Latest posts by Italophile

Freezing veg

Posted: 21/09/2012 at 08:13
smada_1 wrote (see)
How do you freeze veg?

As Welshonion says, the methods vary, but just about always involve blanching in boiling water. Vegies contain enzymes that aid their maturing process. Freezing alone doesn't deactivate the enzymes and frozen raw vegies will continue to mature and (eventually) deteriorate even if at a slower rate. Blanching in boiling water effectively stuns the enzymes into inactivity meaning the veg should be - as it were - frozen in time.

After blanching, the veg has to be plunged into iced water to chill them, to stop them cooking. Then it's a matter of drying them completely, bagging them - removing as much air from the bag as you can - and freezing them, ideally as rapidly as possible.

The professionals work on an industrial scale with instant blanching, instant chilling, instant drying and snap-freezing. Home freezing doesn't produce the same results but I do it quite a lot with a more than satisfactory outcome.


Tomato Ripening

Posted: 20/09/2012 at 11:00

Fair enough. Anything is worth a try in poor summers. I'd still think about some sort of portable insulation in those conditions. Those plastic greenhouses can lose warmth overnight in cool conditions and toms actually do most of their growing overnight.


Tomato Ripening

Posted: 20/09/2012 at 08:07

Temperature is the key to ripening tomatoes. They don't need direct sunlight. That's why they will ripen inside on a kitchen bench. Optimum temperature is anything above low-20sC. The lower the temp, the longer ripening will take.

Victor - if you're asking in terms of ripening your toms, see above. Reflected light won't help the ripening process. To retain warmth when the weather cools down you'd be better off insulating the greenhouse somehow.



Posted: 20/09/2012 at 07:55

Aubergines are like tomatoes, chillies, etc, in that technically they are perennials but are grown as annuals. Mainly because, in cooler climates, winter kills them off. A cold frame wouldn't keep them warm enough. You'd need at least a heated greenhouse. I know people who have overwintered them but in a warm climate. The results were mixed.

When to plant out rhubarb?

Posted: 19/09/2012 at 09:58

Okay. Bear in mind that, grown from seed, they're usually a year behind planted crowns.

When to plant out rhubarb?

Posted: 19/09/2012 at 08:08

Late autumn or early spring. Prep the bed well with lots of nice rich organic material.

New gardener rose question

Posted: 19/09/2012 at 07:01

It's down to luck in terms of the combination of the fungal spores being around in damp or humid conditions. Given those conditions, odds are you'll finish up with it. As I said, it's about the most common rose fungal problem.

Passion Fruit Vine

Posted: 18/09/2012 at 08:52

Ah, they're babies. Providing they're in a decent potting mix I wouldn't feed them at all yet. The roots are still vulnerable and you could burn them. I wouldn't overwater them either. Like any seedling they just need as much light and warmth as they can get.

Digging problem

Posted: 17/09/2012 at 17:17

Or a crowbar.

Autumn Fruiting Raspberries

Posted: 17/09/2012 at 11:53

That's what I was thinking. Odd that the difference in Mary's patch is that small intersecting area, though.

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