Latest posts by Italophile

Saving tom seeds...

Posted: 30/09/2012 at 07:41

I always bag the flowers on plants when I'm going to save seeds just to guarantee against cross-pollination. Once the fruit has set I remove the bag and tie some coloured thread to the fruit (or truss) to remind me it's for seed-saving. Sometimes I completely overlook the thread when harvesting and eat the dang things!

If GS had some fungus on the leaves it won't have impacted on the fruit or its seeds. The only real risk with saving seeds in terms of disease is perpetuating seed-borne disease. I doubt your GS suffered any such.

Anyway, it's always a good idea to ferment the seeds in the saving process. Some people just remove the seeds and dry them. Fermenting them does two important things: (1) the gooey seed gel, left in place, can inhibit germination and fermenting removes it quickly and easily; and (2) it kills off pathogens that might be lurking.

Saving tom seeds...

Posted: 29/09/2012 at 07:21

Ripe is best and easiest but you can, if need be, save viable seed from about the time the tom is changing from dark green to lighter green. A good test is to cut open a tom and have a look inside. If the seed has fully developed its gel coating, it's usually good to go.



Bay pests

Posted: 29/09/2012 at 06:47

Could be, Alina. The wispy white stuff said Mealybug to me. I see it on bays here.

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.

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