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Italophile


Latest posts by Italophile

Olive Tree problem

Posted: 24/01/2014 at 09:15

Don't know where in central Europe you are but we're in central Italy. Gets mighty cold, if not as cold as where you are.

I kept a potted olive outdoors. I parked it beside my potted fig, under cover - a covered pergola - and against a protected wall. Wrapped both pots tightly in a double layer of bubble wrap and a double layer of fleece over the foliage. You just have to keep an eye on the moisture levels. Use at least tepid water if need be.

Tomatoes

Posted: 23/01/2014 at 13:08

They sure are. Amongst other things, you can also make Fried Green Tomatoes with them.

A lot of non-Italians find the greenness of the salad tomatoes here off-putting. They add a nice tang in place of the traditional tom taste.

Tomatoes

Posted: 23/01/2014 at 07:29

Tracey, you don't have to delay planting for green toms. Just harvest the fruit early. Here in Italy they're very keen on green toms in their salads. You see a lot of them in greengrocers' shops.

There are also a number of heirloom varieties that are green at maturity - ie, they never turn red.

Another tomato question

Posted: 22/01/2014 at 19:54

biofreak, after germination, I put mine under a couple of old desk lamps. Plenty of warmth and light. The key is to have the light sources no more than an inch and a half above the seedlings. Fear not, the seedlings won't burn. Raise the lights - or lower the seedlings - to keep the same distance as the seedlings grow.

Another tomato question

Posted: 22/01/2014 at 09:57

That price is outrageous.

Query

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 12:26

djjjuk, toms need at least 6 hours a day of direct sunlight for optimum growth*. They will cope with less but their progress will suffer accordingly. Ditto temperatures. Low 20sC and above are fine. The lower you go, the more they will suffer.

*Until the toms have grown and are ready to ripen. At that point, direct sunlight isn't necessary. Ripening is down to temperature, not sunlight.

Another tomato question

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 09:55

Yes, the first generation usually produces something close to the parent. Sometimes they're virtually indistinguishable. It's the second generation when the gene pool starts to unravel and things get interesting. The more varieties used in the original hybridisation, the more interesting the results.

Seed companies rarely divulge the varieties used in hybridisation. I know a couple of growers who delight in trying to dehybridise varieties, attempting to ID the original parents. Too much time - and growing space - on their hands.

Parsnip problems

Posted: 12/01/2014 at 10:39

Very true. I've thrown away a lot of parsnip seeds over the years.

Tomatoes

Posted: 10/01/2014 at 16:59

Clarington, the best sauce tomatoes are the likes of Roma, San Marzano, etc. San Marzano is the variety you'll find in the better quality Italian tinned toms.

Tomatoes

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 15:16

spottedray, others will be able to bring you up to speed on most of the varieties. The Roma, though, is a plum variety, best suited to sauces rather than nibbling on.

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