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Tomatoes cucumber in polytunel

cyberfruitscyberfruits Posts: 8
edited April 2020 in Fruit & veg
Hi
We did try to grow tomatoes in a hanging basket and cucumbers in trough planter last year and had a very poor result. the tomatoes had plenty of flowers but little fruit. we had a few more cucumbers, but apparently tomatoes do not like humidity and I think it got little humid in there as we had a lot of rain in the highlands of Scotland, even with good ventilation. Trying peppers as ell this year, has anybody got any tips? Would be greatly appreciated.

Posts

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 5,580
    You can reduce the humidity a bit by watering the toms sub soil; use small pot pushed right into the soil close to the stem of each plant when you put the toms into their final pot/growbag/position. Then when you water, water into the pot so it soaks in by the roots and you don't get water on the soil surface. That reduces evaporation from the soil (reducing humidity) and helps the toms get more of the water.

    If they weren't 'setting' fruit - i.e. lots of flowers but no fruit at all, either you need to feed them more/differently or there was a lack of pollinators - can happen when it's very wet and flying insects don't fly much or if you have to keep the polytunnel door closed to keep the temp up. 

    For feeding you need a fairly high potassium food once the flowers have started to appear. I use comfrey tea or liquid seaweed but there are loads of proprietary ones about. If you do the below soil watering thing, when you feed the plants you do need to water that onto the soil surface - which is where the toms feeding roots will be. Once a week is probably enough.

    For lack of pollinators, a soft paint brush to transfer pollen from one flower to another can do the job of a bee, at a push.

    All of the above is also true for cucumbers. I grow chillies but not bell peppers. They are more likely to need pollination help, I think. Everything else is pretty much the same.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • we did use a soft paintbrush to transfer pollen from one flower to another :(
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,389
    One tip for pollinating tomatoes is to tap the stem to vibrate the flowers. You can also use an electric toothbrush to do this, not to brush the flowers but just touch the shaft of the brush against the stem to vibrate it.
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286
    The advice I follow is to shake them a little when pinching out the side shoots, always worked for me, lightly spraying the flowers is also supposed to work, never needed to though. 
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