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Latest posts by Italophile

Overwintering Chilli's

Posted: 29/10/2015 at 08:42

They will survive over winter given sufficient bright light and warmth. While, technically, they're perennials, they tend to gradually run out of steam after a season. In the past I've left mine outside into winter. A couple of decent frosts and the cold snap-freezes them on the plant and preserves them.

Parsnips in France

Posted: 27/10/2015 at 13:43

I don't get germinations problems. Buy fresh seeds every season, sow three times as many as you otherwise would, don't bury them too deep, keep damp till germination. I also plant radishes between seeds and rows. Apart from getting another crop, I know exactly where the parsnips are sown.

Parsnips in France

Posted: 27/10/2015 at 13:04

If it's deep enough.

Parsnips in France

Posted: 27/10/2015 at 08:57

I did read somewhere that, back in the day, they were as popular in France as here. But then mysteriously disappeared from the diet.

Parsnips in France

Posted: 27/10/2015 at 07:52

It's truly strange. They were one of the most widely-grown veg here in Roman times and the Romans took parsnips with them when they spread North. They were used in much the same way potatoes are these days. Maybe the appearance of the potato had something to do with their demise.

Parsnips in France

Posted: 27/10/2015 at 07:16

Parsnips are unknown here in Italy. Strange, because in Roman times they were immensely popular. For some reason, they disappeared from the diet. There's a word for parsnip in Italian - pastinaca - but none of the locals have heard of it. I showed a neighbour the photo on a seed packet. She had never seen or heard of it. I gather they are grown in the north, around Parma, to feed to the pigs. I have to import seeds from the UK.

I plant in April-May, keep well watered during the hot summers, and don't start to harvest before December, by which time the frosts have added some lovely sweetness.

Jerusalem artichokes

Posted: 22/10/2015 at 10:33

Which should be outlawed too in terms of what they end up producing.

Jerusalem artichokes

Posted: 22/10/2015 at 10:21

I knew there was another reason why I don't like them. They produce children.

Jerusalem artichokes

Posted: 22/10/2015 at 10:18

Just to stress the need to harvest all tubers. Each tuber unharvested will likely develop into a new plant, and each plant can go on to produce dozens of tubers. You can end up with hundreds of the dang things.

Jerusalem artichokes

Posted: 22/10/2015 at 09:10

Mine get to about 10'. I stake them and tie them up very securely. They're the easiest things to grow but you need to be careful they don't take over. Unharvested tubers mean more plants next season. Dig up all the tubers and replant only as many as you need to.

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