Thursday, December 23, 2010

Take care with mulch

Last year we tried growing pretty much one of every Tomato Scotsburn produces in 250-300mm pots at home.  They grew beautifully until they started to set fruit.  Then the combination of their advanced size, hot weather and voracious appetite knocked them over, we really didn't get much of a crop.

This year our Tomatoes have gone into the front garden much to Ben's horror.  Kerry keeps the garden and not unsurprisingly it's essentially cottagey with Roses, perennials, annuals and the odd vegetable plus a rather handsome Lemon Scented Gum. This year the front garden has looked stunning, Kerry had a weed blitz over winter, added fertilizer (Seamungus I think)
and a layer of mulch. Our wet winter/spring has finished the job just nicely. Now I think the Tomatoes have blended perfectly but the 6' stakes seem to offend Ben. He'll get over it and they made good posts for Christmas lights (solar, I'm too miserable to pay for electricity).

Anyway the Tomatoes are growing beautifully, fruit set and just about to start ripening. Sadly we have lost two over the past week. It could be Fusarium wilt which is a common Tomato problem best controlled with crop rotation. One of the Fusarium symptoms is the bark being "stripped" from the stem just above the soil surface and this is apparent on these two plants but there is one, possibly easier to overcome problem.  Mulch. Be careful not to mulch to close to the stems of your plants. I think the bark has just rotted because there is too much wet material next to the stem.

Follow this link for a reasonably amusing and fairly thorough "mulching" video.


  1. Hi Peter, as a mulchoholic, I definitely appreciate the post and video. I wish you and yours a happy new 2011. cheers, catmint

  2. Thanks Catmint, you could be much worse than a Mulchaholic!


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