Poor tomato crop.

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by joe wadge, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. joe wadge

    joe wadge Member

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    I live in New Westminster and have had the worst tomato crop ever. They were really
    late ripening but i lost 90% to the blight. Any recommendations for next year would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. apprentice dryad

    apprentice dryad Member

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    I live in Gibsons, and my tomato crop was also poor--the plants didn't set any fruit until quite late; mid-July, and consequently they didn't have time to ripen before the rains started. Next year I plan to 1) plant pollinator-attracting herbs such as oregano among the tomato plants, 2) start them earlier with plastic tunnels, and 3) have a framework in place for a cover before the rains start. Maybe it will work for eggplants and peppers too.
     
  3. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    My tomato crop is late in Burnaby, too, but it's coming in pretty well now. It should be nearly a normal crop if we get a reasonable amount of sunshine in the next couple of weeks. I agree that starting them under a plastic tunnel (cloche) is a good idea. I do it every year, although I should have planted earlier this Spring. Blight is always a problem when the rains arrive, but fixed copper spray can be used to reduce its effects considerably. I've sprayed my tomatoes twice this year, once just before the rains started, and again about a week ago. So far the blight damage has been minimal.
     
  4. apprentice dryad

    apprentice dryad Member

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    What is this fixed copper spray called, and where is it sold? Is it the same as Bordeaux mixture?
     
  5. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    It's called fixed copper or just copper spray, a wettable powder. It used to be sold at most garden centres, even places like Home Depot; but it's getting harder to find such things these days. I bought a kilogram bag of it at Otter Coop in Aldergrove. The small quantities sold in most retail outlets didn't last very long, since I use it on many fruits and vegetables. It is not the same as Bordeaux mixture, but I think that it is the main ingredient in the mixture. Bordeaux mixture will work as well but is more expensive and no better. The nice thing about fixed copper is that it is not very harmful; fruit can be harvested a day after spraying. And it can be used by organic gardeners.
     
  6. Anne58

    Anne58 Active Member

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    Definitely make sure that you provide cover for the plants to prevent the blight problems. I've tried the copper spray and although it works a bit, there are cautions about using it too much due to a build up of copper in the soil (or so I've heard).

    A simple wood frame with plastic covering is really the simplest and most effective solution.

    Re: pollination
    Go and tap the flowers periodically when they are in bloom, vibration of the flower will release the pollen and ensure you get tomatoes
     
  7. joe wadge

    joe wadge Member

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    I use an old electric toothbrush to pollinate. I used to rely on the bees but their is fewer every year.The
    commercial growers use Bumble bees because they are so heavy they have to flap their wings thus knocking
    the pollen loose. I have used plastic in the past but now I grow heritage tomato's and they are indeterminate
    type of plants, and they grow over 7ft. tall. I going to look around next year for determinate type plants that
    are disease resistant if their is such a thing. I hope this has been helpful.
     
  8. Pasquale

    Pasquale Active Member

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    I too grow my tomatoes under a plastic dome; there is never direct rain on them and yet this year one variety started to show some blight the first week in August. In contrast one variety is still Ok today with lot ripe tomatoes. This is to show the importance to select disease resistant varieties.

    Since we are on the topic of tomatoes I would like share my experience. For the last several years peoples have claimed (myself included) that tomatoes don’t taste good like they used too; my idea was: simply not enough heat to produce sun ripe tomatoes!
    This summer I went to southern Ontario to visit some old friends with a mission to find out if there tomatoes tasted better. We all know that Ontario have cold winters but also hot summers, maybe too hot! I had tomatoes from five different gardens in two cities: I have to report there tomatoes are not any better, as a matter of fact in my opinion ours are more flavourful.
     
