Latest posts by Italophile

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Posted: 16/04/2012 at 18:11

A friend of mine established a pond last year. She was told a mid-range pH was the goal - high 6s to mid 7s. Her biggest problem has been keeping the pH stable.

Talkback: How to grow tomatoes in a greenhouse

Posted: 16/04/2012 at 12:44

The thing that is not covered here is whether or not to remove some of the actual large leaves as well as pinching out the shoots that appear in between the large leaves and the main stem.

I've been told by one person to take off most leaves because the energy then goes into the fruit and by someone else to leave them on because they are acting as an energy absorber.
I'm up to two trusses of fruit now so any advice would be gratefully received.

The only real reason to remove foliage from a tomato plant is to aid air circulation to help against fungal problems. Cluttered foliage and no air circulation are the fungal spores' friends.

Nipping off the laterals - the side shoots - can help the anti-fungal cause. It used to be said that removing the laterals increased production. Testing has proved that it doesn't.

It's also possible to remove some excess foliage on the same basis. It's a matter of striking a balance. Foliage is essential to the plant for (a) photosynthesis; and (b) protecting the fruit from direct, hot sun and the chance of sunscald (sunburn). On these bases, removing all the foliage is the last thing you'd want to do.


Posted: 16/04/2012 at 09:19

Fingers crossed! And further to the decent warmth that cukes and pumpkin seeds need to germinate, we're talking at least 20C, hopefully more. Of just about all the vegie seeds, they crave warmth the most. You'd need either a heated greenhouse or a propogator with a warming facility.


Posted: 16/04/2012 at 08:21

It pays to be sparing with the water. The mix should be just damp. Too wet and the seeds can rot.


Posted: 15/04/2012 at 18:48

I don't know about tomatoberry seeds but cuke and pumpkin seeds need decent warmth to germinate. How have you been germinating them?


Posted: 15/04/2012 at 18:45

I've found parsnip seeds the most susceptible to age, but I'm still using tomato seeds I saved in the mid-90s. If they prove a tad stubborn, an overnight soak soon sorts them out.

BBC Gardening Arrivals - Meeting Point

Posted: 15/04/2012 at 18:38

This is very standard forum software, Gary. The BBC's software was from the Stone Age.

Veg Patch

Posted: 15/04/2012 at 09:50

Yes, there's a ewwww factor, but providing the poo was cleared away and not buried in the run, it's mainly the wee factor. That's where full-sun exposure is important, turning over the soil, and adding fresh. It wouldn't hurt to plant a late-maturing crop first time out either.

Veg Patch

Posted: 15/04/2012 at 09:19

You'll probably get differing responses to this one, Martin, but providing the area has full-sun exposure, you turn over the soil well and add some additional - clean - soil, it should be fine. It worked for me about 10 years ago without any problems.

planting broad beans

Posted: 15/04/2012 at 09:09

No, it doesn't matter exactly how you plant them as long as they're a couple of inches deep. Spacing depends on the variety. More important factors are the soil conditions - they will rot in soil that stays overly wet - and the timing of the planting. When have you been planting yours?

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