Tomatoes/chillis were a disappointment this year

diyermad(western europe)December 1, 2011

I live in the South East of the UK and we usually plant and grow huge numbers of tomato and chilli plants as I love to make sauces from them and we love spicy food.

This year, we planted seeds in April/May as usual - some tomatoes in the greenhouse, some on the patio, but we were really disappointed at how few fruits we got. The strawberries did great in the greenhouse, but the tomatoes were disappointing in all locations (some plants only managed a couple of fruits).

Was it a bad year for tomatoes (and chillis as we got zero chillis as well when we are usually inundated) or was it more likely something we did wrong?

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TensawGal

Don't know about Southeast UK, but we live in the Southeast US and had so many hot peppers this year we couldn't use them all or give them all away. Tomatoes always are a challenge here. Have to get them in at the perfect moment to take advantage of our short springs and before the hot, humid nights knock them out. Am just trying my first greenhouse tomatoes. Any advice?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 2:41PM
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diyermad(western europe)

I'm actually surprised you need a greenhouse in Southeast US!

We're still learning through trial and error - this year was our worst ever though, I'm not sure what happened.

However, I do recommend lots of good compost mixed in to the soil (we make great free compost with our fruit/veg leftovers).

Also, as well as bamboo supports, we rig up some lengths of string across the top of the greenhouse to attach the plants to (they can get quite huge in there and our greenhouse is only 6" x 8" so we need to stop them collapsing). Make sure you pinch off the new shoots as you don't want them too leafy.

Watch out for snails too as they love to climb the greenhouse glass and hide in the foliage! We don't use pesticides so they keep us on our toes.

Open the door during the hot days to create some ventilation. We also cover the side which faces the mid-day sun with a fine net to stop the leaves getting scorched.

Keep them well watered and they love some occasional tomato food too.

I hope that helps a little bit

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 4:48PM
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austinnhanasmom(5 CO)

I had a good year for both, but know people all over the US that had the worst year ever. I heard that entire gardens were ruined.

In my area, I think a cool and wet spring going straight to hot and fairly wet summer created unusual diseases, especially for the tomatoes.

My goal is to plant my tomatoes earlier, with protection. My peppers do nothing if I plant too early, so that's a waste of time.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 10:24AM
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rockguy(7a)

Quote:"Make sure you pinch off the new shoots as you don't want them too leafy." That could be a part of your problem there. Tomatoes are born on the new growth. If you just have to pinch something, pinch suckers.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 7:27AM
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