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How to eat a pomelo: peeling pomelo the right way

How to eat a pomelo: peeling pomelo the right way

Eating pomelos and peeling them properly is quite easy. Learn how to peel and eat the big citrus fruit easily. The pomelo, also called pummelo or shaddock, is a truly unique fruit. The greatest quality of the pomelo, is without a doubt its exceptional flavour.…

Oak processionary moth: facts, rash treatment & control

Oak processionary moth: facts, rash treatment & control

Oak processionary moth damages oak trees and can cause allergic reactions in humans. In this article, we will show you how to get rid of his moth from the garden. The fluffy brown caterpillars of the oak processionary moth (Thaumetopoea processionea L.) look quite cute…

Tigerella tomatoes: facts & tips for growing

Tigerella tomatoes: facts & tips for growing

The Tigerella tomato lives up to its name and attracts attention with its eye-catching stripes. We have compiled the best varieties of this striped tomato for you and give you tips on planting the tomato variety Tigerella.

The conspicuously striped tomato variety ‘Tigerella’ will delight you with its robust growth and deliciously tasting fruits. We introduce this beautiful stake tomato to you.

Tigerella: origin & history

The striking Tigerella tomato was introduced to the market around 1970 and is nowadays mainly cultivated by hobby gardeners. It could be descended from the famous red salad tomato ‘Ailsa Craig’, but the exact origin is unknown. The two varieties ‘Craigella’ and ‘Tangella’ are siblings of the ‘Tigerella’ and probably originated in Great Britain at the same time.

Tigerella tomato: properties & taste

Tigerella is a low-maintenance plant for greenhouse and open field use alike. From the middle of July, the green striped, medium sized round fruits ripen and get their typical orange-golden spots on the deep red skin. The Tigerella tomato tastes wonderfully fruity, but also sweet and has a mild acidity, which balances off the taste. With its delightful aroma, this variety has become a favourite stake tomato among many gardeners. Tigerella is an open-pollinated variety, which means that it can be grown again next year from its own seeds.

Our tip: The new variety ‘Tigerella Cherry’, the little sister of Tigerella, produces smaller and sweeter fruits, which are great as snacks.

Growing Tigerella tomatoes: what to pay attention to

Tigerella tomato plants feel comfortable in the pot, but also in the garden bed, and will appreciate protection from rain. The plant reaches a height of about two metres and should be supported with a rod or other type of growth aid. When planting, it is best to support your young plants with a potting soil specifically adapted to tomatoes. Tigerella should be planted as deep as possible in the soil. Remove the lowest leaves and place the plant in the planting hole or pot. By mulching and watering your tomato plants properly, you will support soil life and save a lot of water. Of course, Tigerella needs a good supply of nutrients, just like all other tomatoes. The Tigerella can be grown with two or three shoots, the rest of the side shoots are left to fall out. This way it bears on several shoots, does not grow as tall and instead becomes wider.

Tigerella tomatoes: harvest & use

The Tigerella is perfect for salads and fresh as a snack tomato, because it is firm, juicy as well as aromatic. This medium-sized tomato is also very suitable for preserving and conserving.

Pineapple tomato: how to grow the unique tomato variety

Pineapple tomato: how to grow the unique tomato variety

The variety with the unusual name is becoming increasingly popular. We are taking a closer look at the Pineapple tomato and will tell you how to plant, care for and harvest the colourful tomato. The Pineapple tomato variety is an all-time favourite among heirloom tomatoes.…

Green Zebra tomato: how to grow the green tomato variety

Green Zebra tomato: how to grow the green tomato variety

When does the Green Zebra ripen? What should you pay attention to when growing, caring for and harvesting these green tomatoes? We will tell you everything there is to know about the Green Zebra tomato. The tomato variety ‘Green Zebra’ is one of the best-known…

Green types of tomatoes: the best green varieties to grow

Green types of tomatoes: the best green varieties to grow

How do you cultivate green tomatoes? And how to tell when the green tomatoes are ripe? We present the best green tomato varieties and give tips on planting and harvesting them.

