Perfect for the Smaller Garden.
Our Budget Range reduces the cost of packaging materials and along with the contents more environmentally friendly than the plastic tubs normally used.
Packed inside a re-sealable bag. Inside a Craft Paper Bag.
Store in a cool dry place away from pets and children.
Buy any 3 or 4 packs and receive a $6 credit note to use in the future.
Buy any 5 to 8 packs and receive a $20 credit note to use in the future.
Buy any 9 to 12 packs and receive a $30 credit note to use in the future.
SUCCESSFUL TOMATO TIPS AND POSSIBLE PROBLEMS
Growing your own tomatoes is a favorite pastime for many gardeners and very rewarding when you can successfully harvest an abundance of tomatoes not only for your own use, but to give away surplus to friends and family. Some years you can throw a few plants in the garden and with very little attention gain an abundance of fruit. On other years you can spend a lot of time caring for plants to lose most of them, and only barely harvest sufficient tomatoes for your own needs. So why the difference? Weather has a lot to do with it and if the weather is warm and humid you are likely to find the disease ‘Late Blight’ attacking the plants. Or if the weather is cool and wet then ‘Early Blight’ will be your enemy.
Either of these two diseases, if left to their own devices will decimate your plants resulting in all plants dying or only a few surviving to crop. Looking at the weather pattern this season I would suggest that one or the other of these diseases are most likely to occur in many parts of NZ. There are two means of protection that can be used without having to resort to harmful chemicals. External protection can stop the disease establishing on the plants by a two weekly spray of Liquid Copper with Raingard added. This should be started on the young plants as soon as, and continued through till the moisture content in the air is considerably reduced. Watering, kept to the root zone keeping the soil moist, but not wet. There is a excellent internal protection that builds up the immune system of the plants, helping to prevent the diseases getting established called ‘Perkfection’ It is sprayed on to the plants once a month and can be added to the copper spray every second time. I have actually saved tomato plants, badly affected with blight, from dying by using this product. These plants lost all the fruit that were on, but later fruit was fine. There is no withholding period for Perkfection.
Another disease that takes tomato plants out fairly quickly is Botrytis or stem rot. The first sign of this disease is the plants look limp as if they need a drink of water. Starting at the top, most leaves have the drooping effect, which journeys down the plant. You can be fooled in the early stages of the disease as the plants seem to recover late in the day when the air cools at dusk. A careful inspection of the plant will reveal a darkened area around the trunk or branches of the plant. Another change will occur in that bumps or small knobs will appear on the trunk just above the area that is darkening. This is the tomato trying to send out aerial roots to save its life. The dark area is cutting off the flow of nutrients and moisture from the roots to the upper foliage. This area will rot right through and both top and root system will die. Sometimes there maybe laterals growing below this darkened area and these will be unaffected and will keep the roots supplied with energy. The rest of the plant will wilt and die. If this is the case you are best to cut off the dying top, below the darkened area where there is clean wood and let the remainder of the plant grow on.
What causes the disease? It happens when you remove laterals (side shoots) off the plant and don’t protect the damaged area. The disease enters the plant where the lateral was removed and establishes in the trunk (sometimes in branches). You should protect the area where you remove the lateral by squirting some ‘Pruning Spray’ immediately. Another possibility is the tomato plant rubbing on the stake bruising the skin and allowing the disease to enter. Use a soft nylon material to tie the plants to the stake and wrap some of the material around the stake itself, to create a soft cushion on the stake where the plant is going to tie to it, to stop chaffing. Also ensure that there are several ties all the way up the plant, to the stake, too not only give more ridged support but also to stop damage to the plant from heavy developing fruit. If you have a Supertom you are going to need several stakes, one for each of the laterals that become big fruit bearers. This may also apply to ordinary tomatoes if you allow a number of laterals to become bearers.
Other points; Do not bury Supertoms deep, to cover the two root stocks. Normal tomatoes should be buried up to the first set of leaves when planting out, as they will root up, in all the trunk area, giving a better root system. Keep plants evenly moist, especially container grown plants, to prevent ‘Blossom End Rot’(Black scab on base of fruit) Don’t drown the plant especially when young. Even feeding with a fast-slow release fertiliser is best, such as my own preparation called ‘Tomato Food with Neem’ which contains extra potassium and magnesium, vital for juicy, good flavoured fruit. Best to water in with Black Gold Botanic Liquid)
If you are using other tomato foods it would pay to give each plant about a teaspoon of Fruit and Flower Blend every 4-6 weeks. For the extra potassium and magnesium. Remember that tomatoes do best in full sun but sheltered from wind. If you only have open exposed spots, try putting 4 stakes into the ground around the plant and sliding clear plastic bags over the stakes with the bag’s bottom cut out. More bags can be added as the tomato plant grows taller. You may need to brace the top of the stakes to keep them apart with a couple of slats of wood, nailed in a cross pattern and tacked to the tops of the stakes. Another point from last season was that tomato plants suffered because of the UV levels due to the ozone hole. Smaller leaves, curled and lack of vigor were the symptoms. A spray of Vaporgard could greatly assist if this happens.
