Final Positions for the Tumbling Toms

As mentioned in last weeks newsletter, each of the five plants is getting a different treatment so we will be able to see the results.

  1. Regular Treatment – Alice is the normal one.
  2. Growing In Shade and No Food– not everyone has a sunny garden so Brian is suffering for those who don’t get enough sun, or food!
  3. Twice The Recommended Amount of Food – will Charlie need to go on a diet at the end of the season?
  4. Regular Treatment Plus Magnesium – will Daisy’s toms taste better for it?
  5. Over-Watered – Eric may produce watery tasting tomatoes … let’s hope not!

This Week’s Leaf Problem
This about the time of the season when tomato leaves begin to show signs of damage, disease or deficiency.

If you haven’t grown tomatoes before, poorly looking leaves around the bottom of a plant can be alarming. However, it is quite normal for leaves to show all sorts of spots, freckles and unexpected colours and still be healthy.

Tomato plants send their nutrients to the growing tip (on a tall variety) or tips (on a bush variety) and the lower, older leaves get hardly any food at all!

This week it’s magnesium deficiency – brown freckles on a green or yellowish background.

Nothing to worry about, just remove the leaf branch.

This leaf belongs to a Red Alert which is a quick growing bush variety – the quicker they grow, the sooner they need feeding!

Keeping things tidy around the base of the stem is a good idea. It helps prevent decaying leaves, insects breeding and improves the flow of air around the base of the tomato plant. This helps reduce the possibility of fungal disease – especially in wet conditions or in a greenhouse where there may be condensation.

Small or Large?  Both is Good!
One thing that I find amusing is when tomato food is advertised to suggest that it will give you the largest, most massive tomatoes you’ve ever grown. So does that mean that my cherry tomato plants will produce beefsteak monsters? I hope not!

I have grown tomatoes of all shapes and sizes and it is my opinion that cherry tomatoes are among the finest tasting and will yield a more abundant crop than many of the larger varieties, especialy when growing outdoors.

Brandywine and Caspian Pink (large varieties) both rank highly for taste, but their yield is modest and require a greenhouse or polytunnel to produce good results.

As always I’ll be pleased to answer any questions, if I can.

nick@tomatogrowing.co.uk

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Cheers for now,
Nick