Archive for the ‘Tomato Growing’ Category

Where do tomatoes come from?

Person Author: Lajos Szabo Calender July 31, 2012 Posted Tags: , , Comment 3 Comments
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Ripe tomatoes Tomatoes are ripening in greenhouses all over the country by now. The outside crop unfortunately failed again this year at most places as the weather was more than unkind to growing this warmth loving vegetable, or is it a fruit? Everything has happened this year what tomatoes don't like: sitting in cold water, cold days and nights, strong wind, no sunshine. The above big-bite sized cherry tomatoes are the heirloom Black Cherry tomato, which is one of the tastiest cherry tomatoes you can grow. The fruits are a bit bigger than the Gardener's Delight for example but still can call it a cherry. Where they come from? Tomatoes originally come from South and Central America. Some research trace the tomato all the way back to Peru. Where the fruits were small and green,

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Sick tomato plants

Person Author: Lajos Szabo Calender July 20, 2012 Posted Tags: , , , Comment No Comments
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In this wet and humid weather most of us didn't have a chance to grow tomatoes outdoors successfully. I thought I had managed to escape the early blight what was reported in several part of the country but if blight don't strike something else will in this weather. This year is the best for all sorts of fungal diseases as they love humid conditions and cooler temperatures. Sometimes it is not easy to identify the diseases but you don't always have to. One rule applies to all of them: destroy the affected plants as oon as you are sure that it is a fungi, burning is your best option. All the fungal diseases can survive in the soil for years so crop rotation is essential if you had some sort of tomato diseases, don't grow the plants at the same spot next year. Fuzarium wilt What my

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Hairy Beast

Person Author: Lajos Szabo Calender June 28, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment 1 Comment
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Have you ever wondered why tomato plants are hairy? There must be a use for all those hairs right?! Yes there is, more than one and more than you all think. The tomato hairs are called glandular trichomes, yes sorry if it is a bit too scientific but it is very interesting, for me at least. Lycopersicum esculentum is the scientific name of the tomato. Wild tomato or I should rather say Lycopersicum species are more hairy, and the glandular trichomes extract some very useful molecules called glucose esters. Just to make things more complicated there are different type of glandular trichomes and they don’t extract the same molecules in the same concentrate. Cultivated tomato varieties have been intensively selected for productivity, shelf life of fruit, and therefore the genetic dive

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Strip or not to strip

Person Author: Lajos Szabo Calender June 28, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment 1 Comment
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Have you ever wondered if you should remove the lower leaves of your tomato plants? Once someone showed me a picture with hardly any leaves on his tomato plants, wasn’t a pretty sight, it was like a sheep after shearing, and then he wondered why the fruits did not grow bigger. It is just like everything else in life, do it with moderation! It is wrong to think that exposing the fruits to direct sunlight will encourage them to ripen faster; it is actually the right temperature which speeds up ripening and not the sunlight. In the greenhouse especially direct sunlight on the fruits can be harmful as it could overheat the fruits and blotchy patches will appear on them. I know it is not really a problem outdoors right now, but indoor tomatoes already bear fruits and I will have to paint m

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Tomatoes in bloom

Person Author: Lajos Szabo Calender June 20, 2012 Posted Tags: , , Comment 1 Comment
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Tomatoes started to flower outside finally. In this weather everything takes ages to grow outside, but at last my tomatoes started to bloom so my gloom is easing a bit, this is when I get very excited and brew my own liquid feed for the plants. I always put some half ready compost under the plants but that is never enough for the hungry tomatoes, especially on my plot where the soil is full of stones and clay. Throughout the growing season I feed my tomatoes and peppers every week with a light green home-made feed and always have a good crop, always when there is no blight. Of course the indoor tomatoes formed the first trusses and the fruits are forming nicely, but when it starts happening outside too is when you know that summer is on the way. More flying pollinators are around

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New Tomato Plants from Cuttings.

Person Author: Helen Fowler Calender June 16, 2012 Posted Tags: , , , , Comment 3 Comments
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                          Tomatoes are everybody's favourite vegetable, and I am sure if you are a gardener you do have few different varieties growing. Tomatoes are not the easiest to grow, and tomato seeds do take time to germinate especially in a cooler home. If you have sown your tomato seeds a bit too early and have few plants gone leggy because of the lack of light or low temperature and some of them even died you can try this method to propagate new tomato plants from your existing ones. Have you tried propagating tomato plants from cuttings, if you haven't it's very easy. If you have any plants which have grown very leggy, don't throw them away, simply cut of the top 6-8

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Planting out tomatoes

Person Author: Lajos Szabo Calender June 12, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment 1 Comment
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If you are growing tomatoes it is a good time to plant out your plants to their final position if you have not done so yet. Generally it is not recommended to plant out your tomatoes earlier than the very end of May. From a late March sowings mine were just ready to go out (read almost pot bound) from 15 cm tall pots. As the tomatoes are hungry creatures and love water I would suggest you dig 3 times bigger whole than the pot the plants are in and add 1 or 2 spadefuls of homemade compost. If you don't have compost don't worry you can always give your plants a good homemade nettle and comfrey feed. I don't always have compost and find that feeding the plants with nettle feed really helps them grow and given that the summer weather is well, summery I always have bumper crops even on heavy

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Curled tomato leaves

Person Author: Lajos Szabo Calender May 29, 2012 Posted Tags: , , Comment No Comments
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If you have a small greenhouse or polytunnel in your garden or allotment plot and you find that your plants, especially tomatoes, have curly leaves don't be afraid. The curling is almost entirely down to the fact that the night temperature is much lower than the daytime temperature. In the greenhouse in direct sunshine at around 2pm the highest I have measured was 45 Celsius with vents and door open; there was no wind whatsoever at that time and after midday is the hottest time of the day. And during the night the greenhouse does get nearly as cold as the outdoor temperatures believe me, which still can be around 10 Celsius. The plants in your greenhouse make a surplus of food during the warm daytime and the cold nights slow down their biological activities therefore they cannot abs

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How to make your own liquid feed

Person Author: Lajos Szabo Calender May 7, 2012 Posted Tags: , , Comment 6 Comments
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Peppers, aubergines and tomatoes are growing strong by now hopefully in your conservatory or greenhouse. And it will be time soon to put them into their final position and feed them some high nitrogen fertilizer to encourage growth. Here are a few tips on how to make your very own liquid fertilizer for free. Stinging nettle – Urtica dioica If you have an allotment plot or a garden you must have some stinging nettles growing somewhere and you think it is very hard to get rid of this perennial weed.  It has a fast growing yellow rhizome and as it is a perennial it is best to keep it at bay or will take over your garden. This plant is used as a medicinal pant and as a food source too. And the plants are high in nitrogen which is why it is used as a compost activator and to make l

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Tomatoes: Removing Side Shoots or Not

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      The Tomato plants that we have grown from seed or purchased as plants are now growing fast. A question often asked by new gardeners is 'Do I remove the side shoots from my tomato plant'? Well that depends, there are two basic types of tomato. The first are called 'Determinate' or Bush types. These include varieties like 'Tumbler', 'Totem', 'Minibelle', 'Garden Pearl' and cascade varieties. You DO NOT remove the side shoots. These tomato plants know what they are doing, hence the name Determinate. They will grow outwards forming a mound or stay small and bushy, or cascade down. These determinate or bush types are great to grow in pots, tubs or even hanging baskets. The second type are called 'Indeterminate' commonly called Cordon or Vine tomatoes. T

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