Tomato Wilt

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Re: Tomato Wilt

Postby abrogard » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:02 am

I know it might be a horrible thing to say but I was pleased to read about your misfortunes. Misery loves company. Your story matches mine. I just can't believe it. But it is right there before my eyes.

Only my second year gardening and I thought I knew something and was going great guns. Got all prepared for the new year. Seedling ready and waiting for Spring. Beds prepared. Trellises prepared. The whole bit...

Boom. Crash. Nothing, zilch, nada....

Ah well. That's really learning I guess. On the up side, as you say, there's Zucchini looking definitely good, beans finally showing tentative signs of making progress, red cabbage might be throwing off its inertia, some good Chinese cabbage, various eggplant looking okay... try to take heart from that. And I've now got 70% of the garden under shadecloth, white 50%, we'll see if that does any good.

Looking at the planting guide I can't see anything to plant that we want except replant the beans and cucumber.

Look how out-of-kilter I seem to be - Broccoli listed as a planting for February, well, not planting but starting in seed trays and plant out in another month. But mine have been in for months. Planted according to directions from somewhere, seed packet or the gardenate guide.

I think we trail the guide a bit, here, don't we? Come a little later than it recommends?

Drip irrigation is the next thing to try, I think. Maybe even misting, under the shadecloth. Maybe that would work on these fiercely hot days to keep the ambient temp down and the humidity up? It'll be next year now I suppose before I'll know. This hot summer weather can disappear at any time I guess and we're back to basically tending chilly south aus. weather.

And perhaps the shadecloth should be extended down the sides and I garden entirely 'indoors' in shade shelters like I see the professionals using all around.

If that's the way to go I will. I just love growing healthy vegies. I hate this looking out on a crisped up, pest eaten desert.

:)
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Re: Tomato Wilt

Postby karyn » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:01 pm

According to my planting guides, Ab, you can still plant dwarf beans (I use gourmet's delight as my favourite variety), beetroot, broc, cabbage, brussels sprouts, carrots, cauli, celery, eggplant, leeks. lettuce, spring onions, peas, potatoes, spinach, silver beet. Pop over the river to Nott's nursery for punnets of seedlings if you get a chance, it's lovely and clean. I've just checked on my sugar snap peas, carrots, beetroot, spring onion and summer spinach seeds and they're all up.
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Re: Tomato Wilt

Postby karyn » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:03 pm

I grow broccoli all year, same with sugar loaf cabbages. The only time I don't grow them is when i can't get the seedlings. Broc, cauli seedlings are out now in the nurseries.
Last edited by karyn on Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tomato Wilt

Postby abrogard » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:44 pm

Well I'm currently mightily confused. What with one thing or another. Weather going every which way. Plants not growing as they should. Other gardeners reporting very difference experiences with the same crops in the same area...Etc...

I use the 'gardenate reminders' planting guide (reminders@gardenate.com) which I thought I got from this forum somehow or other, or somehow connected with it...

Of the list you mention, karyn, these are not listed on the gardenate thing for January: Broccoli, Cabbage, Brussel Sprout, Cauliflower, Celery, Leek, Spring Onion, Peas, Potato and Spinach.

I like your list. I'll be happy to get straight into planting more beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauli, lettuce, peas and spinach. I'd like to grow all those.

I don't use seedlings. Grow everything from seed. But that could change.

When a plant or vegetable doesn't progress for an extended period would you give up on it, pull it up, throw it out?

I have a bed of red cabbage like that. And some sugarloaf like that. Been in since early Spring. I have grafted Nellie Kelly passionfruit like that, too and I was advised to pull it.

