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What a disastrous year for growing Tomatoes & Peppers!


By balcony


What a disastrous year for growing Tomatoes & Peppers! I’m ashamed to post any pictures of them – or even take photos of them in the first place – let alone write about them! :-((

Garden Pearl & Gardener’s Delight seeds sown on balcony:

Germination was very good but it was the growing on of them that has been the problem! Other years I’ve had lovely plants for planting out in the middle of May – but not this year! The seedlings just sulked due to the very cold May we had!

Tomato seedlings in the kitchen:

After being potted up I moved them out onto the table in the most sheltered corner of our balcony but they made no progress at all during all of May!

Seedlings on table in corner of balcony:

Tomato Marmande seedlings just transplanted:

I took them down to the greenhouse on the allotment hoping they might pick up there, but no such luck!

I did plant some out in my own allotment, Plot 12A, a couple of weeks or so ago but even they don’t seem to have made much progress! They are all still little more than seedlings with a couple of pairs of true leaves! :-((

Tomatoes after mulching:

Tomatoes Marmande just planted out on balcony:

These were the only decent seedlings to really make any progress once in the greenhouse. I’d potted them up in 5-6" pots before bring them back home on Saturday. I planted the up in some tomato growers set atop a growbag. Hopefully I’ll get some fruit from them before the growing season comes to an end!

Sweet Pepper ‘Corno di Toro Rosso’ germinating:

Sweet Pepper seedlings repotted on balcony:


Sweet Peppers ‘Corno di toro rosso’ with true leaves:

Even after a month in the greenhouse on the allotment they still had made next to no progress! :-((

I ended up planting some of the seedlings in the green house border:

Others I planted out in a space on Gerry’s allotment:

I noticed on Monday that the Peppers planted in the greenhouse border seem to have grown a little & look better (or is it my fanciful imagination?)

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I made a mistake with the "Sweet Pepper seedlings repotted on balcony:" photo. These are actually Green Peppers which I'd sown earlier! They are NOT ‘Corno di toro rosso’!

Which reminds me that I made a mistake when putting the captions of the ‘Corno di toro rosso’ Sweet Peppers. I used the Spanish word for "Horn" (Cuerno) instead of the Italian word (Corno).

25 Jun, 2013


I have found problems this year too.My Tomatoes in my cold frame(in grow bag) are growing ok with one truss of flowers on each but no fruits yet but in the veg patch and in pots outside are hopeless.They were very difficult to grow on and harden off this year due to the cold winds.When I planted my Tomatoes out, I threw more than a dozen away as they had black bottoms to the stems which appeared to me to be early signs of blight so I outed them rather than risk infecting others and my Potatoes.
Two sweet pepper plants in pots in cold frame looking a little poorly(yellowish leaves ) although one is just stating to form flower buds but I don't hold out much hope for fruits this year.And all four of my outdoor cucumbers rotted and died so, I'm afraid,'re not alone Two poor years in succession it looks like!

25 Jun, 2013


Here in germany it is also a disaster...everything is about a month late...the only thing that I can pick at the moment are every year I have loads of them...I pick at least a pound or more every could be that the soil I have for them is ideal....and slugs are making my life a misery, my cucumber plants that were about 9 inches high were eaten down to the stalks overnight. I planted about 30 seed potatoes...and about 3 have grown upto now...but that is gardening I suppose.

25 Jun, 2013


My ones even in the g'houses have been very slow but have shot up in the last week and even have flowers on most of them, I had to sow the G. Delight three times before getting any, it was the same with my cucumbers Balcony, runner beans I've tried twice and now have planted the dwarf variety, if they don't do any good I'll biddy well give up as last year was useless as well.....

25 Jun, 2013


You seem a bit cramped for space there.
When I sow tomatoes they go into a 1/4 sized seed tray....30 seeds easily grow in them. Same with peppers, in fact, most of my seeds go into that 1/4 sized tray.

When I transplant tomatoes they go into a 20 cell rigid tray. They don't take up much space...less than a seed tray, and will happily stay in there for a good month before potting on into a pot your size.

Having said that, my tomatoes sown Mid March didn't move for ages, and I'd say were at least 3 weeks behind normal years. Lack of light was the problem. They've caught up a bit now though.

25 Jun, 2013


Last year my toms were very disappointing but this year they are much better. I grew five varietes from seed and mid-May put one plant of each into growbags in the greenhouse, but I have two 'Gardeners' Delight' plants because they are so popular with my family. All are getting close to the roof of the greenhouse and needing their main stem halted, and the flowers on each are promising.
On the other hand my cucumbers are a disaster this year .... I planted six seeds which grew spasmodically, so I planted the two strongest in a growbag. A few days later the rest were eaten overnight. The two in the growbag were very slow to settle, not surprising as a nest of ants had invaded their bag. I have evicted the ants and one plant is making a valiant effort to grow, but it is looking rather stunted.

26 Jun, 2013


You probably did the best thing, Paul, in getting rid of them. Had it been blight you would have lost them all! I see I'm in "good" company with my experience of growing Toms, Cukes & Peppers! :-((

Sorry to hear, Rogi, that your growing season is also so far behind this year. At least you seem to be getting a nice crop of Strawberries! I picked the first of the year on Monday - not that they look ANYTHING like the ones you buy from the supermarkets!

Lincslass, seems like we're all in good company! :-(( My Cukes are still not making any progress in the GH. The Peppers I put in DO seem to be a little happier, might be wishful thing though!

What makes you think, Scrumpygrah, that my Toms are a "a bit cramped for space there"? As I've put photos of them on my allotment & on my balcony, which do you think are "a bit cramped for space there"? They all have plenty of room, even the 3 in the grow bag. In fact this year they are growing in those pots on top of the growbag for the first time. The GBs are recommended for 3 plants anyway. With these pots you water with fertilizer in the square pot but only add water to the round portion which has holes in the base to let the water go into the GB.

Xela, it seems that you have done extremely well with your Toms! Congratulations! :-)) Yet it was a shame about the Cukes! :-(( Never mind, you win some & you lose some but gardening still goes on with the thought that perhaps next year they will fair much better! LOL!

26 Jun, 2013


Just the ones in your pots on balcony and table. Why fill a full sized seed tray when a 1/4 will do is how I look at it.
I've a 10 foot by 8 foot greenhouse and if I used the same sized pots/trays as you i'd run out of space in no time.
The dahlia cuttings I take go into 6 cell compartments. If I used 3-4" pots i'd get 3 in the same space.

You say you've put tomatoes in 5-6" pots before planting in your grow bags...(I use those green things as well, but not in grow bags)....mine never go into anything bigger than a 4" square pot before final planting out. I certainly wouldn't go from a seedling to the size pot you've put them in.
In my case I would say the problem of slow initial growth was a cold and dark March/April, not May. My "Shirley" tomatoes are on their 3rd Truss, and my "tropical" variety, which is a cherry, is on it's fourth, much as I'd expect at this time of year from when I sowed them.
They have caught up.

26 Jun, 2013


Like you I would never go from seedlings in a seedtray to a 5/6" pot! My seedling were first transplanted to small 7cm (2 1/2") square pots, 15 of these fit in a standard seedtray. You can see that in several of my photos above. Only about a month or so later did I put them in the bigger pots & finally into the pots on top of the growbags by which time the roots were beginning to grow out of the bottom of the pots signalling it was time to move on!

27 Jun, 2013


I was looking at those marmande tomato seedings just transplanted 20th April, that look as if they are in 3 or 4" pots. They look like week old seedlings. If they are in 2" pots then apologies....

28 Jun, 2013

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