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Tomato Ailsa Craig is an early maturing, semi-greenback variety producing bright red, medium sized fruits.
Very popular with amateur growers and famous for its flavour.
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A crop of Ailsa Craig tomatoes takes around 15 weeks from seed to first harvest. Although you can sow seed from as early as late December in a heated greenhouse, it is more usual to sow in a unheated greenhouse or on the kitchen windowsill in March / April for planting out April / May.
Sideshoots should be removed regularly before they get large. It should be possible to do this by hand but if they get too big a knife or secateurs should be used. Some leaves may need to be removed if very congested and old leaves should be removed from the bottom of the plant as they begin to age. They should snap out like sideshoots. Doing this will also allow easier picking off ripen fruits and reduce disease risk.
Pests & Diseases.
The worst pest for many will be White Fly. Try to avoid it by making sure there is none in the greenhouse in the first place. Many sprays are sold but the pest is not easy to control. SB Plant Invigorator is one of the best and tends to reduce White Fly and aphids, whilst at the same time giving a light feed of nitrogen.
The major disease under glass is Botrytis or Grey Mould. The spores are everywhere so there is no way to keep it out, but it needs a film of moisture and warmth to develop. Good ventilation and good hygiene can do a great deal to keep it at bay. A fungicide can be used if needed.
Although largely a disease of outdoor tomatoes, Potato Blight can be a problem under glass in some years.
Remember! Beware of frost - Ailsa Craig tomato plants are not hardy.
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