You grow cabbages year round? I'd like to do that. But surely, they hate the heat? Are yours under shade? Is your whole place somehow sheltered a bit, from the heat, from the drying fierce winds?
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Re: Tomato Wilt

Postby greg.l » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:04 pm

Do you have any large trees or shrubs nearby? If there are roots from other plants stealing all your food and water it can be hard to get vegies to grow. That's when growing in containers can be an advantage.
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Re: Tomato Wilt

Postby karyn » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:44 pm

I usually can't get cabbage seedlings in the hottest months, so maybe yours have been in too long? I try to time it so I purchase a couple of punnets of seedlings of cabbages just before Summer kicks in, then I plant them in a spot getting afternoon shade. They do need more water. Regarding seedlings, I use them for broc and cabbage as I have trouble with seed. At $3.30 for sometimes 12 plants if you pick the punnet well, it's a bargain. A packet of seeds costs the same, but since they fail to thrive for me, it's wasted money. The list is from an Adelaide organic gardener, Peter Bennett - it's old but the list still has merit.
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Re: Tomato Wilt

Postby lilly60 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:04 pm

Very interesting reading all the above recent posts. Sorry, abrogard, I was going get back to you sooner re: what sort of containers I have my vegies in. I typed a post and then filed it in draft and went out to take some pics of them for you. Thought I had downloaded them ok, then couldnt find them! However, they are old fashioned very thick and very large cement pots. Mum used to have large plants in them on the front patio. One lot are a matching pair and look like big Grecian urns. The other is larger and plain and the one in which I have my zuccs planted in. The thickness the walls of each pot is about 3mm and they are very deep. I think the cement insulates the roots more than plastic would. The soil is 50/50 good garden soil which has had lots of compost in it over time, and good Nu-Earth premium potting soil. With the layer of pea straw on the surface the roots of the vegies are well-insulated and the soil retains the moisture from watering v. well. Sadly, my zuccs are experiencing rotting prob. In waiting for the flower to gradually produce the whole zucc. - the first 3/4 of the zucc goes fine but the last section remains yellowish and then gets very soft and rotten. Errrrrrkkkkk (please tell me its not my wonderful container growing method that's doing this :x Little iceberg lettuce going well in their cement containers though.. :) I wonder if its the roller coaster weather with its extreme fluctuations that is playing havoc with our produce this year... also has anyone noticed the lack of bees in the garden? I have lots of bee attracting shrubs around my garden (lavender, buddleja etc) and I have noticed a huge decline this summer in the number of bees - I guess this isnt helping with pollination (??). I grew purple caps this year also just to see how it went (one plant only) and how it tasted. It too is suffering the same fate as other members. (They also taste just like green caps btw and are green on the inside).
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Re: Tomato Wilt

Postby jaden62 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:09 am

Yes, I'm noticing that I don't seem to have as many bees this year. But then I'm also noticing that my "feral flowers" (flowers I've planted outside the front fenceline simply for colour & to attract bees) didn't seem to flower for as long this year. I've got portulacca & gazanias (?? I think) but nothing's flowering out there at the moment. I've got petunias & straw flowers going mad, & basil is flowering but I'm seeing very few bees.

Another forum has mentioned some possible problems with mulch that may have been sprayed with a broadleaf herbicide, & that we wouldn't know about it unless we personally know the site it came from. Apparently some people have had mulch that have been sprayed & either their gardens have died totally or they have just failed to thrive. Their suggestion is to interplant with something low & growing (think alyssum, radishes, strawberries, thyme, chamomile, etc). I'm thinking I might try that.

My pumpkins are "misbehaving" - one vine is only growing female flowers, the other two (a different type) are only growing male flowers. The one growing females did have about 4 male flowers a couple of weeks ago that I put in the fridge, & I've been using them to try to fertilise the females, but I don't think they're taking. The males are full of pollen & I'm ensuring that it gets all the way through the female flowers, but the baby pumpkins are still just shrivelling up & falling off.

Abrogard, I will also admit to misery loving company. I've seen a number of Adelaide growers all across the city saying things just don't seem to be "going right" - but then someone in the same suburb or the next one over is saying how great things are going. It's very confusing.

I'm also almost at the stage of considering pulling everything out that is just sitting there growing but not producing, & replacing it with a fertiliser crop - possibly mustard to fumigate the soil. I won't do any worse than I currently am, & you never know, it might just fix the problem.
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Re: Tomato Wilt

Postby abrogard » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:16 pm

I can report a total absence of bees - of bees I've seen. There may well have actually been some.

