Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tomato Seedling Problems and the Question

As you can see from the past few posts the tomatoes have been steadily going into the balcony garden. I'm pretty obsessed about tomatoes. Possibly not as obsessed as Tomato Lover (I can't believe I only discovered this blog a few weeks back, it's like the day I discovered Abebooks and realised my thesis on Third Reich memoirs didn't have to cost a fortune, truly awesome.) But I am still obsessed to some largeish degree. I grew a few tomatoes from seed this year, but they weren't without initial set backs (lack of germination being the number one.) However i did manage to nurse quite a few varieties into happy little seedlings and a few have been placed in the garden. These include Aunt Ruby's German Green x 2, Flame x 2, a Pineapple and a Hillbilly.

More seedlings were planned, I was simply waiting on the pot space. There were also leftovers and these were gifts for eager friends. Then disaster struck. One seedling I had given a friend looked sick, and when you held it up to the light it had wierd transluscent creatures swimming about in its stem. What could they be? Suffice to say she turfed it. After that I went back and looked at my seedlings. The ones in the garden seemed ok, the others looked oddly mangled. I couldn't see the bugs, but I bet they have something to do with the evil fungus gnats (these seedlings were inside at the time.) They were summarily ditched. Alas no more personally seeded seedlings of tomatoes for the balcony garden this summer. I am now at a loss with what to do with the incumbent pots - do I plant more store bought tomatoes (there are heaps of varieties) and hope problems don't all crop up at once, or do I plant something else like more zucchini or even eggplant or carrots?


Chandramouli S said...

Here we go! Another exciting tomatoes season. Good luck with them all, Prue!

Jamie said...

Not sure what the little pests are, Prue, but it is early in the season for tomatoes and lots of them would struggling now, so I'd stick with them. (I noticed that the guy from Gardening Australia says not to plant tomatoes in Melbourne until Melbourne Cup Day!)
Zucchini spread like crazy and take up space, eggplants are even trickier than tomatoes and needs lots of warmth to do well, and carrots do best from seed ... so I'd stick with the tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are terrific in pots, and easier than the bigger tomatoes. But whatever you decide to do – good luck!

Michelle said...

You could probably start peppers from seed now. I have found that most peppers grow very well in pots, except perhaps big bell types. Add a pot of cilantro and green onions and you will have a salsa garden!

Dan said...

The translucent creature might have been an aphid?

prue said...

Chandramouli - you're back!!!!1 yayayay and thanks for the luck.

Jamie - it is early but the balcony garden has a wierd microclimate and is warmer than normal Melbourne. Zucchini is already flowering, all tomatoes that were planted out were healthy, it was just the seedlings inside that were suffering, like the winter tomato experiment, evil fungus gnats. Thanks for the heads up on eggplant, might avoid it this year. Carrots have always thrived on the balcony, so more of them will be good.

Michelle - I already have some chilis though am not a capsicum fan so probably won't grow it. Thanks for the reminder on coriander, i need to plant more.

Dan - nope, not aphids, these are burrowed into the stem of the plant, not leaf miner damage but similar.