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Latest posts by Italophile

Harvesting Seeds

Posted: 26/07/2013 at 07:38

Saving seeds from F1 plants gives you F2 seeds. F2 seeds won't produce true to the F1 parent plants because, in simple terms, you're starting to unravel the gene combinations created and stabilised in the breeding of the F1 plant.

F2 seeds will usually produce fruit recognisably similar to the F1 fruit but with variations. The further you go down this road - F3 seeds, etc - the greater the variations you'll see.

I know some tomato growers with too much time on their hands who delight in trying to grow out F1 tomato plants to try to determine the original varieties used in the F1 creation. Most seed companies who create F1 varieties decline to reveal the varieties they use.

The more varieties used in the creation of the F1 plant, the longer it takes to trace its origins. I know one chap who spent 10 years on one plant. As I say, too much time on his hands.

crumbling rasberries

Posted: 25/07/2013 at 14:03

Any other symptoms, Anthony? How does the foliage look?

Tomato fruit issue

Posted: 25/07/2013 at 11:07

On a seriously warm day, any sort of ventilation will struggle to keep the temps down inside.

Tomato fruit issue

Posted: 25/07/2013 at 08:02

Kevin, 35C is very hot for toms in a closed environment, shaded or otherwise. It's the ambient temp that's important. I think that could be your problem. Can you increase the ventilation?

Tomatoes can be moved providing you do it at the coolest time of the day (or night). I've dug up mature plants from my garden and put them into containers for a neighbour. Water well first, take the whole root ball with soil, and transplant. Keep the transplant out of direct, warm sun for three or four days.

Lavender dying

Posted: 24/07/2013 at 06:39

Agreed. Young lavender needs water to get established, particularly in hot weather, but the roots can't be allowed to remain wet. Not only very well-drained mix but a container with plenty of drainage holes.

Tomato fruit issue

Posted: 23/07/2013 at 08:42

Kevin, the absence of other symptoms seems to suggest it's cultural. How hot has it been getting in the greenhouse? Excessive heat can impact on fruit.


Posted: 22/07/2013 at 09:19

Yes, they're a good low-key source of nutrition. I use them a lot.


Posted: 22/07/2013 at 09:16

The size, ultimately, will be decided by the variety you choose because, basically, genes dictate size. You can force size to an extent by, as Welshonion says, restricting the vine to one pumpkin. It lets the vine put all its resources into the one fruit. You also need to feed regularly with a fertiliser rich in potassium.

But if you're starting with a variety that's naturally on the small side anyway you'll probably only get a slightly larger version. For truly large pumpkins, you need to start with a naturally large variety like Atlantic Giant.

Minibel tomato-purple ish dot leaf?

Posted: 22/07/2013 at 09:06

I'm with Bob. Nip off the leaf. If the problem manifests again elsewhere, let us know.

Dove's right too. Brush your hand over the flowers or give them a gentle flick with your fingers.

Tomato fruit issue

Posted: 22/07/2013 at 09:03

Kevin, can you post a photo of the stems and foliage? If fruit is showing signs of infection, whether fungal, bacterial or viral, it should already be showing on the stems or leaves.

Where did you get the seeds? Bob is right, blight can survive in seeds, but the fermentation stage in the seed-saving process, carried out properly, usually knocks blight on the head. Commercial seeds are either fermented or even treated with acid. Fermentation isn't known to work for viral or bacterial problems in seeds, though.

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