Latest posts by Italophile

The kaki tree

Posted: 08/11/2015 at 12:55

Depends on the variety. Our one, the one commonly grown here, needs to ripen almost to the point of over-ripe, verging on a bit mushy. Prior to that, it's bitter to the point of gruesome. 

The kaki tree

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 19:25

It was actually all my wife's idea. She loved seeing them here in Winter, orange globes shining through the wintery mist and fog. They do look quite extraordinary. And she saw our friends' "Christmas tree" spotlit in the mist and fog. I was told to organise one. I did as I was told. She's an artist and has painted them several times.

I thought I'd try to find a culinary use - before the birds destroy them - and discovered they're the basis of a nice ice cream.


The kaki tree

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 11:55

I've got one on the second terrace. It's actually its third home. It started on the top terrace which backs onto a 40' high stone wall. I planted it too far back - too close to the wall - and it never saw sun. After about 6 months I moved it further forward. Sun, but it was going to face competition from a couple of figs.

Three months later I moved it down onto the second terrace where its only competition would be vegies. It's now about 3 years old.

You see a lot of them here. Often they're grown purely for decorative purposes, the fruit left on the trees throughout winter to provide colour in the garden. A friend here uses theirs as an outdoor Christmas tree, spotlighting it. It looks stunning.

I use the fruit for ice cream.

Olive tree

Posted: 03/11/2015 at 17:00

Exactly right! A bit more poetic than the way I put it, but anyway.

Olive tree

Posted: 03/11/2015 at 14:59

I prune late in Spring. Don't over-prune. The main aim, apart from getting rid of dead, dying or crossing branches, is to let in plenty of light. Don't let the heart of the tree turn into a clump.

Beetroot seedlings

Posted: 02/11/2015 at 08:27

Ditto. You won't get the warmth beetroot needs to prosper at this time of year.


Posted: 02/11/2015 at 07:47

And because they're so small, and grow so quickly, you can sow them in and around other crops.

Pumpkin varieties

Posted: 02/11/2015 at 07:45

I'd buy fresh seed next season. The seed you saved could have been from an F1 variety, a hybrid. If so, it won't produce true-to-type but only a version of the parent fruit. Starting with fresh seed next season will not only let you harvest what you sow, but let you decide exactly what you want to grow. There are many pumpkin varieties, different sizes with different growing times. Do some research and choose exactly what suits you.

Saving tomato seeds

Posted: 01/11/2015 at 09:03

That's a decent summary of the process, Dove. Puzzled, though, by the statement that most modern toms won't cross-pollinate. Apart from that, coffee filter paper is the best surface on which to dry the seeds. They will stick to plates, crockery or otherwise.

Tomatoes & Hydroponics

Posted: 31/10/2015 at 14:29

Ditto both of the above. 

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