Italophile


Latest posts by Italophile

storing garlic

Posted: 18/07/2012 at 11:26

You wouldn't necessarily add the oil with the garlic if you didn't want it. You thaw the garlic, remove it from the oil. The oil is only to protect the garlic in the freezer.

storing garlic

Posted: 18/07/2012 at 09:14

Ah. Shame. You can freeze garlic. It's arguable, though, that it doesn't retain all the original qualities. A friend of mine used to mince it, add it to some good quality oil, and freeze it in little sachets.

storing garlic

Posted: 18/07/2012 at 07:25

Too much moisture can cause the heads to open up like that. Is the flesh of the cloves exposed or is the wrapping still in place?

 

Tomatoe plants with no flowers !

Posted: 17/07/2012 at 15:44

No no no no no no. You'll know if it's crying out for help.

Butternut Squash

Posted: 17/07/2012 at 15:42

If it happens when the squash is still on the small side, it usually means they haven't been pollinated properly, James. They will shrivel up and fall off. Nature's way of saving the plant wasting goodness on them.

Tomato leaf problems - help

Posted: 17/07/2012 at 06:53

Fungal problems, in particular, hit every tomato grower, Gard. They would certainly account for most of the tomato threads around here. Growing indoors only increases the chances of problems because it's an environment that plays into the spores' sticky, grubby little hands.

Tomatoe plants with no flowers !

Posted: 17/07/2012 at 06:30

Becks - tomato plants have their own wonderful smell, don't they? It comes from an enzyme produced on the leaf. I get the same thing too - walk anywhere near my outdoors toms and the aroma is thick in the air, at other times it's not. It may be that something like watering stimulates or triggers the enzyme.

muddy - the optimum temp for ripening is anything above about 21C. Bring on the sunshine, though it's the temperature that ripens them, not the actual sunlight.

 

Tomato leaf problems - help

Posted: 16/07/2012 at 14:55

Unfortunately removing diseased leaves is the only means you have of slowing the disease's spread. For that matter, the disease is defoliating the plant anyway, so it's one and the same thing. No one knows how many healthy leaves a plant needs for sufficient photosynthesis but the question usually becomes academic anyway if the disease has a grip.

Undeveloped fruit isn't uncommon. I've got some on a couple of my plants. It's a pain in the backside in one case because I need to save seeds from that plant this season. Blossom drop can have many causes - lack of pollination, too much humidity, too much fertiliser, and so on. I tend to get it here because of excess heat. When the temp is 42C+ for the plants, something's gotta give.

This could be a tomato annus horribilis for you, Gard, which would be a shame. Unfortunately it's part and parcel of growing toms. I've had more than my share.

Tomatoe plants with no flowers !

Posted: 16/07/2012 at 07:46

Producing flowers - hence fruit - is the tomato plant seeking to reproduce itself, to ensure another generation, Lilly. It's much more likely to want to do this if it fears for its future, and it won't fear for its future if it's well-fed and well-watered. It will just lollop along enjoying the comforts. In simple terms it's a matter of creating an environment that causes the plant to think its future is threatened. Tough love, controlled neglect, call it what you like. It won't hurt the plant. Toms are tough, resilient things.

More specifically, over-feeding, particularly with a food high in nitrogen, is one of the major causes of a lack of flowers. Don't feed at all till the first fruit sets. Then, for containters, you don't need to feed more than once a month. Toms aren't "hungry" plants, they don't need to be stuffed full of nutrients. In fact it's bad for them. Plants in the ground - given decent soil to start with - don't need more than three feeds in the entire season.

For containers, let the mix dry out between waterings. Not just now, but always. Keep the plant out of its comfort zone and it will reward you.

 

Tomatoe plants with no flowers !

Posted: 15/07/2012 at 15:20

About all you can do is try to force them to fruit. Cut back on the water and, more importantly, cut out fertilising altogether.

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