Saturday, December 17, 2011

TLC for our tomatoes

We look like having a bumper crop of tomatoes this year, starting with our Beefsteak variety. Also growing are Romas and Gross Lisse varities plus numerous compost-derived specimens - all doing fabulously!

However, we've had a lot of blossom end rot plus fruit worm through them - the Romas have taken the biggest hit by the looks. Given their hybrid background the compost tomatoes are the least affected. We've done a big clean out and given the toms a dose of calcium nitrate in liquid form, hoping to remedy the remainder of the crop, which is looking decidedly healthier after two weeks of TLC! :o) Next year we will need to dose the soil more with gardening lime I think - not enough in ourno-dig bed it seems. Might also be worth tracking down some powdered or pulverised rock minerals to provide more trace elements.

tomatoes (fruitworm)
Beefsteak tomatoes with fruitworm.

In the other bed, our second planting of dwarf beans and the purple king beans are coming to an end - the warmer drier weather has meant a smaller crop, but my affection for them has not diminished in the slightest!

purple king bean (flower)
Purple King Beans in flower.

The cucumbers are flowering with little cucumbers on the way as well. Our corn is growing taller everyday too - we love corn, but again will need to keep an eye out for fruitworm as I've heard they love corn.

burpless cucumber
Burpless cucumber in flower.

The Perth weather is surely getting hotter and the days longer, so we are being more rigorous with watering and regularity is the key. A regular dose of liquid seaweed (or fish) emulsion seems to push the vegies along nicely too. A dose every fortnight seems to be having a positive effect.

So, bring on Summer and happy gardening!


  1. I've had trouble with blossom end rot as well with my main crop in the no-dig section too. I've found that it has been drying out in spots and that may have contributed to the problem. Good tip about the calcium nitrate, I'll hunt some down. I use rock dust that I get from The Green Life Soil Co. in Midvale. Enjoy those tommys!

    1. These guys were at Garden Week in Perry Lakes so was able to finally pick up some rock dust Graham :-)

  2. Ah, you've found some rock dust Graham! Excellent!
    I've been trying to track some down - will get out to Midvale and pick some up.
    Yes, we only just pulled out our tommy plants this weekend - dried out with the heat.
    The blossom end rot seemed to come good in our second batch of toms - not sure if the calcium nitrate worked or what, but all good!
    Good obs about the no-dig sections - sometimes we find it does get water repellant in spots too. Regular watering seems to be the best cure so far - how are you going with yours?
    Marg :o)