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Growing tomatoes: how to care for, blight prevention, other tips
Mon 9-Aug-10
10:33 am
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craftsmaster
Gold Coast

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Simply place the
seeds in the flats containing well-drained, airy soil with lots of organic
matter.  Borage and sorrel, however,
would rather be in soil that is moist and rich.

When your seedlings
are about four inches tall and the weather is warm, you're ready to
"introduce" them to the outside environment.  As strange as this may sound, it is very
necessary.  It's a step many beginning
gardeners fail to do, simply because they don't know about it.

Introducing these
plants gradually to the out of doors is called "hardening off."  This process should not begin until the
overnight temperatures rise to a dependable 50 degrees or more.

___________________

Carmel Santos
CEO of Herb Gardening Guide
Growing Herbs in Pots
The Australian Guide to Herb Gardening

Sun 15-Aug-10
12:24 pm
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lilythepink
Sud Vienne, France

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Hello, cottage small holder forum users smile.  This is my first post and I thought tomatoes were a safe topic to take my inaugural post.  Please be gentle with me if I repeat myself and try to teach grannie how to suck eggs.

I have been growing outdoor tomatoes in raised beds with soil which is slowly evolving from impoverished stones to some sort of growing medium.  I try new varieties, as well as old faithfuls such as Tigerella, Pineapple, Green Zebra, Gardener's Delight and Sweet 100's.  I'm particularly interested in heritage varieties.

The year before last saw blight knock out the tomato harvest in this area of France.  Many gardeners ripped out all their plants and went without their tomato salad for the rest of the summer.  I couldn't bring myself to cull a whole crop at the first signs of blight so picked off the sickly leaves on all affected plants apart from those more severe cases.  I still harvested a fairly good crop and managed to freeze enough roasted tomato sauce.  Last year was the best crop ever so the blight spores didn't hang about from the previous year,  even without the crop rotation. 

I use bordeaux mixture with an organic label  judiciously and spray before I transplant them and again later before the annual summer storm bombards them.  I have read of a trick of implanting a fine copper wire up through the young plant's stem as disease protection but have never tried this operation.  Copper, apparently protects and there is a deficiency in most soils?

Our summers can have intense heat in spells and frequent droughts.  The watering method I employ also recycles large empty water bottles.  Placed upside down and sunk into the soil next to individual tomato plants, with the base cut around almost entirely but not removed to avoid the previous horrors of finding a drowned toad or lizard floating on the top, watering gets straight to the roots. 

Last year was the first summer that the tomatoes were visited by the tomato moth. I photographed the larvae munching out  holes in a few early fruits for identification.  That greedy green larva transformed into a beautiful moth after its feast, but there are no signs of a repeat visit this year.

Nothing for me compares with a homegrown tomato, still warm from the sun.  I must be obsessed but then I'm certainly full of flavenoids, vitamins and fibre so at least it's a healthy obsession.  Maybe there's a support group?

 

Sun 15-Aug-10
1:14 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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wave Hi Jenny.  Welcome and thanks for such an interesting post.  If there is a support group  for eating homegrown tomatoes, you had better count me in.  I adore them and mine are just starting to ripen now - bliss.

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Sun 15-Aug-10
1:23 pm
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MOS
Cannock Chase

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HI Jenny

welcome to the forum

that was quite eloquently put

you should read some of my drivel

(you probably will )

i have used the bottle trick this year too it seems to work great ,good tip about the bottom being left on .never thought about it being a trap.

MOS xx

sit down with a cupa and the urge will subside

Sun 15-Aug-10
1:43 pm
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lilythepink
Sud Vienne, France

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Thank you for your welcome danast, and of course MOS,  (although I hope that you're not throwing down the gauntlet when it comes to drivel because I have certificates in the subject).

Sun 15-Aug-10
3:31 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Thanks for joining in, Jenny. Much appreciate your knowledge of toms. ok

I am surprised by your copper wire theory only because copper nails are used to kill trees quietly - just hammer a few in a circle around the trunk. Saying that, I know nothing about other properties of copper wire. Very interesting.

Aren't freshly plucked toms, warmed by the afternoon sun, one of the great joys of life? My tom highlight was most definitely in Italy where we used to buy the most succulent and flavoursome pommodori and just sit on a bench and eat them like an apple. Fantastic!

Never knowingly underfed

Sun 15-Aug-10
3:41 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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What a great first post Jenny!  I'm also a lover of tomatoes.  Welcome!

I'll try that again!

Sun 15-Aug-10
5:32 pm
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lilythepink
Sud Vienne, France

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Well, Danny,  I cannot claim the copper wire theory to be mine.  I have read that this is so, but it wasn't in the newspapers so perhaps it isn't true.

I will quickly clarify that I have certificates in drivel, not in tomato growing.

I'd hate to be thought of as immodestfrown.

Mon 16-Aug-10
5:05 pm
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Ecosse79
Poitou/Holland

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Welcome, Jenny - from a fellow newbie on this forum. I am now extremely envious of your website image galleries. magic

 But that is not the subject of this thread...I need to check if there is already a thread on macro photographysmile

Mon 16-Aug-10
5:32 pm
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Michelle from Oregon
Oregon, USA

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Welcome Jenny and Paul!

Paul, there are some sub-threads in the Technical Stuff section, but I think they are more on how to post pictures than a general topic, it might be worth it to look there.confused

If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!

Mon 16-Aug-10
5:49 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Ecosse79 said:

I need to check if there is already a thread on macro photographysmile


No there isn't but we'd be very pleased if you'd like to start one.magic

I'll try that again!

Sat 4-Sep-10
8:44 pm
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mike.
Coventry

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I've been away from the forum for a while and have got lots of catching up to do but before that, a question:

I don't recall this being asked previously in this thread but this year I've noticed my tomatoes have started splitting. I've got 2 types in garden - moneymaker and gardeners delight. It seems to be mainly the moneymaker which are splitting - it looks a bit like the fruit are bursting due to pressure or something like that. I don't think i've been over-watering them (don't know whether that can cause it - it seems unlikely).

I know moneymaker tomatoes are a bit rubbish and tasteless but they're the only ones ripening at the moment so it'd be a shame to lose most of them to this.

Visit my blog for food, drink, photography and hamsters.

Sat 4-Sep-10
11:07 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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Oh, Bobquail - that's happening to ours too !

Our little bush tomatoes - marble-sized (steam ) -  look wonderful, but to take off the little star-shaped stalk splits them. We picked about 20 today to go with our lunch, and they all split.

Ours are Koralik - recommended by Gardener's World presenter, Toby Buckland.

brightsparklystuff

"How do you spell 'Love'?" (Piglet). 

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

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

Sat 4-Sep-10
11:27 pm
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KateUK
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Splitting is usually because of watering- this year has been very dry-lack of rain and strong winds- so soil/compost dries out particularly fast,then when you water/it rains loads the skins can't keep up with the swelling of the fruits.

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/

Sat 4-Sep-10
11:33 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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We've always thought that, too, Kate, but we have just arrived home after a month away - the only watering was rain ! It could still be the reason, but our neighbours have said that it hasn't been very warm, so they're not doing as well as they might, perhaps.

Oh, Kate, I have collected some feathers - not that many, but feathers nonetheless - are you still wanting them?

brightsparklystuff

"How do you spell 'Love'?" (Piglet). 

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

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

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