Growers should be wary of smelly tomato plants

New research has shown that garden and greenhouse enthusiasts should be concerned if their tomato plants begin to smell.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), a study carried out in Holland and Germany found that plants infected with botrytis fungus produce a distinct odour.

Affected plants often begin to smell around 32 hours after becoming host to the parasite – giving growers an early warning of what is to come.

Wageningen Universitys Roel Jansen, who led the research, said that identifying the problem early gave time for action and increased the growers chances of saving their healthy plants.

"The trend in greenhouse horticulture is for fewer but larger greenhouses, so an outbreak of a disease therefore forms an even greater threat as it can easily spread throughout the entire greenhouse," he explained.

In other news, the RHS revealed that a garden historian giving a talk on the extinct species Gladiolus x brenchleyensis was surprised to hear an Isle of Mann residents claim that he had a cultivar growing in his garden.