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Latest posts by Italophile


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.


Posted: 21/07/2013 at 09:25

Mixing your carrot seeds with some sand prior to sowing is also a good sowing method. Helps you distribute the seed more evenly, stops the miniscule seeds blowing away if there's any breeze, and you can see where you've sowed.


Posted: 21/07/2013 at 09:19

Compost will give you good, healthy soil. It will be enough for root veg, certainly. I also dig in some blood and bone or variations thereof. Preparation is the key rather than playing catch up.

Butternut squash when to sow seeds

Posted: 21/07/2013 at 09:09

The flowers will come, usually males first, followed by females. Though my butternuts produced females first this year for some reason. Be careful of fertilising with anything nitrogen-rich. It will promote leaf growth alone.

You'll need insects for pollination. Or, failing insects, you can hand pollinate by removing a male flower, carefully stripping away the petals, and brushing the stamen over the female flower's stigma. Don't be too vigorous, though.

Black fly on tomato

Posted: 20/07/2013 at 15:59

The black "flies" could be flying aphids, Patricia. They're not uncommon around toms. For that matter, the green ones could be the same. Hard to know without seeing them. Either way, you could mix up an organic garlic spray or use a commercial pyrethrum spray. They work on contact so you'd need to hit the actual insects.

Cucumber Leaves

Posted: 20/07/2013 at 10:57

Overwatering can have that effect. How often are you watering?

My Passion Flower is wilting... Help!

Posted: 20/07/2013 at 08:39

bigolob, you see them here all over Tuscany. They're lovely in full bloom. I planted one but had to yank it, unfortunately. They're invasive monsters. I'm still finding it popping up two or three years later.

Santy, I think you might have been overwatering. Giving it a break from water is a good idea.

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