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Latest posts by Italophile

Beetroot cyclindra

Posted: 05/07/2012 at 07:21

They almost look like rocket leaves.

Tomatoes not setting fruit

Posted: 05/07/2012 at 07:18

You don't need to cross pollinate. They're self-pollinating. Just give the flowers a tap or a brush with your hand. One of the great frustrations for tom growers is flowers not setting fruit. Over-watering and over-fertilising can be a factor. High temps and humidity can also work against fruit setting. We've had a week in the high 30sC here and flowers are shrivelling and dying.

Potato blight

Posted: 04/07/2012 at 08:32

I think you're right. It doesn't seem to have blight's characteristics. Here's blight:


Potato blight

Posted: 04/07/2012 at 06:27

Can you post a photo of the problem?

Here are some photos of magnesium deficiency in potatoes. Scroll down to photos 161 and 162 and see if you recognise the symptoms.

Bah! The link system still doesn't work here. Cut and paste this link into your browser:

EDIT. Oooh! The link system is working now. As is the edit system. Happy days!


Potato blight

Posted: 03/07/2012 at 15:07

No, it's also used on grapes, potatoes and other things.

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.


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.



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.

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