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Italophile


Latest posts by Italophile

Delphinium Soil Ammendments

Posted: 15/05/2014 at 13:42

Hi BleuFairy

I'm in Central Tuscany, where are you? I only know a little about delphiniums but I can help with most of your questions.

1. Lime is calce. If you add it to soil, it makes soil more alkaline. Delphiniums like soil a little alkaline, but soil in Italy is already naturally alkaline anyway. I would be surprised if you needed to add calce.

2. You won't find fish blood and bone meal in Italy. I found blood and bone (sangue e osso) only once. Cornunghia, alone, contains too much nitrogen. The same with dried blood powder.

You can use any Balanced Fertiliser (Concime Bilanciato), either liquido or granulare. 10:10:10 would be best.

3. Delphiniums need very well drained soil. You can use Stallatico
because it will help the drainage. You could also mix in some grit/sand (sabbia) and/or fine gravel (ghiaietto molto fine) to help the drainage.

EDIT. BleuFairy, I just double-checked Stallatico. It's pelleted horse manure. I was thinking of a manure-based soil improver that looks like potting mix when I suggested using it for drainage. I can't remember what it's called here - probably something like Concime di Cavallo (horse) or Animale (animal).

The pelleted (horse or chook) manure won't hurt providing you keep it away from the roots when planting. It has low nutritional value. Your main nutrients will come from the fertiliser (concime) used later.

 

Tomato varieties for outdoors

Posted: 11/05/2014 at 07:42

Won't hurt to give the flowers a flick with your fingers or a brush with your hand as you go past to help their self-pollination process along.

Growing Tomatoes in Pots

Posted: 07/05/2014 at 07:14

Foodie, when transplanting to their final growing spot, either in pots or in the ground, carefully nip off all the lower wee branches and foliage. Leave only the top foliage, which amounts to the canopy. Plant the seedlings deeply, with the canopy just above the soil level. You shouldn't have trouble with roots appearing on the surface unless they go into a pot which is too small.

Toms

Posted: 05/05/2014 at 13:44

Toms will cope outdoors in overnight temps down to the higher single figures. What they won't do is develop as quickly. They need overnight temps in at least the mid-teens to develop at an optimum rate.

Potato Leaf Tomato

Posted: 05/05/2014 at 13:40

Potato Leaf is just another leaf shape. Absolutely no difference in how the plant is grown. Less common than the Regular Leaf shape, and pretty much always larger leaves. A number of years ago there was a school of thought that the larger leaves coped better with fungal problems but the evidence was never more than anecdotal. I've found no difference. I find them more attractive than Regular Leaf plants.

Growing Tomatoes in Pots

Posted: 01/05/2014 at 18:00

Same principle, Simon. The quicker you get the root structure developing the better.

Growing Tomatoes in Pots

Posted: 01/05/2014 at 08:44

Nice work, Simon. For the first transplant I plant the seedlings deeper, almost down to the leaves, to encourage root development from the buried part of the stem (as wee as it is). Ditto later when planting out.

Pumpkins

Posted: 30/04/2014 at 07:38

Too much fertiliser, particularly if it's high in nitrogen, can also impact on production.

Planting Tomatoes in hanging baskets

Posted: 29/04/2014 at 08:19

They're a bushy variety, I'd go with one plant per basket. Overcrowd them and you'll compromise growth and production.

Tomato Plants suddenly wilting

Posted: 29/04/2014 at 08:12

Jamie, plastic greenhouses can generate a lot of warmth even with a door open for ventilation. Sounds like they suffered a bit of heat shock. Check the moisture levels of the mix and give them a day in the shade to recover. They should be fine. If your daytime temps are at least around the mid-teens, the plants don't need the greenhouse.

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