Controlling the tomato/potato psyllid in the home garden
A new insect pest is attacking tomatoes, potatoes and
related crops in New Zealand gardens.
The tomato/potato psyllid is from North America. It was
first found in New Zealand in 2006, and is spreading
throughout the country.
The tomato/potato psyllid breeds mainly on plants in the
Solanaceae (potato and tomato family), but can also attack
some species of Convolvulaceae (kumara and bindweed
family). Other host plants of the tomato/potato psyllid
include Apple of Peru, capsicum, chilli, egg plant, kumara,
poroporo, tamarillo and thornapple.
Why is the tomato/potato psyllid a problem?
Tomato/potato psyllid adults and nymphs cause damage to host
plants through feeding on leaves and by transmitting a bacterial
pathogen, Liberibacter, that lives in plants. The bacterium
is believed to cause diseases such as ‘psyllid yellows’ in
tomatoes and potatoes, and ‘zebra chip’ symptoms in potato
tubers. These diseases can drastically reduce the quality and
yield of your crop.
What does the tomato/potato psyllid look like?
The adult tomato/potato psyllid is about the size of an adult
aphid but looks like a tiny cicada under magnification
The female lays yellow eggs that are attached by stalks to
plant leaves, usually to the leaf edges Psyllid nymphs
hatch from these eggs and after five moults become adults. The
nymphs are flat scale-like insects which are mostly inactive but
move when disturbed (Figure 2). Nymphs and adults feed by
sucking plant juices, Nymphs and adults secrete plant sap as
white granules called ‘psyllid sugars’ which can be seen on the
leaves In humid conditions and where there are large numbers
of psyllids, black sooty mould fungi can grow on the sugars. Dense
sooty mould on leaves may reduce photosynthesis, but this is
rarely a problem on outdoor plants as the psyllid sugars are
usually removed by wind and rain.
How will the tomato/potato psyllid/
Liberibacter affect my plants?
On tomato the symptoms of psyllid yellows are the yellowing
and stunting of the growing tip and a cupping or curling of
the leaves Many flowers may fall off the trusses of
infected plants and fruit may be small and mis-shapen.
On potato, psyllid yellows disease causes a stunting and
yellowing of the growing tip, and the edges of the curled leaves
often have a pink blush (Figure 4). The stem may have swollen
nodes and show a browning of the vascular tissue. After a
while, infected potatoes develop a scorched appearance and
plants collapse prematurely. Potato plants that are infected at
an early stage develop numerous small tubers.
When potato tubers infected with Liberibacter are fried they
show dark zebra chip stripes, which may also be seen in fresh
tubers. When infected tubers are boiled they are
mushy with an earthy taste.
How do I manage the tomato/potato psyllid?
Control without insecticide:
- Don’t bring infested plants into your garden or
greenhouse. Check the plants you purchase are free of
psyllids and other pests.
- Between crops, especially in winter, remove all psyllid host
plants especially volunteer potato plants. If psyllids are
present on tamarillo trees during the winter, remove and
bag infested leaves.
- Avoid keeping any psyllid-infested plants in greenhouses
over the winter.
- Encourage natural enemies. Several predators including
some kinds of ladybirds and lacewings will feed on psyllids.
- Pull out any plants showing symptoms of psyllid yellows
and dispose of the plant material in sealed rubbish bags.
Control with insecticides:
Several insecticides, including organic insecticides, are
available for use in home gardens and may help.
Neem Oil and Neem Tree Granules have been used to very good effect by gardeners throughout New Zealand.
Many have tried other suggested remedies without success whereas Neem has been effective
To increase the effectiveness of insecticides,
- Inspect plants regularly for the presence of psyllids, so
that treatments can be applied while numbers are low.
- Remove and bag as many leaves infested with psyllid
eggs, nymphs, or adults as possible before applying an
- When applying insecticide, concentrate on the underside
of the leaves, where most of the psyllid adults and nymphs
- Depending on the insecticide used, more than one
application may be required (7-14 days apart) to kill all the
nymphs (most insecticides will not kill eggs).
- During the growing season, use insecticides from more
than one group, to avoid the insects becoming resistant to
an insecticide group.
- It is important to control psyllids on young plants as they
are most vulnerable to psyllid yellows. Older plants are
still vulnerable to infection by the bacterium, but any fruit
that is set will still be harvestable.
- Follow label instructions carefully.