Latest posts by Italophile


Posted: 12/05/2015 at 07:24

Could be overwatering or a combination of things. Pumpkins need sun and serious warmth to get going.

When to upgrade pot size?

Posted: 12/05/2015 at 06:44

You're right, train them onto something now and you'll only disturb them later. 

Multi purpose vs seed compost for veg seeds

Posted: 11/05/2015 at 14:10

I use a good quality potting mix for seeds. Emphasis on good quality. Never bother with seed-raising mix.

When to upgrade pot size?

Posted: 11/05/2015 at 14:08

Joe, the toms can go into their growing pots now. 10-12" is the minimum, a bit bigger would be better.

The Tomatoes have arrived!!

Posted: 05/05/2015 at 17:44

Grow as many as you have space for and you'll have time to care for. There will always be someone happy to take excess off your hands. Space is the key. Overcrowding works against air circulation hence upping any fungal problems.

The Tomatoes have arrived!!

Posted: 05/05/2015 at 13:03

Here's that tom I photographed (above) when planting out. 9 days later:


It's a Jaune Negib, a yellow French heirloom, pretty unremarkable apart from being very early - around 60 days - and a unique creamy after taste. I grow about half a dozen plants for fruit to make yellow tomato relish.

The Tomatoes have arrived!!

Posted: 05/05/2015 at 07:23

Rain won't hurt them beyond wetting the foliage. Aim for air circulation as a means of helping against fungal problems.

Plenty of room between the plants, and as they grow upwards, nip off the lower branches and foliage to keep 12-18" of clear space between the lowest foliage and the mix. Fungal spores will turn up, there's no escaping them, and they can and will drop from the foliage down onto the mix. Watering can splash them back up again. The clear space helps against this.

And don't be afraid to thin out foliage across the plant. Judiciously, obviously, you don't want to denude the thing, but you want to be able to see light through all the foliage. Impenetrable clumps of foliage work against air circulation and are heaven for fungal spores. 

The Tomatoes have arrived!!

Posted: 04/05/2015 at 21:39

12? Crikey, are you going into the veg business?

I should talk. I've planted out 16.

They'll be fine. They shouldn't be big enough yet to be bothered by wind in terms of blowing them over but keep a watch.


Advice needed with tomato and runner bean seedlings

Posted: 03/05/2015 at 21:58

I'd go with No 2. Here in Italy I use good quality terriccio - the equivalent of No 2 - for both sowing the seeds and potting up. I've never bothered with a dedicated sowing mix.

I think you might have been overwatering too. You can afford to let the mix dry out completely. Obviously don't leave it bone dry for days on end but it shouldn't be permanently damp even beneath the surface. Tomatoes are very sturdy plants, even at the stage yours are at. Less is better in every regard with toms - water and fertiliser. They don't need mollycoddling and will respond better to "tough love".

Always water from the top. Never let them sit in water to soak it up from the bottom. You'll end up with permanently damp mix.

Advice needed with tomato and runner bean seedlings

Posted: 03/05/2015 at 16:33

I've had a closer look at the photos, Cidermill. It might be my monitor but it looks like only one seedling is pale. Is that right? Or are they all degrees of pale?

Anyway, the colour isn't down to a lack of moisture. If anything, pale can indicate too much water. At this stage they should be in a straight good quality potting mix rather than seed mix.


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