Tuesday 28 May 2019

Casualty replacement

I short while ago I wrote about the value of spares. Just recently I have had to follow my own advice and replace a casualty with a spare kept specifically for this eventuality. When you have a small garden, every plant is precious!

I had planted-up 12 large tomato plants, and they all seemed to be doing well until one afternoon I saw this:-

That plant (a "Moneymaker") was definitely looking pale and droopy. It was a hot sunny afternoon, so at first I thought the plant was just suffering from the heat - although its neighbours seemed fine. I gave it a drink and hoped it would recover.

18 hours later it looked like this:-

That's terminal! A tomato plant in that condition is not going to recover, so I decided I had to replace it.

Now, this past week I had given away most of my spare tomato plants, but I had kept just a few, one of which was fortuitously another "Moneymaker", so a like-for-like replacement was possible.

When I dug up the dying plant I saw that its stem was soft and brown. I still don't know what caused this. It looked like over-watering, but I honestly don't think that was the cause - and all the others, which have been the subject of an identical care regime look fine still.

Anyway, out with the old and in with the new:-

The replacement plant looks nice and strong, despite having been kept in a small pot for longer than desirable.

Here it is, surrounded by its peers. I shall be keeping a very close eye on them for the next few days, that's for sure!

One of the benefits of having a small garden to look after, and it being literally right outside my door, is that I can inspect everything frequently and take immediate action if it's required. Of course, being Retired and not having to go to work is a big advantage here too!


  1. Always good to keep spares :)

    According to the RHS website: "A disease called Didymella stem rot (caused by the fungus Didymella lycopersici) can attack the stems of tomatoes causing brown, rotted patches, at any height but most often at the stem base. Affected plants can wilt and die, and should be removed immediately to prevent infection of the remaining plants."

    Might be an idea to isolate that pot for a while, see what happens to the replacement and reduce chances of cross-contamination..?

    1. Thanks for the info, Darren. Sound advice!

  2. Bad luck. I am doing the tomato high wire without a safety net. No spares!

  3. I grew some home saved Gardener delight, wasn't sure about germination but loads came up. Kept 25 (have a 6x8 greenhouse) as I always lose a few seedlings, except I havent...


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