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Latest posts by Italophile


Posted: 25/04/2012 at 16:22

They say you should remove the flowers from plants started in spring in the plants' first year. It's supposed to let the plant develop for fruiting the next year. That may be what your neighbour is talking about. Personally, I've never done it. I like strawbs too much!

Carrots & Parsnips Companion Planting?

Posted: 25/04/2012 at 08:26

I have a root vegie bed and plant carrots and parsnips next to each other year after year without any problems.


Posted: 25/04/2012 at 08:20

Rosemary is pretty tolerant. Plenty of sun first and foremost, good air circulation. The soil for your current one sounds about right - light, very well drained. They hate wet feet. What happened to the roots of the current one?

onions seeds or onion sets

Posted: 24/04/2012 at 08:46

Funnily enough, I've never had much luck with sets. I find they rarely achieve a typical size. Seeds are more of a hassle but just about guarantee the perfect onion.

Dieing seedling

Posted: 24/04/2012 at 08:40

If they're not being damaged in the transplant, it could be any of a number of things - eg, transplanting too early, not enough light, not enough warmth, too much moisture. Or even a combination of things. More information would help. What are you repotting? How much moisture, light and warmth are they getting?


Posted: 23/04/2012 at 11:49

Yes, the key is how they're stored. But sometimes the apparently impossible is possible. A couple of fanatical US heirloom tom grower friends of mine have germinated tomato seeds 30+ years old.

Growing Pumpkins Vertically

Posted: 23/04/2012 at 09:58
Emma Crawforth wrote (see)

Hello Sonja,

Thanks for your pumpkin info. While we're on the subject, do you have any tips for people who want to go to the opposite extreme and grow giant pumpkins?

Emma. team

Emma, first you'll need a variety that's genetically predisposed to size. Atlantic Giant is a popular one. Then it's a matter of forcing the plant to maximise the size of the fruit. The biggest pumpkins I've seen involved restricting a plant to one single fruit - in other words, after the first fruit sets, remove any others, and nip out the growing tip of the vine. Once the fruit has set, use a fertiliser higher in potassium about once a week. You just have to be careful not to pump up the pumpkin (so to speak) to a point where it splits.


Posted: 22/04/2012 at 17:19

If it's fertiliser burn or scorch the spots won't progress. Don't remove any more leaves. They're the plants' best friends, they need them for photosynthesis.

Help what's happened to my Tomatoes?

Posted: 22/04/2012 at 16:40

Bathroom sounds perfect!


Posted: 22/04/2012 at 11:22

A-ha! Fertiliser burn. One of the hazards of foliar feeding. Foliar feeding of toms can have its downsides - apart from burning, the wetting of the leaves can open the door to fungal problems. That's why I stick to feeding the roots when I fertilise. Which isn't that often.

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