow. I'll let you know what I think of them when I can find out what they are.

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Fri 30-Jul-10
8:12 pm
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JoannaS
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My Latah tomatoes from Real Seed Catalogue is working well and we have had a consistent production from them now. I will defintely grow some more of them. The Amish ones are now ripening quite fast but they are an odd shape, pointy like the ones you describe Kate and I thought they were supposed to be enormous sorts. The DeColgar are also starting to turn slowly but not too worried about them as they said they ripen late and store very well. cheers

Fri 30-Jul-10
10:48 pm
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KateUK
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My daughter and I had a tomato tasting session today, small red unidentified mystery cherry tomato=tasteless, GartenPerle ( pink) pretty colour = rather wooly texture and nodescript taste.

Sungold, the old favourite, came out tops again=gorgeous flavour and lovely texture.

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Fri 30-Jul-10
11:20 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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wave I think Sungold is my favourite too. star star star   I have about six plants.

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Sat 31-Jul-10
7:49 pm
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JoannaS
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We used to grow amateur bush and they were always reliable and tasted good. Might have to give them ago again and see what happens with them out here.

Are sungolds vine or bush types?

Sat 31-Jul-10
11:45 pm
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Toffeeapple
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I've no idea how you are all so knowledgeable about varieties of tomatoes.  I stick the seed in the ground or in the pot and something grows - big mystery.  Perhaps I should study these things.  I had a taste of the tomatoes growing in my pot today, boy, was I impressed with the flavour!  This was a seedling that grew in a pot that I had sown something else in, that came from my compost bin - I am so happy about that, free food.magic

I'll try that again!

Sat 31-Jul-10
11:58 pm
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danast
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wave Sungold are vine tomatoes Joanna.

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Sun 1-Aug-10
5:45 pm
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brightspark
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Funny thing - we have grown sungold twice, and both times we said 'never again' - the skin was tough and the flavour was not what we expected. Yet we have friends who grow sungold always, as it is their favourite!!

This year we are growing Koralik bush tomatoes (only, not enough space for more) as recommended on Gardeners World, and although we planted late, they are looking remarkably good - not tasted yet. We'll see how that compares!

"How do you spell 'Love'?" (Piglet). 

"You don't spell it, you feel it" (Pooh).

 'A hug,' said Pooh 'is always the right size!' 

Sun 1-Aug-10
6:51 pm
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JoannaS
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The Latah ones were okay and a lot better than our garden pearl (at least I think that is what they were) from last year. I have tried the garden pearl in the greenhouse this year as last year was a rather wet year so maybe the change will do them good. cheers

Sun 1-Aug-10
11:14 pm
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KateUK
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Roasted some 'gartenperele' today as they were so disappointing from the plant- they were delicious roasted. Might grow them next year after all!

Kateuk makes things at http://www.etsy.com/shop/finkstuff and sometimes she does this too http://www54paintings.blogspot.com/ and also this http://finkstuff.weebly.com/

Mon 2-Aug-10
1:51 pm
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mike.
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Last year I grew Moneymaker tomatoes (the seeds came from a kit I bought in Woolworths during their closing down sale). Most of them didn't ripen in time, so I ended up making the green tomato chutney.

This year I'm growing some moneymaker again, along with the Gardener's Delight which came from the BBC Dig In seed pack.

So far, everything's still green and unripe but some of the plants have gone really wide and bushy, which is awkward in our small crowded narrow garden. There are only 3 surviving tomato plants in the garden and I've no idea which ones are which whistle

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