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Latest posts by Italophile

Pink jester tomatoes

Posted: 16/09/2012 at 08:05

I haven't heard of Jester/Pink Jester before but Google seems to indicate that they're called Pink Jester. They're a plum-shaped cherry and it's a determinate (bush) plant. They're a F1 hybrid variety.

No tomato needs bees for pollination. They're self-pollinating, the flowers carry both male and female parts. Bees can only be helpful in that their activity can cause the transfer of pollen within the flower. You can achieve the same thing yourself by brushing the flower with your hand or giving it a light flick with your fingers.

Where you grow them depends entirely on your local weather conditions. If you can count on at least a couple of months of decent warm weather - by which I mean mid-20sC - and a spot that gets at least 6 hours a day of sun, you can grow them outside. Otherwise a greenhouse might be better.

Kiwi problem

Posted: 16/09/2012 at 07:50

If c.woodward's plant is indeed a Kiwi Jenny it doesn't need a pollinator.


Tomato probs

Posted: 15/09/2012 at 15:55
Mia's grandma wrote (see)
Hello, I have some tomato plants with the dreaded blight next to sweetcorn which also looks sick. Please could you let me know if it is transferable to the other plants in my garden and if any blight treatments are ok for them, I know it is likely that my potatoes will succumb but am worried about courgettes and the sweetcorn. Thanks very much.

When you say "the dreaded blight" it depends exactly which fungal problem you have on the toms. It might not even be fungal. It could be bacterial. Can you post a photo?

As Geoff says, toms and spuds are both prone to a couple of the same fungal diseases. One is Late Blight. If you have Late Blight, the tomato plant will be wiped out within a week or ten days. If your plants have been coping for that or longer it's probably not Late Blight. Early Blight, another common tomato fungal problem, can also affect spuds, though, as with toms, it's nowhere near as destructive.

I've never heard of any of the tomato/potato fungal diseases affecting sweet corn. Sweet corn only has one fungal threat that I know of. It's called "smut" and you'd know whether your plants are affected. The kernels expand to three or four times their size and are a dark grey/purple colour. It looks hideous, though, in some parts of the world, it's a delicacy. I get it a lot on my sweet corn here in Italy.

In terms of dealing with your disease problem now, it's too late for prevention. Once the spores are in place, you can't kill them, per se. You can only try to minimise the impact by removing affected foliage to try to stop the spread.


tomato rot

Posted: 15/09/2012 at 14:05

Weather can play a huge part with fungal problems. Fungal spores thrive in damp conditions. Air circulation is an important defence both in the greenhouse overall and in terms of the plant themselves. Keep plenty of space between them and don't allow great dense lumps of foliage to develop on individual plants.

New site - bugs

Posted: 15/09/2012 at 13:14

Email notifications are back to intermittent.

tomato rot

Posted: 15/09/2012 at 13:10
jean linsley wrote (see)

I am guessing I had tomato rot this year in green third up all of them looked rotten but they continued to grow..very very poor yield though...

what causes this ..I know we had hot/wet summer but thought it would not effect ones in gr/hse..

It sounds like fungal problems, jean. In fact, toms in greenhouses are more prone than toms grown outside. The enclosed environment can be an incubator for disease.

Talkback: How to ripen tomatoes on the vine

Posted: 15/09/2012 at 13:07

Yup. Anything above low-20sC is optimum. The lower the temp, the longer they take.

Talkback: Grow carrots in a container

Posted: 15/09/2012 at 08:16
John from north London. wrote (see)

I have grown from seed Radish - Carrots - Beetroot - and Spring Onions in my small

garden. The foliage grew strongly but with only a thin 'straddle' of root to show for my effort from each of the above.

My first attempt, never tried 'em before, what on earth did I do wrong?

Any 'help' most appreciated.

John, how much direct sun did they get? They all need as much as possible. Carrots, in particular, also need very friable soil without lumps, stones or any other obstacles.

Kiwi problem

Posted: 15/09/2012 at 07:50

I had a Kiwi Jenny back in Sydney. It doesn't need a pollinator so your lack of fruit is down to other things. The Sydney climate was perfect - endless warmth. Apart from needing plenty of warmth, they also need to be kept in check, I found. Left to grow with wild abandon they can forget about fruiting.

Citrus orange

Posted: 14/09/2012 at 21:19

Keep it warm with plenty of light.

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