Latest posts by Italophile

Tomato seedlings

Posted: 27/03/2013 at 07:58

Morning Dove! Happy - belated - New Year. It's still bizarrely chilly and grey and damp here for the time of year. We should already be comfortably into the teens C with plenty of sun.

I started my seeds about six weeks ago, as per usual, and everything germinated, as per usual. On dry days I put them out on the terrace in a crate wrapped in bubble wrap, but, at 7C and overcast, they're only puttering along. They're probably about a fortnight behind where they would usually be.

Heirlooms or hybrids, the only difference is the flavour. Growing circumstances are identical. If you're bothered about length of season, the only factor you need to take into account is their days to maturity. Both Anna Russian and Camp Joy (the cherry, I think I sent some, didn't I?) would be fine. They won't take any longer than your average hybrid.

The larger beefsteaks, which need longer, might be more problematic in a short season. I'd try some anyway. You don't know what summer will bring and what have you got to lose? I can always send more.

Tomato seedlings

Posted: 26/03/2013 at 07:42

That's probably as good as you can do under the circumstances. Just try to keep them as warm as possible.

Swiss chard

Posted: 25/03/2013 at 10:20

Mine comes back after winter every year but bolts as soon as it warms up. I grow from seed and have replacement plants ready.

Tomato seedlings

Posted: 24/03/2013 at 16:32

They're going to need light as much as warmth, RD, as much light as they can get. Preferably sunlight. The longer you can keep the temps in the low to mid teens the better. But light is the absolute key.

Favorite tomatoes

Posted: 12/03/2013 at 18:25

Most beefsteaks are mid-late season varieties, Leggi. They need pretty decent growing seasons.

Favorite tomatoes

Posted: 12/03/2013 at 08:05

Leggi, good luck with the Pink Brandywines. Wonderful tomato. Just need heaps of growing time to maturity. Usually 80-90 days from planting out, and that's in optimum weather conditions.

what can you start now

Posted: 05/03/2013 at 08:07

Carrots should be sown directly where they're going to grow. They don't transplant. They also need soil temps (as opposed to air temps) around 15C to give the seeds a good chance to germinate.

Best tasting cherry tomatoes

Posted: 16/01/2013 at 12:01

I grow Camp Joy (aka Chadwick's Cherry) every season. An heirloom that produces masses of delicious cherry toms over a very long period.

Picking kale

Posted: 09/12/2012 at 08:39

No, it doesn't form a head. Best to harvest leaf by leaf, starting with the largest towards the bottom, leaving the younger ones to develop.

problem soil

Posted: 08/12/2012 at 07:41
annefiona wrote (see)

I have just created new beds for growing fruit and vegetables and the top soil that I hto ordered is extremely alkaline ,what is the best way of improving it.. My existing soil is neutral to alkaline

Presumably you've tested both the existing soil and the new stuff? What figures did you get?

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