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Italophile


Latest posts by Italophile

Butternut squash when to sow seeds

Posted: 21/07/2013 at 09:09

The flowers will come, usually males first, followed by females. Though my butternuts produced females first this year for some reason. Be careful of fertilising with anything nitrogen-rich. It will promote leaf growth alone.

You'll need insects for pollination. Or, failing insects, you can hand pollinate by removing a male flower, carefully stripping away the petals, and brushing the stamen over the female flower's stigma. Don't be too vigorous, though.

Black fly on tomato

Posted: 20/07/2013 at 15:59

The black "flies" could be flying aphids, Patricia. They're not uncommon around toms. For that matter, the green ones could be the same. Hard to know without seeing them. Either way, you could mix up an organic garlic spray or use a commercial pyrethrum spray. They work on contact so you'd need to hit the actual insects.

Cucumber Leaves

Posted: 20/07/2013 at 10:57

Overwatering can have that effect. How often are you watering?

My Passion Flower is wilting... Help!

Posted: 20/07/2013 at 08:39

bigolob, you see them here all over Tuscany. They're lovely in full bloom. I planted one but had to yank it, unfortunately. They're invasive monsters. I'm still finding it popping up two or three years later.

Santy, I think you might have been overwatering. Giving it a break from water is a good idea.

Tomato plants

Posted: 19/07/2013 at 08:27

Peta, your experience is proof positive that toms don't need to be pampered.

Tomato plants

Posted: 19/07/2013 at 08:26
Jessica Rose wrote (see)

Bit of an update for you, I have a few flowers on my tomato plants..  

how many times a day would you water the plant in this heat? 

thanks 

The bottom line is water when the plants need it. The mix shouldn't be permanently damp. Don't be afraid to let the mix dry out. I don't mean leave the mix dry for three or four days, but a day without water will not hurt a tomato plant. They're immensely tough, durable critters and will produce at their best if treated as such. More tom plants are damaged by overwatering - and overfertilising - than neglect.

All sorts of factors contribute to a container watering regime. Smaller pots dry out quicker than larger ones, terra cotta dries out quicker than plastic because terra cotta "breathes". The temperature and number of hours in direct sunlight also contribute.

Dove's watering regime (two posts above) sounds about right. You'd need vastly hotter temperatures than you're currently getting to justify more watering.

My toms are in the ground. The temps have been in the mid-30s for a couple of weeks with nothing lower than 22C overnight. I water - very deeply - every four or five days.

first time tomato grower seeks advice

Posted: 18/07/2013 at 10:01

Dove, I replied. You probably won't get the email alert.

first time tomato grower seeks advice

Posted: 18/07/2013 at 09:30

No I'm not. And only getting emails re post responses at about 6pm every day. In one big hit. The site's problems are ongoing.

I'll go and check my PMs!

Sweet peppers (bell peppers, whatever you want to call them lol)

Posted: 18/07/2013 at 07:35

comp, you could have had several issues. Where were the plants? Inside or outside? How often were you watering and fertilising?

first time tomato grower seeks advice

Posted: 18/07/2013 at 07:32

everos, don't be tempted to overfertilise them. If they're planted in good, healthy soil in the first place they just don't need much extra nutrition.

Once when the first fruit appears, then maybe a couple more times over the length of the growing season. Tom plants pumped full of nutrients are less likely to produce to their full potential than plants left to cope for themselves.

Toms, like most plants, exist to reproduce themselves - which, in the tom's case, means producing fruit. They'll be much more inclined to reproduce themselves if they feel ever so slightly threatened. Stuffed full of nutrients, they feel no real need. You'll get fruit, certainly, but less than the plant is capable of giving you.

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