Tomatoes not happening

I don’t know what’s wrong with my tomatoes.

I messed things up last year by planting them in too-shallow grow-bags, leaving the greenhouse door shut at all the wrong moments, letting them get bushy and out of control. By watering them twice a day and tending them as carefully as I could I pulled them through and had some good crops.

This year,  I’ve done all the right things. I’ve planted them in special tomato compost in good, deep buckets. They’ve been pruned and titivated at all the right moments. The door has been left open to let insects come in and do their work. The bottom trusses set beautifully, and we’re just eating those, but it’s all coming to an abrupt end.

The trusses on my favourite Italian varieties – Cuor de Bue and Costoluto Fiorentino – just aren’t setting. I don’t know why.

It's just not set

The whole truss hasn't set.

Cuor de Bue

Cuor de Bue. A lovely dense, sweet tomato. Early trusses have set (ripened, and been eaten!) but later ones just aren't happening.

A variety new to me – Harbinger – is setting perfectly, like a ‘how to grow tomatoes’ illustration, in the same greenhouse.

Harbinger - a healthy, productive plant

Harbinger. This one's doing all the right things, with full trusses busily ripening all the way up.

This deepens the mystery. If I was doing it all wrong, none would be setting, but it’s just the Italian varieties. The French ‘Marmande’ has also run out of steam after a glorious start.

The only thing I can think of is that it’s been fairly cold during a lot of the growing season. It’s been going down to 12C most nights in my greenhouse. Am I to think that the Mediterranean varieties just aren’t being fooled into thinking they’re at home, even under glass?

Any suggestions anybody?

My chillies are rubbish, too! Some kind of leaf miner pest; all the leaves have jumped off once and this is the second growth. I don’t think it’s got time to grow any actual chillies now.

Poorly chilli

Poorly chilli with miserable leaves. This one's been thrown out of the greenhouse to see if it can sort itself out before being let back in.


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