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Latest posts by Italophile

peas and frost

Posted: 09/05/2012 at 14:52

Almost a cross post!

peas and frost

Posted: 09/05/2012 at 14:51

Peas are remarkable plants. They cope amazingly with frost when young. In fact, better when they're younger than more mature.

Beans are an entirely different proposition. They're strictly warm weather creatures.


Posted: 09/05/2012 at 14:47

Chillies are very slow to start, but once they get going they catch up to toms quite quickly. Feed them with what you'll feed your toms - a fertiliser low in N, higher in P, and highest in K. But don't overfeed either. They both do best if made to struggle a little. By producing fruit they're effectively reproducing themselves and they will feel the need to reproduce if they sense they're struggling a bit. If they're stuffed full of fertiliser, they won't feel the need to reproduce. It's the same with watering. Much better to err on the lesser side (for the same reason as fertilising). You won't hurt them and they will produce better for you. Toms and chillies are very tough critters.

I'd leave the plant where it is during the day but maybe move it somewhere warmer overnight. Temperature consistency is important.

Self-seeded tomatoes

Posted: 09/05/2012 at 06:21

Crossing depends on proximity of the plants and the volume of insect life, the vehicles for the cross-pollination. Crossing actually isn't as common as some people think. I've had very very few crosses over the years, but if I'm saving seeds, I always bag the flowers prior to their opening just to be on the safe side.

Anyways, with Marmande and Cuor di Bue as possible candidates, you'll know very quickly whether you have a cross. A beefsteak and an ox-heart both dwarf a Gardener's Delight so a cross would likely produce some big Gardener's Delights!

Horse poo

Posted: 08/05/2012 at 17:40

Yes, that's one of the potential downsides of animal poo. If you can compost it when fresh, really get the temperature up, you can kill off a lot of the seeds.

Horse poo

Posted: 08/05/2012 at 13:17

Yes, fresh manure can and will burn plants and their roots if they come in contact. You'd only ever want to dig in fresh manure in autummn to be left to overwinter and break down.

Horse poo tea is good stuff. The only time I made it I left it to steep for about ten days. Very pongy I have to tell you!

Self-seeded tomatoes

Posted: 08/05/2012 at 08:18
chilli lover wrote (see)

Sorry if this is a dumb question but is there any merit in potting up the self-seeded tomatoes in my greenhouse bed? They are such vigourous little plants! thanks

If they're Gardener's Delight, as you say, pot them up by all means. They should be heirlooms, they should produce true to type. Did you have other varieties growing alongside them last season? If so, and a cross occurred, you'll get a version of the original from these plants. If you've got the growing space, it never hurts to find out!

Tomatos not growing well

Posted: 05/05/2012 at 07:59

Bottom heat won't help them any more than an appropriate ambient temperature. Temps in at least the high teens is what they need, but, more importantly, as much bright natural light as they can get.

My toms are all planted out now, but, a month or so ago, I had them in my small portable plastic greenhouse on the terrace during the day. It was sunny but cool, and even with the door open the plastic trapped enough warmth to satisfy them. The light, though, was the key. They boomed. I brought them inside overnight.

Peppers simply take longer than toms in every way, shape and form. With the toms already planted out, my peppers - germinated at exactly the same time - are still only about 2 inches high.

what should i do

Posted: 04/05/2012 at 11:06

I'd separate them prior to planting.


Posted: 03/05/2012 at 07:10

Mid-April is only a couple of weeks ago. I grow Amsterdam Forcing, a very early variety, and they take 10 days to two weeks to germinate. If you followed all the instructions, I'd give them a bit longer.

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