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Latest posts by Italophile

Saying bye bye to ants

Posted: 26/09/2012 at 14:54

I find a garlic or chilli (or even garlic and chilli) spray works better on them than plain soapy water.


Deformed beans

Posted: 26/09/2012 at 12:51

After the long, stinking hot summer that made growing anything just about impossible, I'm harvesting about a kilo of delicious Cobra F1s a day. Stuffing ourselves with them fresh, freezing what we can't manage. A freezer full of beans for the winter. Yum.

Saying bye bye to ants

Posted: 26/09/2012 at 12:48

Ants don't feast on aphids. Far from it. They transport aphids around from plant to plant to feed off their secretions. Ants and aphids are partners in crime.

Corn on the cob

Posted: 26/09/2012 at 09:32
artjak wrote (see)

I recently heard the tip that you should shake the plant gently when the (male?) tassels are fully developed to aid pollination.

Yes, giving the plants a shake helps get the pollen moving.

Corn on the cob

Posted: 26/09/2012 at 07:25

I agree about it probably being a pollination problem. Block-planting is designed to aid pollination. I wish it were my problem when I grow sweet corn here. Instead I keep getting hit with the dreaded Smut, the fungal problem that blows up the kernels into giant blue/grey blobs. A delicacy in some parts of the world but not for me. I never ever saw it growing sweet corn in Sydney. Here, it has hit me each time. Bah.

Tomato Ripening

Posted: 25/09/2012 at 16:56

Mrs Italophile wouldn't be without her iPad. She now has the matched set - iMac, iPad and iPod. I have no idea why she needs them all except never to feel far from the Internet. I stick with my iMac. It does me fine.

Tomato Ripening

Posted: 25/09/2012 at 16:30

As jo4eyes just posted!

Tomato Ripening

Posted: 25/09/2012 at 16:29

figrat, removing the foliage won't aid or hasten the maturing process. The plant itself plays no real part in ripening. That's why toms will ripen off the plant. The only benefit would be if the foliage is seriously diseased, stopping any disease getting to the fruit. I think that's why Chris did it.

As to the propagator, cooking the tom would be the risk. A sunny window sill inside would do the job if it's too cold outside. You'd just have to keep an eye on sunscald (sunburn) if the sunlight is penetrating.


Tomato Ripening

Posted: 25/09/2012 at 16:04
figrat wrote (see)

Yay! Just cut first ripened Pink Brandywine, weighed in a touch under 10 oz.

Congrats! They can grow bigger than that too.

Tomato Ripening

Posted: 25/09/2012 at 16:01

Any fruit that produces ethylene gas is claimed to hasten the ripening of a tomato. As I've said, I've found no evidence that it does. Toms produce their own. Most fruits do. It's the hormone that causes ripening.

Temperature controls ripening. A tom inside on a bench in a room at 18C will ripen quicker than a tom outside on a plant at 13C.

If you're at the stage where fruit is starting to ripen on a plant, the foliage becomes less important. By maturity time, the actual plant's job is done.

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