London (change)
Today 13°C / 8°C
Tomorrow 13°C / 9°C


Latest posts by Italophile


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!


Bush v cordon tomatoes?

Posted: 07/06/2012 at 09:03

Not really when they're just seedlings. Once growth gets underway you'll soon see the difference. The indeterminates (cordons) will grow straight up, the bush varieties will more begin to spread.


Posted: 07/06/2012 at 08:55

Mmm. You'll have to cut and paste that address into your browser. I don't know why posting links is so difficult on these boards.


Posted: 07/06/2012 at 08:53

Janie, you won't find Cherokee Purple plants anywhere. Seeds are available commercially. I have saved seeds for CP and a number of other even nicer heirlooms. Marianna's Peace, for example, rivals Brandywine for flavour, I think. I can send you any number of seeds if you like.

Here's a link to my gardening blog (which, I'm ashamed to admit, I haven't updated in eons). You can let me know your email address and/or name and address by posting in the comments section. I won't publish the details.

BTW, the posts on the blog about flowers are by my wife!

Help with chilli plant growing

Posted: 07/06/2012 at 06:51

It's a bit like a determinate tomato - the fruit on the branch marks the end of the branch's growth, but the plant itself fills out. Here's a photo of an Apache plant at its peak:

There's nothing you can do to force the plant. Just give it as much warmth and sunlight as you can. They thrive on both.


Posted: 06/06/2012 at 12:08

Janie, that they were from a market suggests they were probably homegrown.

The first photo - the three toms together - is a German Johnson, an American heirloom from, from memory, around Virginia. I'm not sure how the seeds would have found their way to the UK that long ago.

It's very similar to a tom called German Pink, a variety from, you guessed it, Germany. A lot closer to the UK than Virginia, USA. German Pink is a green-shouldered variety.

Here's a German Pink:

There's quite a bit of yellow on the shoulders in the photo. There's usually more green.

The second photo - two toms, one with vivid green - is of an heirloom tom called Cherokee Purple. Absolutely delicious tom, rich in flavour. I grow them every year. But it can't have been your tom because Cherokee Purple has only been around for 20-odd years.

Pity you never saw the plant from which the toms came. It would help narrow things down. For example, German Pink is a Potato Leaf variety, the leaves have virtually smooth edges, as distinct from the jagged, saw-tooth edges of the traditional tomato leaf.

Help with chilli plant growing

Posted: 06/06/2012 at 06:59

I'd cut back on the watering, solution. It won't need water every couple of days. You can afford to let the mix dry out between waterings. And I wouldn't feed more than once every couple of weeks. As I said above, chillies are like toms - they will produce best if they sense they're struggling a little. Tough love is the go.

Apache is a dwarf which makes it ideal for pots. Yours has some growing to do yet and it will produce more flowers.

Those black marks are very typical. It's just pigmentation.

Discussions started by Italophile

Italophile has not started any discussions