Home' Waiheke Weekender : 1 November 2012 Contents Waiheke Weekender 9
1 November 2012
Now is the time when pest and
disease problems start to appear in
the garden. And this year blight and
other viruses are hitting tomatoes
early, so to all you tomato-growing
people, keep an eye on them as we
are seeing a lot of blight and black
spot on tomato plants already.
These diseases are easily identi-
fed by yellow blotches and black
specks with a yellowish halo on
plant leaves. This is common under
the weather conditions we have
been having recently, with cooler
temperatures and wet weather. Unfortunately, if your tomatoes are
affected you will need to destroy them as it will quickly spread to
My advice is to try and keep your tomatoes strong and healthy
so that they can protect themselves against disease. In theory, you
shouldn't plant tomatoes in the same place each year. In my small
vegetable garden, I will be planting each year in the same spot, but
by doing the following I hope to not have any issues.
The worst thing to do to a tomato is water the whole plant,
as they dislike wet foliage. Also, always water in the morning
as when watering at night, water sits on the plant and basically
sweats. By watering in the morning, if you do get it on foliage the
water evaporates, so reducing chance of disease.
Next, clean foliage off the plant for about 30cm up the
stem, giving you easier access to water at the roots. When plant-
ing you can add magic mulch or Saturaid to help retain moisture
around the roots, or simply use a plastic Coke bottle. Cut the base
off and push the neck of the bottle into the soil close to plant. When
watering, fll this a couple of times
to deliver the water right down to
the roots -- it may pay to put one
each side of the plant.
By regular use of Magic
Botanic and Mycorrcin, not only
are you encouraging good strong
growth, you are building up an
enriched soil structure, which
means the plants can take up water
and nutrients more easily and not
get stressed. The biggest advantage
to you tomato growers is a more
If that seems too much, regularly use the liquid fertiliser
Tom-A-Rite which contains the calcium that tomatoes need. This
fertiliser is also great for capsicums, eggplants, lettuce, succulents
and more. It may also be necessary to spray with liquid copper or
liquid sulphur to help keep fungal spores at bay -- remember not to
mix these two products together.
During winter, when my tomato bed is empty, I will drench the
soil a couple of times with condy's crystals at ¾ teaspoon to 9 litres
of water which will kill fungal spores that may be in the soil.
So try and remember regular watering (not erratic) and good
feeding is key to success.
The other current problem we should be mindful of is on our
passion fruit. Brown rot will be around soon and as we are getting
tomato problems now, brown rot won't be far behind. Spray with
liquid sulphur over the foliage then with Perkfection, which stimu-
lates natural plant resistance and recovery from disease. Again,
drench the soil with Mycorrcin to really build up that soil and root
To identify brown rot, the leaves will be turning yellow with
faint brown blotches through them.
And don't forget the annual SeaLink Jassy Dean Garden Safari
takes place the weekend of 10 and 11 November. There are 12
gardens in total and I will give you a run down on them next
Happy gardening, Geoff.
Geoff Willsher is the manager
of Placemakers Garden Centre.
Formerly a regular presenter on
Maggie's Garden Show, he is a
plant expert and welcomes readers'
questions. Drop in and see him at
the garden centre for some sage
In the garden with Geoff
It's time to take
preventative action to
keep your tomatoes
happy and healthy.
Trouble in the tomato patch
0800 372 100
new builds and renovations
Ricky’s Cafe Fri 2 & Sat 3 November
6.30-11pm. $25 each (inc glass of Coopers Creek wine).
Special guests Katy Soljak & Soulsista
Bookings & enquiries: 372 2273
Fundraiser for Amiria Kereama Reweti family
PH 372 0060 OPEN 7 DAYS
Mon -- Fri 7.30am to 5pm
Saturday 8am -- 2pm
Sunday 9am -- 2pm
Liquid tomato fertiliser. From $1300
Stimulates resistance and recovery from
pests and diseases. Organic. $1804
LIQUID COPPER $17.84
LIQUID SULPHUR $16.99
Organic fungus and disease control
MAGIC BOTANIC $1838
An organic growth booster for plants,
it makes for much bigger root systems,
stronger and healthier plants.
Reduces water use by up to 50%
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