Are the people finding it all going wrong and the people finding it all going fine all growing the same things?

My inexperience and choice of what to grow probably has a lot to do with my misfortunes.

I tried to grow Grosse Lisse. Only. No other variety. If i'd had others in as well I could possibly report some success with tomatoes today.

I tried to grow red cabbage and possibly that was totally wrong.

I tried to grow sugar loaf - I've got a friend with more than 15 years experience growing vegies and that totally surprised him - in his mind the situation has morphed to where he was now believing cabbage can't be grown in these months. Experience turning into a 'rule' ? A rule that I should observe, I think...

Perhaps I put the beans, climbing and bush, in too early or the wrong varieties?

The Bok Choi I kept trying with perhaps shouldn't be attempted until the cooler months?

Perhaps my Broccoli was in too early - or the wrong variety?

And so on...

Thing is to start now with something that is going to work. And I don't trust my planting guide any more. I wonder if anyone can point to me one they know works well for this region?

I put bird wire down in parts yesterday and got more today... we'll see how that goes... I've had successful silver beet growing all through this disastrous time but as fast as it grew the birds ate it off........ Could at least have been eating silver beet....

:)
Last edited by abrogard on Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tomato Wilt

Postby greg.l » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:32 pm

On my butternut pumkins the female flowers dropped off in the heat. It has set about 10 fruit but now I have to wait for more female flowers before it sets anymore. My tomatos have just started ripening, will be having tomato soup tonight.
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Re: Tomato Wilt

Postby lilly60 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:37 pm

Gee, Jaden, I hadn't even thought of that!! (spraying fungicides on the stuff that we then buy for our mulch). I guess a lot of growing, not only veggies but all other plants, is down to a bit of trial and error, and also forums like this one where we can learn from others and try things that we would not otherwise have thought of. But one thing's for sure and that is that it has not been a "normal" 2012. And I'm glad its not me losing my marbles re: bees...Perhaps its also partly down to indiscriminate widespread use of fungicides in the environment....Its not good whatever is causing their demise. :cry:
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Re: Tomato Wilt

Postby jayendra » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:22 pm

I've had the worst tomato season ever. Browning/grey leaves and dying from bottom upwards. Someone suggested late blight.
I'm just going to completely isolate in fresh soil next year.
The vege garden is like having a second family.
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Re: Tomato Wilt

Postby jaden62 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:51 am

jayendra wrote:I've had the worst tomato season ever. Browning/grey leaves and dying from bottom upwards. Someone suggested late blight.
I'm just going to completely isolate in fresh soil next year.



I agree. Normally I've given away tomatoes by the bagful - this year I had to buy tomatoes to freeze. However, the plants that I have ignored (just haven't gotten around to ripping them out yet) are suddenly flowering & setting fruit. This seems a bit strange, but I'll let them go a little longer & see what happens. I think it's going to start getting too cool for the fruit to ripen, but if they want to try, I'll let them.

However, my tomatoes were all in fresh soil this year, just like they were last year, so I don't think the soil had anything to do with it. It either had to be something that came in from a bought plant & spread, or something that's spread through the wind/insects.
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Re: Tomato Wilt

Postby karyn » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:05 pm

Like someone said higher up this thread, I'm sort of glad to hear it's not just me!! I've decided to have no tomatoes at all next year, and maybe a couple in pots the year after that. Everything else did well, I'm still picking zucchinis from a late volunteer that came up by itself, I'm drowning in spring onions and beetroots, I had masses of squash and spaghetti squash, cucs, and am still picking eggplants. It's not warm enough here for good capsicums without starting them in a greenhouse. I now have carrots, broc, cabbages, onions, beetroots nearly ready and I sowed snow peas and sugar snap peas a few days ago.
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Re: Tomato Wilt

Postby greg.l » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:29 am

I had a good crop of tomatoes this year in my polytunnel. There were a few dying leaves but nothing unusual. Perhaps it was due to the humidity being higher than normal that people had problems.
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Re: Tomato Wilt

Postby jayendra » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:57 pm

One person I know had the best season ever, he had previously had diseased seasons. He treated with calcium nitrate.
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