Ripe, but green tomatoes? Yes, this is possible! Even if you have to take a closer look among the green foliage of the plant to distinguish the fruits, green tomatoes can be an amazing addition to the garden. Despite their awesomeness, they remain largely unknown and only a few gardeners actually dare to grow them. What a pity, because green tomato varieties taste delicious.

A common question people wonder, is how to determine the ripeness of green tomatoes. This is not that difficult. Unlike their brightly coloured counterparts, the green ripening tomatoes simply produce no or very little colouring as soon as they are ripe. An alkaloid called solanine is present in unripe tomatoes and makes the fruit taste bitter until it ripens. Just as with the coloured varieties, this alkaloid is initially retained in green tomato varieties, but is broken down during ripening. When ripe, the green tomatoes can be enjoyed fresh or processed without hesitation.

In this article, we will guide you through the hidden world of green tomatoes, introduce the best green tomato varieties and give you tips on growing them.

Green tomatoes: the best varieties

Green tomatoes might seem rather strange to most people. Many of the wild relatives of our domesticated tomato ripen green, for example the Chilean wild tomato (Solanum chilense). Green tomato varieties have been rather neglected in breeding, so there are comparatively few varieties. We have compiled the best open-pollinated types of green tomatoes for you in the following:

  • ‘Artisan Green Tiger’ is an elongated cherry tomato that is pointed like an icicle at the bottom. Light green stripes on the fruit turn golden yellow when ripe, similar to the Green Zebra’ tomato. It tastes fruity, sweet and sour, fresh and juicy at the same time.
  • A particularly pretty and aromatic cherry tomato is ‘Aunt Ruby’s German Cherry’. The upper half of the fruit remains dark green, while the lower half turns light yellow-orange. The fruits reach about four centimetres in diameter and taste sweet and fruity.
  • Craig Lehoullier bred the flat-at-the-top beef tomato ‘Cherokee Green’ in 1997. When ripe, it covers itself with an amber shine, but remains light green on the inside. It has an aromatic tomato flavour and a soft and tender flesh.
  • With a wonderful aroma and sweet fruity taste, the ‘Green Docs’ is a green cocktail tomato great for beginners, because it is easy to care for and its ripe fruits are easily recognised. When ripe, the fruits become slightly yellowish, whereas the skin becomes very tender.
  • ‘Green Pear’ is impressive with its small pear-shaped fruits, which get a golden yellow shine when ripe. A delicious cocktail tomato, which tastes sweet and fruity, but also has a refreshing acidity.
  • ‘Green Zebra’ is probably the only commonly known and widespread green tomato variety. It was developed in 1983 by Tom Wagner, the prominent luminary in the field of tomato breeding, in the USA. The yellow-green striped medium-sized fruits taste wonderfully fresh and fruity-sweet. The plants are healthy, robust and suitable for outdoor cultivation.
  • The beef tomato with the unusual name ‘Malachitschatulle’ comes from Russia and is called ‘Malakhitovaya Shkatulka’ there. The flat on the top, lime-green fruits always reach a weight of 200 to 500 grams and taste sweet, fruity and aromatic.
  • ‘Emerald Apple’ is a medium-sized, green fleshy tomato. It tastes fruity and spicy and is also suitable for outdoor use. It reaches a height of 1.80 metres, ripens early and then gets a golden shine.
emerald apple tomato variety
The ‘Emerald Apple’ tomato variety will blush golden yellow when ripe [Shutterstock.com/Malivan_Iuliia]

How to plant and care for green tomatoes

Green tomatoes are no different from other coloured tomatoes in terms of planting and maintenance. From the beginning to the middle of May, the young plants should begin their growth in a greenhouse. Later, they can be moved out in the open or into a pot. Place the young plants deep in the soil and provide them with some sort of support. Water and mulch the tomato plants regularly during the season.

When are green tomatoes ripe?

Green tomatoes rarely retain the same colour when they ripen. While most of them turn slightly golden yellow under their green skin, others develop yellow stripes. This change in colour is a clear sign that can help identify the ripe fruit. If you are unsure or have decided on a full green variety, press the fruit a little with your fingers. If the fruit yields slightly and feels soft, it can be harvested without hesitation.

