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Latest posts by Italophile

Passion Fruit Vine

Posted: 11/06/2012 at 08:09

Passion fruit is tropical/sub-tropical and needs seriously warm weather and full sun to prosper. What sort of temps are you getting?

unwanted ivy

Posted: 11/06/2012 at 08:04

How big is it and where is it growing? I had a very mature mass of the stuff to clear. The roots were huge, the growth immediately above the roots about 3" across. It was also growing against various dry stone walls, meaning it had rooted itself in the walls as it spread.

You have to attack the roots. I found each and every root in the ground, cut all the growth just above root level, scraped the roots in several spots to expose raw wood, and painted on Round-Up (at the specified dosage). It can take a couple of weeks, with another application if need be, but that takes care of the roots. It's a matter of finding all the roots.

Then, in my case, it was a matter of stripping it from the wall, sometimes levering it clear with a small crowbar, pulling it out where it had rooted itself, using Round-Up where I couldn't extract the roots.

If yours isn't growing against and into a wall, life will be easier.



Posted: 11/06/2012 at 06:14

Yes, in containers in particular, but even in the ground they will wilt on a hot day regardless of how much moisture there is in the compost. They usually perk up again when things cool down.

If it isn't a temperature issue it could be various other things. How old are the plants and where are they?


problem with toms!

Posted: 10/06/2012 at 12:06

Do you mean the affected leaves are darker brown around the edges? In other words, leaves with brown spots with darker brown edges?

problem with toms!

Posted: 10/06/2012 at 09:33

"Blight" has become a bit of a generic term. It gets applied to any leaf disease. There are only really two "blights" - Early (very common in the home garden) and Late (uncommon in the home garden). Most of the fungal and even some of the bacterial diseases have similar sorts of symptoms. It takes practice and a keen eye to tell them apart.

Anyways, brown spots can be fungal but a bit more detail would help. Are they simply spots? Or is there any sign of a "halo" around them?

This, for example, is Septoria Leaf Spot, probably the most common fungal problem in the domestic garden:

This is Early Blight, which rivals SLS for frequency in the domestic garden:

The identifier for Early Blight is those tiny rings you can see within the enlarged brown spots.

How exactly do your spots look, f&n?



Posted: 08/06/2012 at 12:54

By the by, I was looking for a pic of one of my Marianna's Peace toms but couldn't find one. Odd, because I'm forever taking pics of my toms. In its place, this season's MP plant taken about a month ago, roughly a week after planting out. It's now three times the size. Note the lovely potato leaves:

The plant in front of it, with a couple of leaves just visible, is another potato leaf variety, Brandywine OTV.


Posted: 08/06/2012 at 12:18

Janie, I just sent you a private message.

what to intercrop with squash?

Posted: 08/06/2012 at 07:33

I'd go with radishes. They'll be up, matured and eaten before the squash suffocates them.


Posted: 08/06/2012 at 06:41

Well done, figrat. I'd forgotten about the PM system here. I'm still living in the days of the old BBC board, prehistoric and useless as it was.


Posted: 07/06/2012 at 16:16

There wouldn't be any security problem, Janie, nothing is stored, it would be deleted as soon as I read it. But anyway, no problems. For true flavour you're going to have to go with heirlooms and you'll probably only find them with online seed suppliers. Here are a couple of recommendations for you to look for:

Marianna's Peace - as I said, a tomato great. Large dark pink beefsteak on a potato leaf plant. Like a glass of fine red wine.

Cherokee Purple - it's mentioned on the blog. Its sister, Cherokee Chocolate, also on the blog, isn't far behind. Doesn't have quite the same intensity of flavour.

Brandywine OTV - another dark pink befsteak on a potato leaf plant. The result of an accidental cross between a Brandywine and an unknown yellow tom, grown out and stabilised by a couple of American growers. More productive and less temperamental than Brandywine and a delicious tom.

Soldacki - a Polish variety, yet another dark pink beefsteak on a PL plant. Beautiful tom.

Best of luck!


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