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Latest posts by Italophile


Posted: 04/08/2013 at 10:55

The female flowers (that produce the cukes) aren't being properly pollinated, Jean. If they're indoors, the insects can't get to the flowers to transfer the pollen from male flowers to female flowers. You might need to pollinate by hand.

when do i pick cucumbers

Posted: 02/08/2013 at 07:15

15cm sounds like a reasonable size. If they've turned dark green and are nice and firm, harvest one and try it as a guide. Leave them too long before harvest and the seeds get too big and the cuke is coarse.

No fruit showing on Butternut Squash in polytunnel

Posted: 01/08/2013 at 16:30

My butternuts did something very unusual this year. Produced female flowers first. Never seen it before. Probably never see it again.


Posted: 01/08/2013 at 07:45

Andrew, it's worth looking at why the extensive foliage. Are you feeding the plants? If you are, and with a nitrogen-rich fertiliser, you'd be encouraging leaf growth at the expense of fruit.

Tomato leaf spots

Posted: 01/08/2013 at 07:36

It doesn't look fungal, Mike. Even if it were, with only 6 weeks left, it's not worth worrying about. With 6 weeks left, any toms that are going to ripen for you will be far enough advanced not to be compromised.


Posted: 31/07/2013 at 14:00

Daisy, curling leaves are very very common on toms. Usually nothing to worry about. What are your temps like? And how often are you watering?

No fruit showing on Butternut Squash in polytunnel

Posted: 31/07/2013 at 13:58

nickharr, male flowers always appear before the females. You just have to be patient. And, given that they're in a polytunnel, it's likely you mightn't get the amount of insect life you'll need for pollination. You could need to hand pollinate to guarantee fruit.

Tomato leaf spots

Posted: 31/07/2013 at 13:55

Yes, try again, Mike. If the spots have a "bullseye" centre to them, it's likely to be a fungal problem. But we'll have to wait to see the photo.

Butternut squash

Posted: 31/07/2013 at 13:52

You can nip off the growing tips when the vines start to escape their space. It should encourage more side shoots, which, some pumpkin lore says, will encourage more female flowers. There's a lot of pumpkin lore about ways to produce more female flowers, usually the pumpkin grower's biggest problem.

The female flowers open in the morning, often early. That's the best time to check them. They rarely stay open all day. You can hand pollinate if you like but it means getting up early.


Posted: 29/07/2013 at 14:09

Nitrogen promotes leaf growth, JTL, that's all. Toms need a minimum of nitrogen. That's why I'd favour the comfrey. Nettles would be a treat for the leafy veg.

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