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Italophile


Latest posts by Italophile

Black Spot on Roses - New Gardener

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 16:45

Black spot is a fungal disease and that's the problem with fungal diseases. The spores are airborne, invisible to the naked eye, and everywhere. All a spray can do is coat the leaves - on both sides - to make life more difficult for the spores getting a grip. It doesn't guarantee freedom from disease. If only it did.

Hot Peppers

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 12:38

Even if 2010 was unusual, it sounds like you've got a great growing season.

The only secrets to growing toms and chillies are to keep things simple, don't molly-coddle them, and don't fret over them. Providing you start with decent soil, your only real role is to keep them alive. And to enjoy the results.

how to freez onions

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 12:17

And that none of them have bolted. They won't store.

Chillies again!

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 11:42

Some chilli varieties ripen to what looks like black, finty. Try one and see what it's like. The plant is from last season? Was it overwintered?

how to freez onions

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 11:38

Yes, you can freeze them but, thawed, they will be mushy because of their high water content. They won't fry to crispness, for example, but they're fine added during cooking.

Peel them, chop them. Then you have two options.

1. Spread them out on a tray on some baking paper, put the tray into the freezer till they're frozen, then transfer them, frozen, into freezer bags. Extract as much air from the bags as possible, tie them up tightly, label them and put them in the freezer. This method avoids ending up with one big lump of frozen onions.

2. Put the chopped onion straight into freezer bags, extract as much air as possible, tie them up tightly, etc, put them in the freezer. But they will freeze in one lump.

Hot Peppers

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 11:23

Japaholic, with those temps you might have some trouble with fruit setting, particularly if there is humidity too. Here in Central Italy I get temps into the 40s in summer and, if prolonged, the flowers just fry on the plant.

Not much to be done about it except, once you're more familiar with the weather patterns, plant to try to avoid the worst of the heat. Eg, plant out as early as possible to get in before the worst of the heat, and, if you get good warm autumns, think about planting some later to grow through the autumn.

That's what I used to do in Sydney with tomato varieties - like Brandywine Sudduth - that just wouldn't set fruit in hot, humid weather. Perfect for autumn, though.

Hot Peppers

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 06:33

Sounds like you're well set up, Japaholic. Chillies, like tomatoes, are self-pollinating but they can sometimes need a bit of assistance.

Outdoors, foraging insects poking around in the flowers can help trigger the internal mechanics that cause pollination. Bagged, the flowers won't get the insect help. You can achieve the same thing by giving the flower a light flick with your fingers. With my toms, I slip the bag off every couple of days, check for fruit, and give the flowers a flick if there isn't any.

Growing in poly tunnels can also inhibit insect access so the finger flick's a good idea, too.

If you're short on insect life, you can apply the finger flick across the entire crop. I inspect my toms every day and give 'em a flick for luck.

What sort of summer high temps do you get? Prolonged bouts of very hot weather can and will work against pollination.

Chilli problem

Posted: 03/09/2013 at 13:52

There are different Phostrogen products on the market but the all-purpose product's NPK is 14:10:27. The N stands for nitrogen and 14 is a very high figure. Chilli Focus's NPK is much more suitable.

Chilli problem

Posted: 03/09/2013 at 10:29

The necrotic area looks like it rings the fruit, a bit too extensive for scorching.

Chilli problem

Posted: 03/09/2013 at 10:11

Have you been fertilising? What with? Excessive nitrogen can produce that result.

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