Latest posts by Italophile

New site - bugs

Posted: 17/09/2012 at 10:07

There have been problems down there for a while, geoff. A few weeks ago, when I was trying to find a work around for the email problem, you couldn't save any changes. There was an error message saying to try again.

Still, I got an email notification of your post. Something's working. Some of the time.

green manure and crop rotation from strawberries to tomatoes

Posted: 17/09/2012 at 06:58

To be honest, I wouldn't plant a green manure in a bed destined for tomatoes. Nitrogen is really the least of a tomato plant's requirements. An abundance of it will encourage foliage growth at the expense of flowers and fruit. I'd just dig in manure - if you have access to any - and lots of compost.

Tomato probs

Posted: 16/09/2012 at 12:25

There's no cure, Colin, not just for Late Blight but for any of the other fungal diseases. Once the spores have arrived and settled in - when the symptoms are showing - you can't kill them off. The same applies to most fungal garden problems - Black Spot on roses, etc.

All you can do is try to mimimise their effects after arrival or take preventive measures - prior to their arrival - by either spraying or undertaking the basic housekeeping procedures I've mentioned here so many times.

Any idea what this fruit is?

Posted: 16/09/2012 at 11:00

Taking a photo is the easy part. Posting it is the problem!

Any idea what this fruit is?

Posted: 16/09/2012 at 10:18

The photo uploading system ain't working. I tried countless times yesterday. Fix the email notifications, something else breaks. Though my notifications are back to random again.

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.

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