Latest posts by Italophile

Talkback: How to plant and grow asparagus

Posted: 10/09/2012 at 17:54

Yes, you can transplant asparagus. It can be tricky, particularly with anything like mature plants, because of the complexity of the root structure that will have developed. It's a bit like trying to unravel knots. Best done early in Spring, while they're still dormant. It took me a couple of goes to wangle out the roots without murdering too many of them.


Posted: 09/09/2012 at 15:52

For squash, you would need to use the brush to transfer pollen from the male flower (growing on a stalk) to the female flower (with the miniature fruit at its base). Best done early in the morning when the female flower is open and ready.

Citrus orange

Posted: 09/09/2012 at 15:49

Don't forget to monitor the moisture levels through winter, too. Mine get a couple of drinks of tepid water throughout the winter.

Potato blight and soil

Posted: 09/09/2012 at 15:47

It depends what sort of blight it was. Late Blight is the typical potato disease. Its spores don't live on in soil, only in infected produce and plant matter. Potatoes can  suffer other fungal diseases, too, and the spores can settle on top of the soil and live on. To be on the safe side, why not remove and replace the top couple of inches of soil?

Talkback: How to grow tomatoes in a greenhouse

Posted: 09/09/2012 at 15:38
Blueboing101 wrote (see)
Ive had great success from baby yellow plum varieties keeping as little leaf growth and shots as possible and growing runners out on string. has given me very good crops off each plant. But little success from larger varieties my plants seem to end up stunted and with only two or three on it by the end of the summer, any idea's what I could be doing wrong I feed with a branded tomato food as stated and use the same grow bags which contain seaweed. I cant get why the cherry type varietys go mad but I struggle else where. Thanks in advance for any advice

Not sure what you mean by keeping as little leaf growth as possible. The plants need leaves for photosynthesis. You might get away with reduced photosynthesis for smaller varieties but larger ones need as much goodness as they can get from photosynthesis.

Big Green Caterpillar

Posted: 06/09/2012 at 17:05

Is this the critter you're looking at, jancee?

That's a hornworm. They actually do eat foliage but the big damage they do is to the fruit:

You were lucky you found him before he pulled out his knife and fork, uncorked a Caterpillar Merlot, tucked his serviette into his collar, and tucked in.

Sweet corn

Posted: 06/09/2012 at 16:14

Not all sweetcorn turns the typical yellow. Try squeezing one of the kernels with a fingernail. If the liquid inside is a milky colour, it's harvest time. If it's still watery, you're going to have to wait and hope for more warmth.

Big Green Caterpillar

Posted: 06/09/2012 at 15:37

Sounds like a tomato hornworm. They're everywhere. I used to get them in Australia.

Tomato Ripening

Posted: 05/09/2012 at 17:44

Yes, it's down to temperature. They don't need direct sunlight to ripen. It's why toms will ripen inside on a kitchen bench.

Tomato Ripening

Posted: 05/09/2012 at 17:15

Temperature is what ripens toms, flowergirl. If it's warmer outside than in the shed, they will ripen quicker outside. If the converse is true, the converse applies. Hanging up the plant is really only a means of storing the toms. Out of the ground, the plant will die off within three or four days anyway so there will be no ongoing nutritional benefit.

EDIT. If it's not warm enough outside - and you need at least low-20sC for ripening at an optimum rate - put them anywhere where you'll achieve as close to those temps as you can. In a shed, in the kitchen, bathroom, boiler room, wherever.

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