Latest posts by Italophile

Going away for a week

Posted: 15/04/2014 at 08:31

How advanced are they, Georgie? And what sort of day and night temps are you getting?

When is the last time to sow tomato seeds

Posted: 15/04/2014 at 08:06

There are a number of super-early varieties. They hail mainly from Northern Europe where growing seasons are short to the point of almost non-existent.

Years ago in Australia, out of curiosity, I tried one of the better known of them, a Czech variety called Stupice (pron. Stoo-pee-cha). It matured in around 50 days. The best that could be said was that it was red. Virtually no flavour. Typical of the super-early varieties.

They're basically for growers in inhospitable climates for whom any tomato is better than nothing.

Tomato Black Russian?

Posted: 15/04/2014 at 07:44

Leaders are the main stems with the growing tips. It's common practice to restrict plants to two leaders.

I'm a bit baffled by the last frost advice, too.

Growing tomatoes indoors

Posted: 14/04/2014 at 08:48

Well done, Mark. Toms come way in front of kiddies' needs in my opinion.

Whether to cover or not depends on the temperatures. If temps are in, say, the teens, leave them uncovered. The plastic walls of the box will generate a pocket of warmth anyway. If temps get down to single figures, put the lid on but leave it ajar (so to speak).

Dov, sowed mine in late Feb, a bit later than usual. Spring has sprung here, so they're out on the terrace most days in temps of high teens, low 20s. They spent their early days inside under lights so some of them got a bit spindly. Recovering now, though.


Growing tomatoes indoors

Posted: 13/04/2014 at 09:04

The pot size doesn't matter. They're suffering from insufficient bright light. While the windowsill appears to be a light spot, you can see the seedlings leaning desperately towards the window in search of more light. That's the tell-tale sign.

Mark, you can get away without a greenhouse at this stage. All you need is a naturally sunny outside area. Get one of those small plastic or wooden crates from a greengrocer, place the pots into it, and park them outside in direct sunlight. If daytime temps are down to single figures, cover the crate in some clear plastic or bubble wrap. A mini-greenhouse. Leave them out as long as possible, to get as much sun as possible, bring them inside overnight.

The longer you leave them where they are, the more their future is compromised. Oh, and lay off watering them, too. Let the mix dry out between waterings.



Posted: 04/04/2014 at 10:20

Yes, asparagus needs very well prepared ground. As much well-rotted, aged manure and compost as possible for a light, well-drained soil. You do all the prep beforehand because, once the crowns are in place, you can't do much without damaging things. Asparagus beds are long-term affairs, you'd expect 20 years out of them.

Planting the crowns also needs a trench at least a foot wide and up to 12" deep depending on the soil's draining qualities.



Posted: 03/04/2014 at 07:05

Well, there you go. The very first couple of leaves you'll see aren't true leaves, they're cotyledons. They supply nourishment to the seedling. The true leaves will come along within a week or so. For now, give them as much light as possible.

The newly-sown seeds will need some moisture, just not too much. The mix should be damp at most.


Posted: 01/04/2014 at 13:40

Tomsk, it's usual for tom seeds to take between a couple of days and a week to germinate. Older, stubborn seeds can take a bit longer.

The fertiliser didn't help, and you planted a bit too deeply. The seeds need only be barely covered. I suspect the seeds might have rotted. The mix needs to be slightly damp at best.

Optimum temps for germination are in the 20sC, with, ideally, the warmth coming from underneath.

Toms too early ?

Posted: 01/04/2014 at 13:32

mias, they look good. A bit leggy and on the pale side, but that's down to where they're living.

Where they go immediately is down to temperatures, particularly overnight. What are the day and night temps in the unheated GH?

Regardless, they can stay in those containers until they're ready for their final homes. No need to pot them up. Mine live in smaller containers than those till they're planted out.

Tomato Feed - Yes or No

Posted: 28/03/2014 at 21:19

Rain isn't a problem, NewBoy, temps are the consideration for planting outside either in the ground or in pots. You'd need at least high teens C daytime and not less than mid-teens overnight to be worthwhile.

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