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Latest posts by Italophile

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.


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.


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.


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.


Posted: 04/01/2014 at 13:30

bigolob and verdun, good luck fellas!


Posted: 04/01/2014 at 13:29

spottedray, I'm with Bob Flowerdew on the feeding aspect. Not necessarily in terms of improving flavour because there's no real scientific reason for it.

But, as I've suggested here many times, toms thrive on controlled neglect, particularly in production terms. The flowers, hence fruit, are the plant seeking to reproduce itself. A plant is more likely to seek to reproduce itself if it feels threatened. A plant stuffed with water and fertiliser doesn't feel threatened. Toms are unbelievably sturdy plants. The last thing they need is pampering.

lavender bush in pot - winter

Posted: 29/11/2013 at 09:18

My French Lavender seems to have its own ideas about hardiness too. It's in a bed. Gets baked in summer, buried under six inches of snow in winter, and comes back every year.

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