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Latest posts by Italophile

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Posted: 22/04/2012 at 08:15
Gold1locks wrote (see)

I assume they are English lavenders. French lavenders are not fully hardy.

That's what I'd heard. I planted one a couple of years ago and it has come through two winters buried under two feet of snow. It's now blooming its head off yet again. Not sure how or why, but I'm not complaining.

Rubarb Rubarb

Posted: 21/04/2012 at 17:14

Yes, you can compost them safely. The oxalic acid breaks down in the decomposition process.

Hello gardeners

Posted: 21/04/2012 at 12:50

Pumpkin vines can grow virtually forever left unchecked. After I get a couple of pumpkins on a particular length of vine I nip out the growing tip to let the plant worry about developing the fruit instead of spreading any further.

Rubarb Rubarb

Posted: 21/04/2012 at 08:53

Yes, the leaves make a very handy spray against various pests, but you have to be careful. A friend of mine swears by it, spraying it on everything, including vegies. He remains perfectly healthy. Another friend won't use it on vegies because of the oxalic acid content.

Chop up the leaves, simmer in water for about half an hour, strain, add some liquid soap, and that's it. Make sure you label the container.

spring onions

Posted: 21/04/2012 at 08:45

Spring onions always take a devil of a long time to maturity. I find they germinate pretty quickly, get to about three inches, then really take their time. The seed packet advice is optimistic in the extreme. I'd say more like three or four months.

Help what's happened to my Tomatoes?

Posted: 21/04/2012 at 08:09

They have true leaves, tattianna, so you can pot them up. Better than leaving them in the seed tray for another fortnight where their roots, hence their growth, will be restricted.

You can use individual 3" pots or similar with adequate drainage. Fill them with mix, get the mix nice and damp, then drill a hole with a screwdriver or 3" nail. Carefully remove the seedlings from the tray - I use a 3" nail to prise them clear - and lower them into the drilled holes. Plant them deeply, right down to the first true leaves. All the stem that is buried will develop into root structure. Tamp the mix around them to make sure there aren't any air pockets in the mix.

Now they need reasonable warmth but as much light as they can get. And tell your son not to water them until the mix dries out completely! The mix needs to dry out between waterings. Unless you get a bout of hot weather, they would probably need one watering while you're away.


Posted: 20/04/2012 at 10:48

They're not large pots, Lucy, the holes should be fine. I've got much bigger pots with similar drainage. No problems at all.


Posted: 20/04/2012 at 09:37

I'm too cheap, Alina. Plus our little hill town is built of slate and stone so there are tons of the stuff lying around the place.


Posted: 20/04/2012 at 09:27

Never seen a 5p coin but Google tells me it's about 3/4". Is that right? Three of those should do the job depending on the size of the pot. To aid pot drainage, I slip a couple of pieces of slate or tile under the edges of the pots to keep them clear of the ground. The only challenge is balancing them!


Posted: 20/04/2012 at 08:20

Yes, they're like tom seedlings, they should be allowed to dry out between waterings. If they're healthy at this point, you can't be doing too much wrong. What are the seedlings in? Modules? Pots? If you can't poke a finger in and down to test the mix, work off the surface appearance. Unless the mix is unusually deep, a properly dry surface means dry. It's best always to err on the side of under-watering. A day or so of dry mix - unless it's scorching hot - won't hurt them. In fact, it will help. Chillies, like toms, prosper if treated mean.

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