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Latest posts by Italophile


Posted: 24/05/2012 at 07:41

Lantana means different things in different climates. In Australia it's just about classified as a noxious weed. A bit like Morning Glory. Given plenty of sun and some moisture and they will go like the clappers, spreading and suffocating anything in their path.

You probably won't have that problem!

Talkback: Planting out tomatoes

Posted: 24/05/2012 at 06:27

Bit late now, Mandy, but you didn't have to chuck 'em. Purple leaves aren't fatal. It's usually a sign of cold and a lack of nutrition. Some warmth and TLC would have resurrected them.

Some lovely writing on your blog, too. Congrats.


Posted: 23/05/2012 at 10:36

Good tip, Alina. I blanch the stems for about 30 seconds, then the leaves for about 10 seconds, drain and dry them them very well, toss them with some nice vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and P&S. Delicious.

Bettyslad - early Feb in your climate sounds optimistic in the extreme. I don't plant them here in central Italy until at least early April, and I suspect it's warmer here than where you are!

squash seed germination

Posted: 23/05/2012 at 10:23

Could be, unfortunately, unless you have a heated greenhouse. They need ambient and soil temps into the 20s to really prosper. Anything under about 15C and they will just sit there. 

squash seed germination

Posted: 23/05/2012 at 09:49

What sort of temperature have they been kept at? Both need real warmth.


Posted: 23/05/2012 at 07:23
Bettyslad wrote (see)
Hi It's been 92 days since my beetroot (Detroit variety) were sewn, therefore decided to pull one up to see if they were ready. However there was nothing, just some thin roots from the leaves. So disappointed as I thought they were coming along nicely. Can anyone tell me what may have happened?

I suspect lack of warmth and sunlight. They need both to thrive.

Shiny Blue Beetles eating rhubarb leaves

Posted: 23/05/2012 at 06:55

One way of controlling them is to nip them in the (as it were) bud. The females lay their eggs on the underside of the plant leaves. You'll see clumps of the tiny yellow/orange things. Destroy those to begin with.

tiny caterpillar

Posted: 22/05/2012 at 16:36

Goodoh. Don't forget they're contact sprays. You have to hit the critters with the stuff and hit them again if they return. Neither spray has any residual effect.

Help what's happened to my Tomatoes?

Posted: 22/05/2012 at 08:05

Priorities, Anna, priorities. Let nothing get in the way of producing great tomatoes. Have a shower under the garden hose.

squash seed germination

Posted: 21/05/2012 at 08:02

Yes, they need warmth to germinate, somewhere in the low 20s would be ideal. Too cold - and too damp - and the seeds will likely rot.

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