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Latest posts by Italophile

Tomato Ripening

Posted: 28/09/2012 at 16:10

Inside with 'em.

Tomato Ripening

Posted: 28/09/2012 at 14:34

Could be grabbing the least ripe ones. You'll have seen the different shades of green on their way to ripening - starting dark, then ever so gradually lighter, before the colour starts to kick in.

17C as a day temp isn't bad, but the 8C overnight is slowing you down. Can you cover them at night? Pop them into a greenhouse? Alternatively, what are your temps like inside the house?


Bay pests

Posted: 28/09/2012 at 12:44

They sound like Mealybug. You can spray with a horticultural oil which will suffocate them. I usually clean them up by hand.

Tomato Ripening

Posted: 27/09/2012 at 17:29

Depends on the temperature, Barbara. Optimum temps for ripening are anything above low-20sC. The lower the temp below that, the longer they will take. If it's consistently warmer inside the house than outside - even in the greenhouse - you're better off taking them inside to ripen.


Rose black spot?

Posted: 27/09/2012 at 11:08

It should survive. Black Spot is about the most common rose problem.

There's not much you can do once the disease is in place. You can't kill it off. Bear in mind, too, that you can spread the disease via your hands and things like secateurs. The rose will shed its leaves for winter. Gather up all the diseased leaves, destroy them, and always try to keep the surrounding area clear of diseased bits of plant.

Spraying against any fungal disease has to be preventive - which is to say, before the symptoms appear. So if you spray next season, start early.

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.

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