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Latest posts by Italophile

Tomato blight

Posted: 05/09/2014 at 09:03

It all depends on what sort of blight, Sue. "Blight" has become a generic term for any sort of fungal disease. There are two true Blights - Early and Late. Early Blight is manageable with good housekeeping - removing affected leaves as soon as symptoms appear, etc. The plant will go on producing. With good housekeeping, cold weather will stop the plant before EB does.

Late Blight is a different matter. It can and will kill a plant within a week. 

There are at least half a dozen other fungal and viral diseases that are loosely called "Blight". Few of them are as destructive as Late Blight.

Blight resistance only means that a plant is bred to cope better with certain fungal diseases than a non-resistant variety. It doesn't mean the plant won't develop disease. No tomato plant will resist Late Blight. 

Major pruning of fig tree.

Posted: 27/08/2014 at 07:21

Prune when dormant, Mountainranger. This article gives a very good guide.

Tomato variety suggestions

Posted: 26/08/2014 at 13:04

Mmmm. Pics a bit on the small side.

 Pffft. Now they're distorted. I give up.


Harvesting Butternut Squash

Posted: 26/08/2014 at 12:56

Sounds like either a crossed seed or a stray variety crept into the packet. Two years ago I had a packet of melon seeds of which 90% were crossed. I ended up with all sorts of strange shapes.

Tomato variety suggestions

Posted: 26/08/2014 at 12:54

Just harking back to the Cherokee Purple variety that I mentioned up the thread. Here's the first one for the season. Delayed because the plants went back into pots for a month while I was away on hols, and this one is smaller than typical for the same reason. Usually at least a third bigger. 

Easy to grow, mid/late season, medium-sized plant, not hugely prolific so you'd need a couple of plants. Utterly delicious!


Harvesting Butternut Squash

Posted: 26/08/2014 at 08:18

I'd leave them as long as possible, Madeleine.

Misshapen tomatoes

Posted: 23/08/2014 at 07:55

The Costolutos are just heavily ribbed as they should be. "Costoluto" means ribbed in Italian. That's "cat facing" on the very bottom of a Costuluto in the second photo as punica alludes to above. It's akin to a hernia, a malformation caused by a hiccup in the pollination process. Just cut around it.

Are they C. Fiorentina or C. Genovese, Patricia? They look like Genovese.


Posted: 23/08/2014 at 07:05

Ken, if you're going to spray against blight it has to be preventive - spraying before any symptoms appear. You're coating the leaves to help against the fungal spores getting a grip. Once you see symptoms they already have a grip and you can't kill them off, per se. Your only option then is to remove and destroy the affected leaves. Preventive spraying starts not long after the toms are planted out and continues roughly weekly subject to the weather. Rain means respraying.



Posted: 21/08/2014 at 17:15

Mine are only just now starting to produce. Mainly because I was dragged kicking and screaming to Australia for a month's holiday in June. A neighbour agreed to look after the garden for me. But it's terraced, with the toms on the second terrace. Hard work dragging the hose up steps and along a terrace. I didn't want to put her through the ordeal so I dug up the plants and stuck them into pots of various shapes and sizes on the terrace for easier access. I also put them mainly under cover because the weather was hot and she wasn't sure how often she could water.

So they spent a month in whatever pots I had handy, mainly in the shade. They survived, even if they were sprawling across the terrace and pretty scrappy.

Planted them out again when we got back. Took them a week or so to recover and get to work. Ate the first couple the other day with many more on the way.

Pollination failure in my cucumber plants :(

Posted: 21/08/2014 at 17:06

Your method is right, tracy. You have to make sure you pick up pollen - you should be able to see it on the swab - and be very careful when you transfer it to the female flower. The stigma is easily damaged. Apart from that, the process is usually best undertaken early in the morning when the flowers are freshly open. Keep trying! 

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