Italophile


Latest posts by Italophile

Potato blight

Posted: 03/07/2012 at 06:29

Bordeaux mixture - a blend of copper sulphate and hydrated lime - is an age-old treatment for blight. Like all such treatments, it's preventive rather than curative. There is an issue these days with the copper component. Even though technically organic, it's unfriendly to insects, etc, and will accumulate in the soil. There are other options but they're chemical. I'd talk to a good garden centre about the options.

Gigantic courgette leaves

Posted: 01/07/2012 at 11:37
lucy33 wrote (see)
Hi. I have a courgette plant that has gigantic leaves and lots of them but no flowers. This is planted in a raised bed. Not sure if it's overloaded with nutrients as all my veg in the raised beds have really large greenery but nothing else.

Have you been feeding with a nitrogen-rich fertiliser? It will promote leaf growth at the expense of nearly everything else. Carrots shouldn't be fertilised at all.

WILTING TOMATOES

Posted: 29/06/2012 at 06:57

I'd suggest that they're being overwatered. Unless toms are in very small pots in hot direct sun, they should never need watering every day. Toms thrive on "tough love" - a minimum of water and fertiliser.

Feeding tomatoes with powdered milk

Posted: 29/06/2012 at 06:54
quercus_rubur wrote (see)

And to further what Alina says it's used for Blossom end rot as that's a calcium deficiency. Actually most of what I've read says you can use powdered or proper milk, but full fat not non fat. Classed as an environmentally safe fungicide. Well you live and learn!

BER is related to calcium in that it's a side effect of a plant not being able to distribute calcium within its internal system. There can be tons of calcium available to the plant but the plant can't use it. So milk won't help against BER. So what causes the plant not to be able to distributre calcium? No one knows for sure, but plant stress seems to be a major factor. Strong buffeting winds, temperature extremes and irregular watering are only some of the possible causes.

There is also the puzzling fact that some tomato types - the plum varieties, for example - are more prone to BER than others. No one knows why.

Milk has no value as a tomato fertiliser but it's been claimed over the years that it has anti-fungal properties. The evidence is largely anecdotal, backed by the suggestion that the milk creates a pH level that fungal spores don't like.

 

Cucumbers

Posted: 21/06/2012 at 09:13

Find a spot that's nice and warm with as much direct sun as possible. Dig in some nice compost, plant not too deeply, and keep well watered. If you don't have a spot in the garden, they grow very well in a decent-sized container on a sunny terrace or wherever. Watering is even more important in containers.

Growing morning glory in a hanging basket.

Posted: 20/06/2012 at 12:27

It's worse than a pernicious weed in Australia. It used to smother everything - and I mean everything - in our backyard in Sydney.

Different climate, obviously.

Just a tad.

Growing morning glory in a hanging basket.

Posted: 20/06/2012 at 10:47

Not the annuals. The perennials, the monsters that can take over the world if not kept in check. You're okay.

Growing morning glory in a hanging basket.

Posted: 20/06/2012 at 09:08

Depends on which MG you have, kate. Some are ideal for hanging baskets, others need a lot more root space.

Talkback: Sowing seeds - chillies and sweet peppers

Posted: 19/06/2012 at 10:54

Catching up on some very old posts:

greenthumbs - no, your peppers that look like chillies are peppers. If there has been cross-pollination, the results of the cross wouldn't appear until you saved seed from the crossed fruit and planted it next year.

flungmonkey - yes, you can plant toms and chillies together.

justbegining - no, you don't need to remove the side shoots of chillies. They don't develop anything like the amount of foliage that toms do.

sonia1 - you grow peppers exactly as you do toms. Start them at the same time - in fact, if possible, start them earlier than toms. Like chillies, they can take longer to germinate and develop than toms do. So it's too late this year. The plants won't grow to the same size as, say, an indeterminate tomato plant. Mine usually grow to about 4' so you still need a decent size pot.

One curly sad tomato....

Posted: 13/06/2012 at 07:41

Curse this Edit function failure! One more thing - if it's possible, probably a good idea to isolate this plant from the others till we get to the bottom of things.

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