Fancy even more variety in your tomato bed? You will find a selection of delicious yellow tomato varieties in this article.

If you would like to see a full overview of tomato varieties, read here.

Yellow tomatoes: the most popular yellow tomato varieties & how to grow them

Yellow tomatoes: the most popular yellow tomato varieties & how to grow them

Tomatoes come in a variety of colours – including yellow. We will introduce you to the most delicious yellow tomato varieties and will tell you everything you need to know about how to cultivate and harvest them as well as how the yellow tomatoes taste.…

Types of lilies: an overview of the most popular varieties

Types of lilies: an overview of the most popular varieties

Lilies are one of the best-known ornamental plants. In this article, we list all of the lily species with the most beautiful colours as well as hardy lilies. Some species of lilies (Lilium) belong to the oldest ornamental plants cultivated. If you take a look…

Mildew on roses: expert tips for prevention & treatment

Mildew on roses: expert tips for prevention & treatment

A white or grey coating on roses can indicate mildew. We reveal how to detect downy and powdery mildew on roses and how to combat it effectively.

Roses (Rosa) are one of the ornamental plants with a long tradition of cultivation. Because of breeding, roses get increasingly diverse with each year. Several thousand varieties with incredibly varied flower and growth forms adorn gardens all over the globe. However, there is a widespread pathogen that can threaten rose plants as early as at the beginning of May. In fact, there are two diseases that might be pestering your roses: powdery mildew and downy mildew.

Powdery mildew on roses

First of all, it is important to know how powdery mildew on roses (Podosphaera pannosa) and downy mildew on roses (Pseudoperonospora sparsa) differ. Not only are their names different, in fact, the two fungi are only distantly related. While downy mildew belongs to the water moulds (Oomycote), powdery mildew is a member of the sac fungi (Ascomycota). Their survival and reproduction strategies are different, too. It is essential to distinguish between the two mildew pathogens for successful control.

Detecting powdery mildew in roses

  • Mealy-white coating on the roses, which partially or completely covers the leaf on the upper and lower side. This coating can be easily wiped off with fingers to distinguish it from lime stains or other type of plant disease.
  • Shoots and buds can also carry the white coating. However, the coating does not occur on the woody stem of the rose.
  • With a magnifying glass, small arm-like structures can be identified, the so-called conidia. These are the spores that are responsible for spreading the fungus.
  • What one does not see: The fungal mycelium – the network – grows through the stomata into the leaf and absorbs nutrients from the upper cell layers.
  • If the leaves are heavily infested, they turn red and curl up or might even fall off the plant.
  • Crippled growth of the shoot tips and the formation of deformed leaves can also occur, and plant growth is also inhibited.

Combating powdery mildew on roses

Because powdery mildew does not overwinter in the foliage, but only under the buds of the younger shoots, rose pruning in spring is an essential step for prevention and control of powdery mildew. Apart from general preventive measures such as good rose fertilisation and the right location, household remedies can help treat a smaller infestation. You can find a list of household remedies you can use against powdery mildew below. When it comes to heavy powdery mildew infestations, in many cases only quality plant protection products can help. It is still crucial to choose products that are safe for the environment, though. We have compiled natural preparations for you below, too.

Downy mildew on roses

Detecting downy mildew in roses

  • Brownish-red or violet spots are visible on the upper and lower sides, often between the leaf veins of the plant.
  • Under humid conditions, a thin, grey-white mould layer is formed on the underside of the leaves. With a magnifying glass, the individual spore carriers can be identified, each carrying only one single spore. The fungus spreads with these spores.
  • Shoots can also become infected. In such a case, they display reddish spots and also possibly a layer of mould.
  • In the case of heavy infestation, the plant sheds its leaves.
  • Buds can dry up.
  • Plant growth is inhibited.

