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Latest posts by Italophile

fruit cracking

Posted: 06/09/2013 at 06:10

They're in the greenhouse, aren't they? Mine are in the ground. I water about every three days but very very very deeply. The roots are driven down deep into the soil away from the heat near the surface.

They're very high temps for a greenhouse because the heat is even more intense in the enclosed environment, even with ventilation. So you have a bit of a vicious circle in place. For the future, it's probably worthwhile trying to keep the temps down.

fruit cracking

Posted: 05/09/2013 at 16:59

I haven't grown Moneymakers but some cursory research suggests they're not known as natural splitters. I think it might be down to overwatering, ccllaarrkkyy. The toms just can't absorb the amount of moisture they're getting. Twice a day is an awful lot of water. Mine never get that much and my temps are in the high 30s and low 40s.

fruit cracking

Posted: 05/09/2013 at 13:05

That's concentric cracking on the tom (as opposed to radial cracking where the cracks run vertically). Some tomato varieties are prone to it regardless of conditions. It may also be a watering issue as suggested above.

Best to harvest the tom now, ccllaarrkkyy, and let it ripen inside. The crack will open up and create a possible entry point for infection.

Chillies again!

Posted: 05/09/2013 at 06:32

finty, the only way to know is to try one. They're either a black variety or passing their use-by date. If the latter, they will be getting soft.

Black Spot on Roses - New Gardener

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 16:45

Black spot is a fungal disease and that's the problem with fungal diseases. The spores are airborne, invisible to the naked eye, and everywhere. All a spray can do is coat the leaves - on both sides - to make life more difficult for the spores getting a grip. It doesn't guarantee freedom from disease. If only it did.

Hot Peppers

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 12:38

Even if 2010 was unusual, it sounds like you've got a great growing season.

The only secrets to growing toms and chillies are to keep things simple, don't molly-coddle them, and don't fret over them. Providing you start with decent soil, your only real role is to keep them alive. And to enjoy the results.

how to freez onions

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 12:17

And that none of them have bolted. They won't store.

Chillies again!

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 11:42

Some chilli varieties ripen to what looks like black, finty. Try one and see what it's like. The plant is from last season? Was it overwintered?

how to freez onions

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 11:38

Yes, you can freeze them but, thawed, they will be mushy because of their high water content. They won't fry to crispness, for example, but they're fine added during cooking.

Peel them, chop them. Then you have two options.

1. Spread them out on a tray on some baking paper, put the tray into the freezer till they're frozen, then transfer them, frozen, into freezer bags. Extract as much air from the bags as possible, tie them up tightly, label them and put them in the freezer. This method avoids ending up with one big lump of frozen onions.

2. Put the chopped onion straight into freezer bags, extract as much air as possible, tie them up tightly, etc, put them in the freezer. But they will freeze in one lump.

Hot Peppers

Posted: 04/09/2013 at 11:23

Japaholic, with those temps you might have some trouble with fruit setting, particularly if there is humidity too. Here in Central Italy I get temps into the 40s in summer and, if prolonged, the flowers just fry on the plant.

Not much to be done about it except, once you're more familiar with the weather patterns, plant to try to avoid the worst of the heat. Eg, plant out as early as possible to get in before the worst of the heat, and, if you get good warm autumns, think about planting some later to grow through the autumn.

That's what I used to do in Sydney with tomato varieties - like Brandywine Sudduth - that just wouldn't set fruit in hot, humid weather. Perfect for autumn, though.

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