July 23, 2010 at 3:32 am #252747
getting excited about the start of the tomato season to come and looking for some tips on ppl’s experiences.
we lost a lot of plants to disease last year so want to focus on disease resistance as the number one thing.
what do you recommend as the most disease resistant variety????:shrug:
variety survival stories in the middle of others being wiped out would be perfect.
EW42July 23, 2010 at 4:33 am #472145
Hi ew42, I grow lots of tomatoes close to you and have very few problems with pests & diseases. The two veggie gardens that I look after are both organic, companion planted and have oodles of insects cruising around. The one tomato that was effected last summer was a Black Russian. I dont know if this was simply a weak plant but it was a poor performer compared to the others. I am not sure if I will plant another Black Russian for harvest but may as a sacrificial plant to keep existing pests (as opposed to attracting more) away from other plants.
As for disease the best defence is good healthy natural growing conditions. Good organic practices, adequate space to provide ventilation, and lots of healthy humus rich soil are all a good start. Beams yellow pear was a cracker last season as was Reisentraube & Tommy Toe.
I have lots of lovely worm packed soil in Blairgowrie but really poor sandy soil in the garden I look after down the road. What type of soil do you have? Cheers porgey.July 23, 2010 at 5:59 am #472146
gee u r nearby. We have very poor soil here and have been building it up but also have very high PH wich is the real killer.
back where i used to live we had clay and that was so rich i hardly ever had a problem so i agree with you nutrition is the key.
the school i work at that has the kitchen garden doesn’t really have a lot of money for fertilizer either (organic) so getting good sourses of P and K is really what i need…..may need to get a load of seaweed.
those varieties sound familiar do you grow any “med-large” fruiting types that would foot the bill???
EW42July 23, 2010 at 6:33 am #472147
Lots and lots of compost was a great help in improving the sandy soil so may I suggest that you compost all the staff & students unwanted food, approach the local food shops for unsold F&V (it reduces there costs as well), and shimmie down to the local chook farm in Browns road and seek manure contributions – they have *xxxx*loads. These may not be certified organic inputs but are of organic origin and will help reduce your pH and improve your soil.
I will search out the names of more Tommies that I have had success with. Does the school need seedlings and other plants. How much space is there?
Cheers porgey.July 23, 2010 at 6:33 am #472148
Oops, double clicked 😀July 23, 2010 at 9:41 am #472149
Yes we have only just got our compost system online and we do get about one wheely bin of food scraps per week however until recently this is a drop in the bucket.
I estimate i put two to three cubic meters compost on the tomato beds alone last year which was close to a foot thick b4 we dug it in.
Now that our composting system is up and running i can push trough 20 cubic meters every few months which will help. i estimate we could use 80m per year without blinking.
All our practices are the best we could hope for with a limited budget/time i’m now hoping genetics will help just that little bit more.
We would be very greatful for any seedlings, thankyou very much for the offer.
The school garden is approx 400-500m2 of beds…..and growing
thanks for your help:DJuly 23, 2010 at 10:40 am #472150
ew42, If you can give me some actual measurements & solar orientation of the schools garden beds and a complete list of any fruit & veg you wish to grow I will see if I can raise those seedlings for the school free of charge. A picture or drawing would be handy to determine any shading & wind issues and the schools location.
Cheers porgey.July 23, 2010 at 8:29 pm #472151kerriebMember
Using dolamite lime on your tomato patch will help with reducing blossom end rot as part of the problem is due to low Ca/Mg as well as erratic watering. I’ve had much less of a problem with this since using it. Siberian is a bush very early tomato with egg sized fruit that seems fairly tough for me. It has the added avantage that you are likely to get fruit before the end of the school year for the kids as well. Rouge de Marmalade ? sp might be another one worth trying for the same reason.
That actually might be a problem for a many of the larger varieties for you in a school setting that they will often start fruiting when the kids are on holidays.July 23, 2010 at 9:29 pm #472152
Yes dolomite is good for blossom end rot so is a very consistent watering method. we are near the beach so our calcium levels are through the roof and PH is 8-8.5 so we just keep watering regular.
siberian is a type we have tried in the greenhouse with some success so i will try it outside too. Rouge de marmande is my favourite tommy and will be putting lots of those in.
what is SP?
yes our cropping tends to begin during the holidays but not a great deal it gives me a chance to do some seedsaving and taste testing;)
we may even plant a bit earlier too
thanks heapsJuly 23, 2010 at 11:44 pm #472153chriskMember
? sp means “not sure of the spelling”!July 24, 2010 at 6:19 am #472154MareeSchurmannMember
How are you?
We have quite a collection of local heritage tomato seeds that were left to us. If you are up around our way – let me know – we can share.
Maree (Mornington Community Garden)July 24, 2010 at 10:01 pm #472155
Hi Maree 🙂
long time no chat:(…..thankyou very much i will let you know when i’m passing through in the next few weeks.
i will bring some of our seeds too.
Karl:DJuly 25, 2010 at 6:50 am #472156maMember
Jaune Flamme is an outstanding tomato for our conditions, and tastes fabulous to boot! … I think I have a few seeds left from last year. It’s a good one because, being a mid-sized tomato, it has a solid chance of setting fruit before problems begin (we didn’t have much in the way of problems with it … not like the black russians :p). The cherry’s did well – lemon drop is outstandingling prolific, but has quite a thin skin.
I saved a few from last years garden … should be good enough for 20-30 plants.
If you are passing through, drop by on a Tuesday or Wednesday at the school … it would be great to see you (I’ll bring the seeds and keep them there on the off-chance) :hug:July 25, 2010 at 8:48 am #472157HerbmanMember
Hi EW42 :wave: I’m in a totally different client but I find that roma, cherry and mini tomatoes are more resistant to pests and disease than some of the other varieties that I have tried.
This winter I grew a trap crop of volunteer tomatoes (probably just some supermarket variety from the green grocer) in a bed a little bit away from my main crop. I let them get attacked by the bugs and this seemed to help keep them away from the romas.
I still got some tomatoes off the trap crop – if I managed to get out there before the bugs got in I would harvest what I could and leave the rest for the bugs. Not sure if it’s good practice, but it seemed to do the trick. (I just harvested 2.5kg green tomatoes and 1kg romas today)
Good luck hey 😀July 26, 2010 at 10:27 am #472158tipsypixieMember
Like Herbman I’m a fair bit north from you. However last year I ran an actual trial of Peron, Money Maker and Grosse Lisse in 3 beds, 2m x 1m spaced 1m apart. The Peron tomato was outstanding to say the least. Money Maker was pretty good and has continued to grow well in my poly tunnel through what has turned out to be a pretty cold winter here. The Grosse Lisse ALL went to the chooks!
The Grosse Lisse and Money Makers were sprayed with Dipel as well as constant hand-picking of pests. The Peron is marketed as a ‘sprayless’ tomato and so I treated it as such. Seriously fantastic tomato for this area (mid north coast NSW). Quite honestly, I plant it, forget about it until I see some almost red things, then harvest it. Apparently developed for the tropics it truly does seem to be fungus free. It also appears to repel just about any bugs, grubs etc.
Cherry, sweetie, yellow pear and roma toms are also pretty damned good and I’m still picking Romas from a plant in a pot that I started last September! I haven’t ever sprayed any of these varieties and if they got a handful of pelletised chook manure throughout their growing season they were lucky. The yellow pears have just finished last week and the little toms have self seeded and look to be ready for a small harvest again in the coming week.
Hope this is of some help.
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