Tip: Downy mildew occurs much less frequently in roses than powdery mildew. It is also not usually as easy to mistake it for powdery mildew, as the symptoms are very different. Downy mildew never causes the unmistakable white coating on the rose petals.

Treating downy mildew on roses

Because the spores of downy mildew overwinter in the leaves and shoots of the plant, it is very important to remove the dead foliage after the leaves have fallen in autumn. In addition, roses should be pruned regularly. To prevent downy mildew, prune your roses generously at the first budding. Leaves and shoots should be disposed of or burnt to hinder the spread of disease. If these prevention measures did not help, you can find a small selection of household remedies and natural products for targeted control of the fungus. We will discuss both options in the following.

Mildew on roses: natural treatment with household remedies

Just as with powdery mildew on cucumbers, there are a few effective household remedies for powdery mildew on roses:

  • Treatment with milk: if an infestation occurs, a mixture of milk and water (ratio 1:9) is sprayed on the leaves every day. The mildew fungus is attacked by the lactic acid bacteria and hopefully completely suppressed. Whether the milk mixture is equally effective against powdery mildew is still debated by gardeners and scientists alike.
  • Treatment with baking powder: the potassium (hydrogen) carbonate contained in baking powder is strongly alkaline and makes life difficult for both powdery and downy mildew. The effect of a 0.5% solution with water (5 grams in one litre of water) has already been confirmed in several trials.
  • One of our readers uses chamomile tea as a preventive measure. The essential oils contained in camomile probably also inhibit the initial development of the fungus, so that the infestation does not occur in the first place.

According to scientific studies, fennel and horsetail brews also have an effect as long as the mildew infestation is not too severe.

If your grapes are suffering from a mildew outbreak too, read here to learn how to combat mildew on grapes.

Important: The above-mentioned methods have proven to be successful in some gardens; however, many other gardeners have not observed any effect. Despite that, we still recommend giving household remedies a try (especially with light infestations or as a preventative measure). It will save you money you would spend on store-bought sprays.

Mildew on roses: other ways of treatment

You do not have time to prepare a DIY spray or your roses are already heavily infested? Then you still have the possibility to fight mildew on roses naturally. We recommend trying products that consist mainly of horsetail extract, as these have proven to be highly effective. Sulphur-based products from various manufacturers are also very effective against fungi but can also harm beneficial organisms if the dosage is too high. The same applies to copper-based preparations, which may be used in organic farming, but in the long run accumulate in the soil to alarming concentrations.

If these preparations are used correctly and with caution, even a stronger infestation with mildew will soon pass. Keep in mind, that preventative measures should still be taken in autumn to avoid a renewed heavy outbreak of mildew next season.

Preventing powdery mildew in roses

To prevent your roses from being attacked by any kind of fungus in the first place, you can follow these tips:

  1. Roses absolutely need a sunny location with decent air circulation. A good location will automatically prevent countless pests and diseases. To ensure that the foliage dries quickly, let your rose plants have enough space and, if possible, do not grow them under branches of trees or eaves of buildings.
  2. Do not plant roses in places where other plants from their family have already grown before. Almost all fruit trees and strawberries belong to the rose family.
  3. Your rose should be optimally supplied with nutrients. You can achieve this by using high-quality potting soils and gentle, organic fertilisers.
  4. When watering, make sure you only water the soil and not the leaves. Fungal spores need a minimum of liquid to germinate and to be able to penetrate the leaf.
  5. There are also new varieties that are resistant to mildew fungi. For example, the varieties ‘Apple Blossom’, ‘Heather Dream’, ‘Palmengarten Frankfurt’ and ‘Summer Wind’ have proven to be resistant.

Tip: While downy mildew depends on high temperatures and leaf moisture during germination – 20 °C and humidity are ideal – powdery mildew develops best in dry and sunny conditions. Powdery mildew can actually be damaged by dripping water.

How to plant lily of the valley: instructions & expert tips

How to plant lily of the valley: instructions & expert tips

Lily of the valley is an easy to care for perennial for shady places. Here you can find out everything about flowering time, location and care. Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) flowers in May, when it boasts a myriad of dainty white flowers that…