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Latest posts by Italophile

Cucumber yield

Posted: 20/10/2013 at 13:27

In my experience, cukes are up there with pumpkins in terms of sun requirements.

Help with a lemon tree

Posted: 20/10/2013 at 09:14

It's likely to be a deficiency, Matt. I'm not sure that it's magnesium. Magnesium deficiency usually manifests in a two-tone leaf. Have you fed the plant with a dedicated citrus fertiliser? If not, give it a feed - dose according to the instructions - and see what happens.

One feed should be enough. It's late in the season and you don't want to encourage too much new growth with winter on the way.

Cucumber yield

Posted: 20/10/2013 at 09:06

Full sun will make a big difference, Mandy.

Ripening Tomatoes

Posted: 20/10/2013 at 09:04

Tony, if it's consistently warmer inside than outside, take them inside. Temperature dictates ripening. The theory behind bananas, etc, hastening ripening is that they exude ethylene gas which quickens the process.

Those bright red toms in the supermarket that are rock hard and immature inside have been picked green and gassed with ethylene gas. It ripens the skin but doesn't ripen the tom internally. Only time will do that.

As to the yellowish hue around the top of the toms, it will have nothing to do with cross pollination from the yellow variety in this growing season. Cross pollination only manifests in the next generation, the season in which any cross-pollinated seeds are planted.


Tomatoe plants over winter

Posted: 18/10/2013 at 07:30

Jim's right, they're technically perennials but not hardy in a UK climate. Years ago, in Sydney, I kept some plants going as an experiment. Sydney doesn't have a winter, per se. They kept producing but ended up running out of steam. While technically perennials, they have a finite properly productive life.

Susan, I'd try Jim's suggestion. Keep them going if you can and take cuttings next season. Start another crop from seed too.


best flavoured tomatoes

Posted: 14/10/2013 at 07:05

Mandy, Kent Pink Plum is a proprietary variety - Sainsbury's - so it will be a hybrid. All the proprietary varieties are. It won't grow true to type but you'll get something resembling the parent in the first generation.

Costoluto Fiorentino used to be a very nice tomato in its day with plenty of flavour. It has been fiddled with commercially over the years and is now a shadow of its former self.

best flavoured tomatoes

Posted: 13/10/2013 at 08:38

I'd go with a brandy.

best flavoured tomatoes

Posted: 13/10/2013 at 07:08

Bob, there's no link between leaf type and flavour beyond Potato Leaves being likely to be heirlooms, hence likely to have more flavour than, say, a Regular Leaf hybrid. The PL shape is a recessive gene, it will disappear if crossed with a RL variety.

There was a school of thought around the heirloom tom traps that PL varieties were, for some reason, more resistant to fungal problems but I've never noticed it.

PM me your details and I'll send you a couple of nice varieties.


Eucalyptus Tree - should it stay or go?

Posted: 11/10/2013 at 14:12

Welshonion, I spent the first 45 years of my life there. Some tree roots aren't a problem. Many are, and not just eucalypts. For whatever reason, people still plant the wrong trees too close to houses and wonder why they pay the price. Our last house in Sydney had an established garden when we bought it. It cost us hundreds of dollars a year to clear and repair drains and we had to take out a tree that started invading the foundations.

I won't start on the number of footpaths lifted by tree roots. Funnily enough, it's very common here in Italy too.

Eucalyptus Tree - should it stay or go?

Posted: 11/10/2013 at 11:02

It depends on the variety. There are many, many hundreds of them, including small varieties that don't get beyond about 6 feet fully mature. The growth rate of Gembo's suggests it's not one of the small ones.

Any idea of the variety, Gembo?

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