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Latest posts by Italophile

Tomato leaf problems - help

Posted: 31/07/2012 at 11:49

Fair 'nuff. Just give them as much sun as possible. Move them around the garden to catch the sun if need be.


Tomato leaf problems - help

Posted: 31/07/2012 at 08:33

The two in the last photo (above) look very leggy. For their height, the stems should be better developed. They've struggled for light at some stage or might even still be struggling.

Where is the plant you posted the photos of on the previous page? Still in the small container?


Fig trees

Posted: 31/07/2012 at 08:22

Do you know the variety? There are non-fruiting varieties. It can sometimes take two or three years for a tree to mature to a fruiting stage but your three or four years should have been adequate. Assuming plenty of sun and warmth in summer, has it been fertilised? Nitrogen-heavy fertiliser can work against fruit production.


Posted: 30/07/2012 at 13:17

Sweet corn needs full sun but also decent warmth. The decent warmth might be lacking.

Rhubarb Seeds

Posted: 30/07/2012 at 13:13

Becks, sorry, but I honestly wouldn't bother with rhubarb seed. Rhubarb is one of those plants that rarely grows true to type from seed - in other words, the offspring (grown from seed) doesn't reproduce all the parent's characteristics. What's more, it takes a couple of years to get to harvest stage.

If you fancy rhubarb, look around for rhubarb crowns at garden centres or nurseries. They're produced from the division of existing plants. Much much more reliable. Spring, though, is the best time to plant crowns.

Tomato leaf problems - help

Posted: 30/07/2012 at 12:52

How many plants do you actually have?

Tomato leaf problems - help

Posted: 30/07/2012 at 12:03

Becks, I'm back from a couple of days down in Umbria, I could only access this forum on the stupid little iPod.

I don't know either variety but hunting around the internet seems to indicate they both have large-ish, regular leaves. So leaf size isn't going to help. You'll know the difference as soon as the flowers start to develop, though.

Alicante looks like its clusters are in clumps of up to half a dozen flowers, but pretty much bunched together. Cerise Cherry, on the other hand, looks like its flowers develop in long strings of ten or twelve or more. Quite a traditional cherry tomato flower pattern. So very different cluster patterns that you will tell apart immediately.

I was down in Umbria helping a friend deal with her tomatoes. I helped her set up the garden and I sow seeds for her, giving her the seedlings. I took some photos of flower clusters for you. Now these won't resemble yours in terms of the pattern in which they develop because hers are mainly beefsteak and medium-sized oblate varieties, but at least they will give you an idea:

EDIT. Having had another look at Alicante and Cerise Cherry on the internet, I would bet a very small amount of money that the CC's leaves are a bit larger than Alicante's.


Tomato leaf problems - help

Posted: 29/07/2012 at 12:54
Becks, it's just about impossible to tell varieties apart at this stage unless you have different leaf types involved - eg, a potato-leaf variety. It's a case of wait and see. Still, a valuable reminder! Always label! I also make it a practice to trim my nails before sowing different varieties. You'd be amazed how a seed can get caught under a nail and end up in the next lot of mix with very puzzling results a few months later.

A truss is just a cluster of flowers, miniscule when they first appear. You'll know one when you see one. Most cherry varieties have clusters of around half a dozen flowers either in a clump or a line. Some non-cherry varieties produce flow
ers singly.


Posted: 27/07/2012 at 19:50

Yes, you can use Dithane. It contains Mancozeb, one of the less pleasant chemicals around. It will wipe out foraging insects, but then, for that matter, so will copper sulfate, one of the ingredients in BM. By the by, I'm bemused by the decision to withdraw BM. There are many nastier products around.

Wiping out foraging insects is one of the unfortunate downsides of spraying. As I've posted here before, about the only anti-fungal spray that doesn't impact on foraging insects is one using chlorothalonil as its base ingredient. It's a synthetic, but is harmless to the insects. Unfortunately it's very hard to get in quantities for domestic use outside the US.

Talkback: Swifts

Posted: 27/07/2012 at 17:26

They're disappearing for the year around here in central Italy. On the early side, but they left early last year, too. Up till a couple of days ago you felt like you were taking your life in your hands out walking very early in the morning. They were swooping down almost to head height in some of the smaller piazzas.

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