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Latest posts by Italophile

French tarragon - getting it though the winter

Posted: 31/08/2012 at 08:53

FT also has a finite life. They lose their energy and flavour after four or five years. Dividing every couple of years keeps the supply going.

best flavoured tomatoes

Posted: 31/08/2012 at 08:47

Yes, Astro is a hybrid San Marzano, one of the many. Ideal for sauces. Have you had any Blossom End Rot problems?

French tarragon - getting it though the winter

Posted: 31/08/2012 at 08:23

Dividing is better than cuttings, Dove. Late winter or early spring is best. French Tarragon is unknown here in Italy despite it sometimes turning up in Sienese cooking. In fact it's supposed to have originated in Siena. Anyway, the only way we can get plants is to have friends bring them from Australia stuffed in a tennis ball tube with the roots wrapped in wet tissue paper.

Don't know what your winters are like but if it doesn't get too freezing cold you can cut it back and cover it with fleece or mulch. It will come back. It's so rare and prized here that I keep it in a pot. In winter it's wrapped in bubble wrap and fleece under cover.

best flavoured tomatoes

Posted: 30/08/2012 at 21:32

A tom lacking natural taste will lack taste no matter how good the soil. Good soil is obviously important to the plant's growth but, ultimately, a tomato is at the mercy of its genes. Horse manure is an excellent soil conditioner.


best flavoured tomatoes

Posted: 30/08/2012 at 17:46
ChapelGirl2 wrote (see)

This year I'm growing red, yellow and black cherry tomatoes only. I can't tell you what variety they are because I sowed them from seed I saved from a supermarket punnet!

It will be interesting to see what you get. The supermarket toms are (usually) hybrids so your fruit will (probably) be the first generation undoing the hybridisation. First generation crops usually resemble the parent tom without being exactly the same. The second generation is where the gene pool really starts to unravel.

PS. You're right about Odoriko. Plenty of seed companies in the States stock them. You might have to order from the US.


Posted: 30/08/2012 at 15:35

It's usually genetic, Mick. Some varieties have thicker skins than others. Romas and other plum varieties, for example, have thick skins. Temps and watering practices are sometimes said to be a factor but I've never found it.

Carrot Problem

Posted: 30/08/2012 at 13:49

Ah, now I see. I've had things like aphids and other sucking pests do that sort of thing to carrots.

best flavoured tomatoes

Posted: 30/08/2012 at 12:13

Your schoolgirl Latin will come in handy. Italia Post only employ tortoises with degrees in Classics.

which veg garden planning methods do you use?

Posted: 29/08/2012 at 18:57

Despite all best intentions ...

... haphazard.

New site - bugs

Posted: 29/08/2012 at 16:36

Now I'm getting random notications. Some, not others.

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