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Latest posts by Italophile


Posted: 02/04/2015 at 10:48

You too. Flat out dealing with Italian builders at the moment ...

Looks like you can't edit posts anymore. At least outside a certain time after posting. Bah. I'd add to my earlier post that temps for seedlings should certainly be into double figures.


Posted: 02/04/2015 at 08:02

That's on the cool side. I'd consider either bringing them inside at night or, at least, wrapping them in bubble wrap overnight. How often are you watering, Simon? It's very easy to overwater at this stage. You can let the mix dry out.

Lemon tree

Posted: 24/03/2015 at 21:22

It's only a couple of years old, isn't it? Shouldn't need pruning except to take out dead or ailing wood. Tepid water is better for watering over winter so as not to shock the roots too much. Otherwise water out of the tap.

Sowing tomatoes cold greenhouse

Posted: 24/03/2015 at 09:25

Tomatoes are incredibly tough once they get going. The key to germination is warmth, preferably from beneath. An ideal temp for germination is in the mid-20s. They will germinate at lower temps but will take longer. Once germinated, temp is (relatively) less important, with light the key. As much as possible, preferably natural sunlight.

Bubble wrap is an excellent idea. I use it. If you have the seedlings in some sort of crate or tray, wrap the whole thing securely in bubble wrap. The bubble wrap will retain any warmth generated during the day, you shouldn't need fleece overnight unless it gets seriously cold.

Lemon tree

Posted: 24/03/2015 at 09:18

They will drop leaves in winter regardless, part of the regeneration process, replacing them when growth starts again. A couple of years ago I overwintered one of mine in an outdoor annex with very little light. Reappeared almost completely bald. It recovered. Light is important. This year I enclosed the covered pergola with heavy-duty plastic walls which allowed tons of light. I monitored the moisture levels, watering with tepid water a couple of times over the winter. All the citrus thrived. 


Posted: 17/03/2015 at 08:06

I've germinated peas of all kinds here in January and February, our coldest months. Outside, on a table under a pergola, in toilet roll tubes, stacked in a crate, the crate wrapped in bubble wrap. I plant them out as soon as the soil is workable.


Posted: 17/03/2015 at 07:14

April? I'd get the snaps in straight away. Slugs and snails, if they're around, are going to terrorise them no matter their stage of development. The organic pellets do a decent job for me.


Posted: 16/03/2015 at 09:04

They can go into the ground as soon as the soil is workable. Pea seedlings are astonishingly sturdy, even more so than more mature plants, I've found.


Posted: 16/03/2015 at 09:02

If proprietary varieties, they won't divulge information. They're closely guarded secrets. I know a couple of American growers with way too much time on their hands who like to dehybridise these varieties to work out their heritage. They've found up to four or five different parents in the mix. 

Jeruselem artichokes

Posted: 18/02/2015 at 08:56

Good idea to make sure you get the entire harvest out of the ground, too. Any tuber left in the ground will produce its own plant and dozens more tubers. The garden can finish up overrun with the things. Replant only as many as you think you'll need.

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