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Latest posts by Italophile

New gardener rose question

Posted: 05/09/2012 at 10:29
biff227 wrote (see)

Great, I had noticed that a couple of surrounding roses has also started to show the signs.  Can I stop this from occuring again??  is it because I live in such a damp climate?


It's the most common rose problem. Nearly impossible to avoid. You can try spraying. Like all sprays against fungal problems it has to be preventive - you have to start before the symptoms appear. It's too late once they turn up. Effectively you're coating the leaves to prevent the fungal spores from getting a grip.

If you feel like spraying, Bordeaux Mixture is about the most common product, though it's going to be banned next year. You'll find other products at any garden centre. Spraying isn't a guarantee against the disease but it helps.

Other than that, it's a matter of dedicated housekeeping. As soon as you see a leaf showing the symptoms, remove it and destroy it. Collect any fallen affected leaves and destroy them too. And be careful of spreading the pathogen via either hands or secateurs.

best flavoured tomatoes

Posted: 05/09/2012 at 10:15

We're in Tuscany, Maud, about 90 mins by train south of Florence, between Arezzo and Cortona.

C. Fiorentino is the better of the two Costolutos, I think. More of a beefsteak variety. C. Genovese is flatter and even more heavily ribbed. They're old Italian varieties but I suspect there has been some fiddling over the years. Neither has the full flavour they used to have. Still, of the two, you have the right one.


Posted: 05/09/2012 at 09:18

Late Blight, that which infects spuds and can infect toms, is a curious beast. The pathogen will live on on the affected produce - spuds or toms if they're left lying around - but not in the soil, and not on stems and foliage providing they're dead. If yours was LB, and the foliage went straight into the compost, I'd be wary.

Tomatoes - pinching out

Posted: 05/09/2012 at 08:42
Bf206 wrote (see)
My Romas are now ripening apace - the fungus-addled plants look shot to pieces, mind! Sungolds also doing well, although another bloomin' stem is going black. Lots of fruit On super sweet 100s and pale green so hopefully comin soon... Black Russians,which have never grown before, more of a concern. Some decent sized fruits but resolutely green.

Hopefully this late warm spell in the UK will do the job tho?

It's your best chance. Temperature is the key. Ultimately, though, you can always ripen them inside. In fact if the temp drops to about 15C outside, it's by far the best bet. Given that it's warmer than that inside. Providing they've begun the change from their dark green they should only take a couple of weeks to ripen.

And a tip: for the larger varieties, sit them on their shoulders.

Tomatoes - pinching out

Posted: 04/09/2012 at 17:28

Oh no! I've done that. And snapped entire branches by twisting off fruit because I was too lazy to go and get the secateurs.

If it has started to change from its dark green it will ripen inside. Give it time, even a couple of weeks. It would be a shame to turn a Pink Brandywine into a fried breakfast!

New gardener rose question

Posted: 04/09/2012 at 17:26

Bugs aren't your problem. It's fungal - Black Spot - about the most common fungal problem for roses. I get plagues of it. There's not much you can do once it's in situ. The plant will drop its leaves for winter. Collect all the affected leaves and destroy them.

Tomatoes - pinching out

Posted: 04/09/2012 at 16:20

At this late stage of the season, pinching out the growing tips isn't going to make a lot of difference. Any more fruit that sets won't have time to mature and the existing fruit that is starting to ripen needs nothing more than warm temperatures.


Posted: 04/09/2012 at 14:45

Probably nothing, Shugs. Wisteria can take more than 6 years to bloom. I've known them yet to bloom after 10 years. Very frustrating things, Wisteria. One thing they do need is masses of sun.

best flavoured tomatoes

Posted: 04/09/2012 at 12:04

Just re-sent the first message, Jo. I don't recall a "validate recipient" button. Which doesn't mean there isn't one, the heat here has fried my brain.

best flavoured tomatoes

Posted: 04/09/2012 at 11:44

Okay, I'll re-send the first message. The email notifications for posts and PMs have been very erratic lately. I usually have to go and check the PMs manually to see if I've received any.

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