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Latest posts by Italophile

Olive tree

Posted: 03/11/2015 at 17:00

Exactly right! A bit more poetic than the way I put it, but anyway.

Olive tree

Posted: 03/11/2015 at 14:59

I prune late in Spring. Don't over-prune. The main aim, apart from getting rid of dead, dying or crossing branches, is to let in plenty of light. Don't let the heart of the tree turn into a clump.

Beetroot seedlings

Posted: 02/11/2015 at 08:27

Ditto. You won't get the warmth beetroot needs to prosper at this time of year.


Posted: 02/11/2015 at 07:47

And because they're so small, and grow so quickly, you can sow them in and around other crops.

Pumpkin varieties

Posted: 02/11/2015 at 07:45

I'd buy fresh seed next season. The seed you saved could have been from an F1 variety, a hybrid. If so, it won't produce true-to-type but only a version of the parent fruit. Starting with fresh seed next season will not only let you harvest what you sow, but let you decide exactly what you want to grow. There are many pumpkin varieties, different sizes with different growing times. Do some research and choose exactly what suits you.

Saving tomato seeds

Posted: 01/11/2015 at 09:03

That's a decent summary of the process, Dove. Puzzled, though, by the statement that most modern toms won't cross-pollinate. Apart from that, coffee filter paper is the best surface on which to dry the seeds. They will stick to plates, crockery or otherwise.

Tomatoes & Hydroponics

Posted: 31/10/2015 at 14:29

Ditto both of the above. 

Fireplace Ash

Posted: 30/10/2015 at 09:26

My mother used to try to make soap. I have no idea what she used but it stank to the heavens and always finished up thrown away. 

I add the ash to the compost mainly for its bulk. No matter how dry you keep it prior to use, the first decent rain after application washes the goodness away.



Tomatoes & Hydroponics

Posted: 30/10/2015 at 09:16

Hydroponics is one of the reasons supermarket toms are so lacking in taste. Many, many are grown hydroponically these days because it's cheaper in terms of maintenance and being able to grow so many more in a given space. Water + chemicals is not a recipe for a tasty tomato.


tomatoes end of season

Posted: 30/10/2015 at 09:08

When, on balance, it's warmer inside than outside - even in a greenhouse - and especially overnight, they're better off inside. 

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