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Italophile


Latest posts by Italophile

Low voc paint on terracotta pots

Posted: 20/04/2014 at 08:38

I agree. The advantage of terra cotta is that it "breathes". Much healthier for the plants involved. Painting would have to seal the porous surface.

Tomato problem

Posted: 19/04/2014 at 10:27

They'll be fine. As above, the white patch is probably the sun scorching a wet leaf. One or two of my seedlings have the same. Purpling foliage is very very common with seedlings, usually a sign that they need more warmth.

Tomatoes are already flowering

Posted: 18/04/2014 at 08:22

Depends how old they are and how developed they are, Tonks. If they're still bona fide seedlings - not yet ready to plant out - I'd take off the flowers. Let them direct all their energies into establishing themselves. Plenty of time for flowers later.

Can you identify these onions

Posted: 18/04/2014 at 07:32

How often have you had the opportunity to ID Welsh Onions around here, Welshonion?

Tomato Black Russian?

Posted: 17/04/2014 at 15:52

My grandfather used to tip his used tea leaves onto his garden plants. They contain potassium so they can't hurt.

Tomato Black Russian?

Posted: 17/04/2014 at 12:55

BER will strike any variety if the conditions are ripe for it. I'd love to know, though, what it is about the plum variety genes that make them more susceptible. One day science will get around to explaining it. As tomatoes become a more and more profitable business, particularly for seed companies, more science is applied to them. Exploding a few myths and old wives' tales along the way.

Can you identify these onions

Posted: 17/04/2014 at 08:55

Looks like that to me too.

Tomato Black Russian?

Posted: 17/04/2014 at 08:52

That's a good explanation of BER. Doesn't address that the plum varieties are more prone to the condition but that would get into genetics. Can't have everything.

Tomato Black Russian?

Posted: 17/04/2014 at 07:38

Years ago Blossom End Rot was thought to be the result of soil deficient in calcium. Add calcium to the soil was the commonly suggested solution. These days, science has determined that BER is the result of the plant's inability to distribute calcium to the fruit via its internal mechanisms. The soil can be loaded with calcium, the plant just can't get it to the fruit in sufficient quantities.

Plant stress is thought to be the cause. Irregular watering is the most common explanation but strong winds, fluctuating temperatures, etc, can also be factors.

Then there's the fact that some varieties are more prone to BER than others. The plum varieties - San Marzano, etc - can be hit by it while other varieties, in the same bed, with identical growing conditions, escape it. It's happened to me. Very puzzling. There's obviously something in the plum variety genes that makes them susceptible.

Going away for a week

Posted: 16/04/2014 at 08:52

Mmmm. They're still at the stage where they really need the routine you've established. Is there no one you can call on for help? Not sure what sort of growhouse you have, but I'd leave them inside during the day with doors/windows/whatever open for ventilation. Closed up on a sunny day, temps can double and drying out becomes a problem. They will probably cope overnight in the growhouse providing the doors/windows/whatever are closed before the sun disappears. But you'd need someone to do that.

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