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Latest posts by Italophile

Jeruselem artichokes

Posted: 18/02/2015 at 08:12

bekkie, one planted tuber will produce dozens. 

Talkback: How to grow tomatoes in a greenhouse

Posted: 12/02/2015 at 11:14

Flicksie, Epsom Salts are only useful if there's a magnesium deficiency. If you're using a decent potting mix it won't be a problem. Best not to feed with anything at this early stage. 

lemon grass

Posted: 03/02/2015 at 08:43

I brought mine inside last year, kept it in a light spot in the bathroom. It thrived. This year I enclosed the pergola on the terrace to use as a large, unheated greenhouse for the citrus, etc. The lemongrass is out there now and perfectly happy.


Posted: 01/02/2015 at 09:24

I often use toilet roll tubes for peas. Doesn't matter if they're disintegrating at planting out time. They decompose anyway. Pea seedlings are astonishingly sturdy, even more so than young pea plants. I've had them in the ground at close to 0C and they've coped.

Early Tomato Blight

Posted: 21/01/2015 at 08:00

Ian, Bob has it right in terms of prevention. Polytunnels can be a fungal trap. Like greenhouses, they can produce fungal diseases all of their own.

If there are spores from last season, they will be on top of the soil having fallen from the leaves. Jeyes fluid won't kill them. Last season's Early Blight spores are only a problem if they splash back up onto new season's plant foliage during watering. Turn the soil over and you will bury any surviving spores. They can't do any damage underground.

Starting tomatoes indoors

Posted: 19/01/2015 at 08:49

They will be okay, Kelsbels, providing they get a lot of light and decent warmth. A windowsill won't provide enough of either unless you get constant bright direct sunlight throughout the day. Do you have a desk lamp or similar? I use a desk lamp with the light source set an inch or two above the seedlings providing bright light and warmth. As the seedlings develop I raise the light source, keeping it a constant inch or two above the seedlings. I leave the light on for 12-16 hours at a stretch. They need a period of darkness too.

Strange Tomato Affliction

Posted: 16/12/2014 at 07:28

It's a mystery, Odis. See what happens next season. And take plenty of photos! 

Strange Tomato Affliction

Posted: 13/12/2014 at 11:29

Strange Tomato Affliction

Posted: 13/12/2014 at 09:57

Not necessarily. The varieties have all the hallmarks of heirlooms, it's just that so many of them appear to be absolutely identical even if differently named. And many of their histories are impossible to trace, beyond the ubiquitous "seeds originally from the Crimea region".

Strange Tomato Affliction

Posted: 13/12/2014 at 08:32

Hi, Dove. I've seen them a lot darker than that. This is the problem with the so-called "black" varieties. There are a lot of them and there is a lot of mis-naming. In fact, some tom experts think there are a lot fewer different "black" varieties than is claimed, with many of them the same variety with another name.

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