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What makes a good tomato ?

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default Re: What makes a good tomato ?

Post by Compostwoman on 9th June 2010, 4:26 pm

Just had a look and yes the Yellow Perfection is a close second..oooh a race!

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default Re: What makes a good tomato ?

Post by Zoe on 10th June 2010, 5:28 pm

I lost a couple of tomato plants (out of 70) so I put a few side shoots off healthy plants into a seed tray that was supposed to be chives (but only a few had germinated). Literally just pushed them in. They grow very strongly, very quickly and I have transplanted them out. They have excellent roots.
I think I might try again later in the year to get some late croppers. Anyone else tried this?

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Post by Compostwoman on 10th June 2010, 7:04 pm

I do it with all thetime at this time of the year, especially strong, low down shoots which I find seem to root the fastest...sometimes they have air roots so really get going quickly.

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default Re: What makes a good tomato ?

Post by Chilli-head on 27th June 2010, 9:00 pm

At last, first fully ripe tomato eaten yesterday. In the end, it was a Franchi Red Pear. Very nice it was too Must remember to grow an earlier variety next year.

First Chillies also eaten tonight; Hungarian Wax, barbecued with Halloumi. They were grown from my own saved seed, and seem very variable in heat, from really rather mild to lip-searingly hot I wonder if some cross pollination went on ...
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Post by polgara on 6th July 2010, 5:30 pm

A clear out in the greenhouse yesterday, can move a bit noe. Found several pots that were hidden.

At last a pot of carrots that are actually growing, plus a pot of something that says beetroot but does not look like it, so wait & see time.

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default Re: What makes a good tomato ?

Post by Chilli-head on 9th July 2010, 11:33 am

Just munching on a St Pierre I picked this morning. It does deserve its reputation for good flavour (I seem to remember Raymond Blanc favours them).

Anyway, I've now done some taste testing in my New Horizons <-> Homemade compost trial (of the tomatoes grown in it, not the compost ...), and I have to say I cannot discern any consistent difference. The homemade mix was 1 part 'vermiperl' to 3 of compost, with some seaweed meal added. It does seem to retain water a little better. So, a good enough result from the homemade to be worth repeating. If I can make enough compost ...
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Post by Zoe on 9th July 2010, 11:48 am

Sounds interesting chilli-head, but what exactly is "vermiperl". What is it made of? Is it fabricated?

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Post by Chilli-head on 9th July 2010, 12:16 pm

Hmm. Vermiperl is a horticultural vermiculite/perlite type material, i.e. mica or volcanic rock exfoilated by heating to 900C. Probably not exactly green, but holds water and opens up a compost nicely.
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Post by Compostwoman on 9th July 2010, 12:51 pm

for compostpower

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Post by Zoe on 13th July 2010, 2:02 pm

OK Chilli-head...if the added (bought?) vermi/perl is acting like perlite it is allowing water and air to penetrate the soil because it is hollow. If it is retaining the water longer it suggests the water is stored in the perlite...do you think so? So you could try ground stock brick in another experiment...should still be free in your area!! Or have they shut down all the brick works.

Another thought is that if the water is stored in the perlite is being held back by the perlite from the plant. So you could try the classic equal mix of sharp sand, compost high in organic matter and good loam and put limestone lumps on top to retain the moisture by reducing evaporation. The limestone will also provide the calcium.

Also another trial would be to increase the organic matter in the compost mix the to see if that increase the water retention.... Very Happy

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default Re: What makes a good tomato ?

Post by Compostwoman on 13th July 2010, 3:00 pm

I grow straight into my home produced compost, with about 3 inches of soil in the very top of the bucket ( I use builders buckets with holes in as a pot, and stand them in gravel trays, 3 to a tray, on the PT floor)

I find this works very well, and back to back trials a few years back showed my growing medium produced better growth, better, tastier tomatoes, bigger yields and they needed less water than the bought in growing mediums one. All else was equal, identical seeds, planted same time, same conditions etc.

But then I do produce a lot of home made compost.

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default Re: What makes a good tomato ?

Post by Chilli-head on 13th July 2010, 5:23 pm

Zoe wrote:OK Chilli-head...if the added (bought?) vermi/perl is acting like perlite it is allowing water and air to penetrate the soil because it is hollow.

Exactly so. The vermiperl is (was ?) a Sinclair product. My mix is as the manufacturers recommend. The vermiperl holds up to 1/3 its volume of water, and retains nutrients with it, so the compost takes longer to dry out. Mine was acquired as surplus in professional horticultural sized bags, so it actually also serves as a bulking agent for my limited supplies of compost - I have only 3 x 1m3 bins, so cannot make compost on CW's scales !

The brickworks around here are now silent. Hanson could not get the SO2 levels down to EU requirements. We now have the threat of a Covanta "Energy from waste" plant, AKA incinerator+greenwash, in their place
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Post by Compostwoman on 13th July 2010, 6:03 pm

Tough luck on the "EfW" plant yes AKA incinerator +greenwash +dioxins, PM10's etc etc ....

Any Great crested newts on the site? they usually LOVE brickworks...

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default Re: What makes a good tomato ?

Post by Zoe on 28th September 2010, 6:50 pm

I had no blossom end rot on the plants in the greenhouse at all. And I haven't changed my inconsistent watering habits - not helped by the temperature can easily go about the 50degC limit of the thermometer.

What I did and will do now - always - is put limestone rocks on top of the soil so they added lime each watering.

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