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Latest posts by Italophile

Well rotted manure

Posted: 11/11/2012 at 09:41

Good advice from Geoff. Carrots and parsnips resent freshly-manured soil. Yours will be good for them both next season.

Potting my bamboo

Posted: 10/11/2012 at 10:22

Agh ... ! Memories. Bad memories. Hideous memories.

Potting my bamboo

Posted: 08/11/2012 at 08:06

The key is your variety of bamboo. As above, if it's non-invasive, you don't need to worry about a pot to contain it. If invasive, though, a pot won't contain it. The roots will be out through the drainage holes and off or even up the sides of the pot and out and off.

I speak from bitter experience. I once inherited a garden in which a bright spark of a landscape designer buried an old laundry trough and planted an invasive variety. He left the plug in the trough, he said, to stop it spreading through the plug hole. The roots ran up the sides of the trough and out and off. A nightmare.


Posted: 02/11/2012 at 14:46

Ging, carrots also need plenty of sun.

My First year

Posted: 02/11/2012 at 08:46

Carrots and parsnip, as root veg, both need very friable soil with no lumps or stones. If they hit lumps or stones during growing they will either fork - divide into two - or just stop altogether. The other key is not to manure the beds before sowing. Sow into beds manured at least the season before.


Posted: 02/11/2012 at 08:38

Good advice above. The other key is not to add any fresh fertiliser. A bed fertilised the season before is ideal.

Talkback: How to ripen tomatoes on the vine

Posted: 02/11/2012 at 07:26

Given time the green toms will ripen, but temperature is the key, not hanging them in a frost-free shed. If the temp in the shed is in single figures, the green toms will never ripen.

I've now, finally, been able to watch the video. I don't know how. Suddenly it plays when before it wouldn't. I think the video peddles old wives' tales. Tomatoes already on their way to ripening are getting next to nothing from the plant anyway. The plant's job is already done. The plant will be of no use to green tomatoes because it will be dead within three or four days.

Temperature is the key to ripening.


Posted: 29/10/2012 at 07:20

Most good sites give you information on varieties, sizes and expected time to maturity. I use T&M.

collecting and storing seeds

Posted: 28/10/2012 at 08:41

Good advice from Welshonion. The vast majority - or just about all - of domestic sweetcorn and beetroot are hybrid varieties that won't produce true to type. Bought seeds will last a good few years, stick with them for best results.


Posted: 27/10/2012 at 09:20

Pumpkin and squash need pretty decent spells of warm weather in the mid-20s at least. How long they take to maturity depends on the variety, obviously, but even the smaller ones need around 90 days.

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