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Latest posts by Italophile


Posted: 31/07/2015 at 16:02

The rule of thumb is to water as required, erring on the side of less is better. It sounds like the bags get a serious soaking. Do you check for moisture beneath the surface? Stick a finger or hand down as far as you can into the mix?

Sounds like a lot of food too. How often are you feeding?

And, growing indoors, your flowers might need a helping hand to pollinate themselves. Outside, insects can help, their fossicking triggering the internal pollination mechanism. The breeze can do the same thing. Without those options available indoors, you can give the flowers a flick with your fingers.

Sweetcorn advice

Posted: 31/07/2015 at 07:27

If they're planted in blocks/rows they should be self-supporting.

Tomatoes - some fruit not growing properly

Posted: 31/07/2015 at 07:03

Those two toms came off the same plant? Coir de Bue is an oxheart variety, the one on the left is pretty typical. The one on the right, from what I can see, isn't. Unless it has some ribbing on the shoulders (the underside in the photo), I think you might have had a crossed seed. 



Posted: 30/07/2015 at 15:01

If it's been cold and miserable and the soil has been damp, one warm day shouldn't warrant watering. You can let the soil dry out. It will probably help trigger your flowers too.

Pumpkin problem

Posted: 29/07/2015 at 13:45

When are you hand pollinating, baza? Early in the day is best, as early as possible, using pollen that's as fresh as possible. As well as coating the outside of the stigma, try to work the pollen inside the stigma's little fronds. I sometimes leave the stamen inside the stigma. But you have to be gentle, the stigma is easy to damage, and, once damaged, the flower will die.

Confused on Lettuce Name

Posted: 28/07/2015 at 21:12

A bit of extra (useless) trivia. Lettuce in Italy is rarely called lattuga even if it's its real name. It gets lumped under the noun insalata, the generic term for salad. Which is a feminine noun too.

Confused on Lettuce Name

Posted: 28/07/2015 at 06:46

It's Lollo Rossa. As Bob says, Rossa is the feminine form of the adjective (red). It's probably feminine because lettuce, in Italian, is lattuga, a feminine noun, and adjectives take the gender form of the noun they're describing.

Olive trees drying out and giving no fruits at all.

Posted: 27/07/2015 at 07:50

Dove's right, olives don't do well if they have competition for moisture and nutrients. We're surrounded by olive farms here and you never see anything other than olive trees and with plenty of space between them. I think you need to do some clearing.

It's also very good advice to talk to other local growers.

Is this tomato blight?

Posted: 26/07/2015 at 10:01


Posted: 26/07/2015 at 09:54

You're overfeeding, Sheila, and it sounds like a fertiliser rich in nitrogen is boosting the foliage. If they're in pots, you don't need to feed more than once a fortnight. In the ground, even less. Use a fertiliser higher in P and K than N.

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