Welcome to my blog

I was born in Guernsey (but now live in Brittany) and our main industry was growing tomatoes although that industry has now virtually disappeared. Growing tomatoes to a Guernseyman is like wine to a Frenchman, it's in our blood! I do not profess to be an expert, but I have picked up a few tips and techniques which work for me.
PLEASE NOTE due to ill health I have not kept up with this blog, however there is still a lot of information to look at from over the past few years. I will add the odd new post but some videos are missing from old post, I will re-create these one day.


Sunday, 3 June 2012

My first tomato of the season ready to pick

This nice spell of hot weather has certainly brought on my indoor tomato crop. Last year it went quite cold so the tomatoes hung around on the plants and my first tomato was picked on the 11th June. This caused the heads to go a little thin as there was so much crop on the plants, so I gave them a high nitrogen feed to encourage some extra foliar growth.





I have removed a few more of the lower leaves to help ripen the fruit slightly and give some good air circulation, as I have been spraying the tomatoes with water to keep them cool. I wanted to make sure that the lower part of the plant dries out by night time.





It certainly has been hot in the poly-tunnel these last few weeks, over 30 degrees some days, that's the problem with a plastic covered structure. As I have said I do cool the plants down with a fine water spray, some people will say that this will cause scorch on the leaves, but I did this even in Portugal where it was a hell of a lot hotter in the poly-tunnels with no scorching.You do need to keep the humidity levels up in hot weather to help the flowers set, so spraying also helps with this.







Good ventilation is also important and it is about time to leave the doors open at night, except on windy or colder nights. I have netting on the more exposed doorway to help stop any wind damage. Bramble in on patrol to make sure no one steals my first ripe tomato.




The marigolds are doing their job stopping most of the white fly from feeding off the tomatoes. You will see plenty of whitefly on the marigolds, but a lot less on the tomatoes. A dousing with diluted washing up liquid also helps keep them at bay. 





Twisting and shooting is another regular weekly task, just remember that your plants need to be twisted clockwise around the string, as this is the direction that they follow the sun and would untwist themselves if you did it anti-clockwise. Also make sure that the string passes above the trusses, or as the plant grows it could put pressure on the stem of the trusses.



Do not forget that I have a new questions page at the top of the blog, just ask you question in the comments section there, or on the page of a relevant post.

6 comments:

  1. They look good! I'm sooooo jealous. I'm going to buy some marigold seeds tomorrow. Just planted some cherry tomato seeds. Interesting point re. twisting and shooting

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  2. The great think about Marigolds is that they seed everywhere so you will have plenty as well next year. I also plant Basil in the poly-tunnel as this wards off some insects and also grows really well in there.

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  3. I'm a bit confused on the marigold front - I thought most people grew French marigolds against whitefly but I think yours are Calendula aren't they? I grow French marigolds for in between mine but they are outside so whitefly isn't really a problem (no idea if this is because of the marigolds or not!) but they look pretty so I don't really care! I have loads of calendula self seeding too.

    Also interestingly I noticed one of my bought plants (a Roma) has that blind thing you mentioned a few posts back. Luckily it has a side shoot just below the blind bit so that'll be the new leader! Hope you enjoy your tomato :-)

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    1. Hi MMM
      I Googled Calendula and they have a far more hardy type leaf, unlike mine.
      Mine are like Calendula officinalis (pot marigold)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calendula_officinalis
      All I know is that they keep the whitefly at bay, I am sure any type will do.

      We had out first tomatoes in a salad tonight,it was weird, they really tasted of tomatoes, not water! LOL.

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    2. It was the pot marigold I meant (didn't know there was any other kind of Calendula!). As for your first tomato lalalalala *sticks fingers in ears* lalalala I don't want to hear!!!!!!!!

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    3. The problem now is that every time I go in the poly-tunnel there is yet another ripe one. :-)

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