  9. vicarious1

    vicarious1 Active Member 10 Years

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    Ohh I can feel for you...last year I had an 8m wall filled 2.5m tall with mini tomatoes a bowl every day for weeks on end.. This year I opted for some " tree tomato" sold on TV (my 1st) what harm can 15$ do. Well first they were the slowest thing ever I tried to grow then they shot up in August them came September and we know the rest. I have decided to built a recycled Greenhouse

    My tomatoes also in dire straight now with the September we had. I have some huge ones green so I have been researching about how to save them from rotting although I see spots already.
    They already have a little roof but most leaves are going yellow. I wonder do they need to leaves to ripen and how much of a spot makes them not good for ripenin?
    Here is to speed up your research if you are wondering like me.
    http://tipnut.com/ripen-tomatoes/
    http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/tomato/msg10113100484.html
    http://www.squidoo.com/topsy-turvy-upside-down-tomato-planter
    http://www.tomatodirt.com/growing-tomatoes-upside-down.html
    http://www.tomatoesupsidedown.com/
    For those wondering about upside down growing I sure will try next year.
    NOW building a 100% recycled greenhouse http://www.canadianmalcontent.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=11884
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2010
  10. sue1

    sue1 Active Member 10 Years

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    I wouldn't worry too much as this year was bad for many fruits and veggies. If you've grown them successfully in previous years then you shouldn't have any problems next year.
     
  11. vicarious1

    vicarious1 Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
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    I planted all the green fruit in the earth in a special place MAYBE they will grow next year ? :-)

    Our KALE was and still is awsome this year better than ever..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2010
  12. Keke

    Keke Active Member 10 Years

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    I always grow my tomatoes in large tubs (removing and replacing the soil every year), but after several years of fighting the blight with plastic covers I tried starting them in the greenhouse this year. Turned out to be a good call -- I left them in the greenhouse for the entire season. I hand-pollinated, and removed/put in side panels (they're polyacrylate) as the temperature dictated to allow good airflow while keeping temps up above the 10C they need to flower. They are just finishing now, and the number of fruit lost to blight has been much reduced.

    A side note: I was also able to get a HUGE crop of hot peppers and two Sicilian eggplants in the same greenhouse. Not bad for an 8 x 10 space!
    keke
     
  13. sue1

    sue1 Active Member 10 Years

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    Good idea to use the greenhouse. I don't have one, but did have some success by growing tomatoes and peppers in containers and keeping covered with poly at night. Not as productive, but not bad. I can't grow tomatoes in my veggie patch as they always suffer badly from blight, bugs, etc. I think container growing is becoming very popular - also easier to control the weeds.
     
  14. Beekeeper

    Beekeeper Active Member

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    I grow an old Italian beefstake indetermanent and have no problems with blight. The bumble bee is the only bee that can polinate tomatoes. I shake my plants from time to time which seems to work. This season was too short for a good crop.
     
  15. sue1

    sue1 Active Member 10 Years

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    You kale did well because we've had a cooler, wetter summer which they like. Tomatoes don't like it, so I guess we'll eat kale instead of tomatoes!
     
  16. sue1

    sue1 Active Member 10 Years

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    I tried the upside down container for tomatoes this year, and it was okay. However, when watering the water drips through the drainage hole and, of course, over the middle of the plant's leaves before hitting the ground. Don't think that's good really (blight), although mine didn't suffer because of it. it's also hard to tell when the soil is drying out because you can't see it or feel it. I lifted the container slightly which gave some indication of the dryness, etc. I don't think I'll bother with it next year, as I certainly didn't see much improvement over the usual way of growing them.
     
  17. vicarious1

    vicarious1 Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Burnaby North on a slope facing south & a view :-)
    Do you know the suppository ONLY doctor on Gabriola?
    His wife is the sister of a very close friend of ours in UK. We met them once for a day in Victoria two years back. Lovely people wish I got to know them close to go and see that island. Yes its Kale all the way :-) not ONE tomato :-) and the UPSIDE Down I still find it difficult to try as the water running down is something that always concerned me in my mind..
     

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