Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Q & A

Hello veggie people, I've had a few questions posed to me through the e-mail contact in the last few weeks so I thought I'd throw them up here for the heck of it.
If any one does have a question just fire away and I'll do my best to answer it.

Question 1. Hi Stewart, I have a rosemary plant in a tub that seems to be quite healthy but it gets this white or grey mildewy stuff on the new growth. What is it and how can i get rid of it?
I live on the Gold Coast so it is often hot and humid but the mildew seems to be around most of the year. One site said to use dolomite as the plant will like it and it will help with the problem.
Any info would be appreciated -thanks, G*****.
My answer.
Hi G*****, sounds like powdery mildew and with rosemary in your climate it can be a problem. Best way to fix it is to spray with copperoxychloride, any nursery or supermarket should have it. Follow the directions on the packet and it should be fine.
If you haven't already it needs to be in full sun all day and when watering, which is usually unnecessary, then water in the morning to give the water a chance to dry up off the foliage.
Cheers. And hope this helps
Stewart.

Question 2.  About Burke's Backyard Tomato.
Hi, did you pinch out the laterals. Someone told me they did and got no
fruit, they said you don't need to with this variety, I find this hard
to believe, nothing on the ticket the plant came with. What do you
think? Hope your gardening going well mine just beginning, regards J***


My answer.
 Hi J***, it's been a while since I planted these but from memory I'm sure they needed staking and pinching out of the laterals. They were a tasty tomato but I was disappointed with their yield. Fwiw the best tomato I've grown is one called Mortgage Lifter. Large tomato's and plenty of them.

Cheers, hope this helps

Stewart.

I'll add one more thing about tomatoes that I didn't include in my answer and that there is two main growing habits of tomatoes. and they are named determinate and indeterminate and I've pinched a description from the Garden Webs site,
Determinate varieties of tomatoes, also called "bush" tomatoes, are varieties that are bred to grow to a compact height (approx. 4 feet).
They stop growing when fruit sets on the terminal or top bud, ripen all their crop at or near the same time (usually over a 2 week period), and then die.
They may require a limited amount of caging and/or staking for support, should NOT be pruned or "suckered" as it severely reduces the crop, and will perform relatively well in a container (minimum size of 5-6 gallon). Examples are: Rutgers, Roma, Celebrity (called a semi-determinate by some), and Marglobe.
Indeterminate varieties of tomatoes are also called "vining" tomatoes. They will grow and produce fruit until killed by frost and can reach heights of up to 10 feet although 6 feet is considered the norm. They will bloom, set new fruit and ripen fruit all at the same time throughout the growing season.
They require substantial caging and/or staking for support and pruning and the removal of suckers (I call these lateral shoots) is practiced by many but is not mandatory. The need for it and advisability of doing it varies from region to region. Experiment and see which works best for you. Because of the need for substantial support and the size of the plants, indeterminate varieties are not usually recommended as container plants. Examples are: Big Boy, Beef Master, most "cherry" types, Early Girl, most heirloom varieties, etc.
May your harvest be bountiful
Cheers
Stewart


3 comments:

farmer_liz said...

thanks stu, I didn't know the difference btw determinate and indeterminate and have been pinching all laterals, that may explain my poor harvest last yr, although I don't really know what varieties I had because they all sprouted from the compost. Is there anyway to work out what you've got growing without knowing the name of the plant and looking it up? Very useful anyway, I will keep this in mind for this year's tomatoes!

Stewart said...

A simple way is your bush tomatoes won't grow very tall, a meter at most and will branch early and quickly.
Indeterminate tomatoes will want to grow tall quickly and have longer distance between stems branches.

Or you could do your own experiment and get some know seed varieties and study the difference between them.
Best I can do.
Hope it helps.
Cheers
Stewart.

KarlettaA said...

Hi Liz,

I have found a few websites that could help you identify your tomatoes by photo.

A) There are photos of some tomatoes identified by name, among photos of 'tomatoes in a bowl'.
http://international.stockfood.com/results.asp?txtkeys=Tomato%20variety

B) List by Yates of common Australian varieties, which can be seen at the Edan Seeds website.
If the Edan Seeds link doesn't take you directly to the tomatoes, click on their links for Seed Store, then Vegetables, then 'T'.
Edan seeds have seperated them into Determanant and Indeterminant varieties.
http://www.yates.com.au/tomatoes/
http://www.edenseeds.com.au/content/default.asp

C) And finally, a blog of an American showing photos of his varieties. There are some of tomatoes found in Australia ie: Roma.
http://therustedgarden.blogspot.com.au/2011/06/identifying-tomato-types-fruit-shapes.html?m=1

Hope this helps,
KarlettaA