Italophile


Latest posts by Italophile

Why won't my tomatoes ripen?

Posted: 13/08/2015 at 07:16

No problems. Larger-fruited varieties will take a bit longer than smaller ones. The temps should be reasonable in a greenhouse. As a rule of thumb, with reasonable temps, they should take (very roughly) 4 or 5 weeks to ripen from the time they start to change colour from the original dark green.

Why won't my tomatoes ripen?

Posted: 11/08/2015 at 14:06

They should by now if you've had decent temperatures. Ripening is all about temperature. Anything from the low-20s upwards is optimum. Lower than that, they will take longer. The process starts with them changing from their immature dark green to a lighter and lighter green before the colour kicks in. 

Different varieties also take different times to maturity. What are you growing?

Funky pot of Lavender advice please ..

Posted: 11/08/2015 at 10:52

How old are they, Matt?

Pumpkin problem

Posted: 11/08/2015 at 09:53

Plus, obviously, you need both male and female flower. Frustratingly, male flowers just about always outnumber females.

Funky pot of Lavender advice please ..

Posted: 11/08/2015 at 09:49

Take off the flower heads now, wait till new growth starts in early spring, prune down to just above the old wood. 

Potato blight fungicide

Posted: 10/08/2015 at 18:00

You can always make your own BM. Copper sulphate, hydrated lime, water. Just get the ratios right. 

Potato blight fungicide

Posted: 10/08/2015 at 15:37

It's one of the great conundrums. Copper is a naturally occurring substance so, technically, it's organic. Yet it's a metal that is known to stay in (well, on top of) the soil so it can build up. Organic growers choose not to use chemicals but use a metal that is known to build up in the soil. And have argued - obviously successfully - that there are no known organic alternatives.

I think the difference for commercial growers is that the authorities have decided they - commercial growers - can be trusted not to poison themselves. Private growers apparently can't. 

Tomato problems

Posted: 10/08/2015 at 13:23

Mammy, if it were either Early or Late Blight or any of the common fungal diseases there would be evidence on the stems and foliage long before this. However, those spots on the leaves in the second photo (from the top) have me thinking it might be Anthracnose, a fungal disease. 

Anthracnose starts on the fruit as a single infected spot but will eventually spread to join up as you describe. The first manifestation is usually like a small dent in the surface of the fruit that will look soft and a bit damp. Can you have a close look at all the fruit?

Potato blight fungicide

Posted: 10/08/2015 at 10:37

There are various Daconil (well, Chlorothalonil-based) products for different purposes - anti-fungal for toms and spuds, treatment for lawns, etc. The anti-fungal product is composed of 29% Chlorothalonil. That's the minimum figure. The other products with lower percentages aren't suitable.

I've been hunting around online. You can get it in the UK in domestic quantities but it looks like it's sourced from the States so I hate to think what the postage might be. It's not cheap, never has been, but it's 1 tbsp of concentrate per gallon of water so it lasts. I'll keep looking.

Potato blight fungicide

Posted: 10/08/2015 at 06:33

There are any number of chemical fungicides. The best one I ever used - on tomatoes, against diseases like Early Blight, so it would work on spuds too - is a Chlorothalonil-based product called Daconil (although there are other brand names). It's a chemical but not toxic to fossicking insects. Some organic growers in the USA even look kindly on it.

It's available in the USA in volumes suitable for the home garden. A couple of years before I left Australia it was only available there in industrial quantities. A group of us tomato-growing friends chipped in to buy a quantity and we divided it up between us. Worked brilliantly. It's not available here in Italy in volumes for the home garden and, last time I checked, ditto the UK.

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