Latest posts by Italophile


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.

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.

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