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Latest posts by Italophile


Posted: 24/08/2013 at 07:51

There's a school of thought that you shouldn't grow spuds and toms together on the basis that they're the same family. The reality is that you can.

About the only downside might be doubling your chances of blight infections, but if the fungal spores are around and the conditions are sympathetic to the spores, you're going to get infections regardless.

Planting crops from the same family in the same soil in successive years can be another matter because of the risk of soil-borne diseases. I've done it, but only after refreshing the soil thoroughly.

Talkback: Tomato blight

Posted: 24/08/2013 at 06:35

peter, Dove's right. That's too much water, but it's not going to cause a fungal problem if what you actually have is a fungal problem. It's hard to identify the problem without seeing it. Can you post photos?


Posted: 23/08/2013 at 14:57

Granny, there's no point fertilising for fruit that has already developed. That's the fruit that will ripen for you if it stays warm long enough.

How many branches did you take off the Ailsa Craig?


Posted: 23/08/2013 at 06:12
Busy-Lizzie wrote (see)

Perhaps I haven't watered enough, but I've grown tomatoes for years. It has been hot this year in the late 20s and early 30s, need rain badly. I live in Dordogne, France.

Lizzie, it's been very high-30s for about a month now here in central Italy. If your plants are in the ground, all you can do is water very very deeply, driving the roots way underground where it's cooler and the moisture survives. I do mine about every three days.

Paula - Well done. Sounds like you lot had a decent summer for the first time in ages.


Posted: 23/08/2013 at 06:07
Fairygirl wrote (see)

That sounds like a nice 'poor man's' bruschetta Italophile! Do you pop a little basil on as well? 

No, just the sliced tomato and P&S. It captures all the flavour of the tomato with no other additions. I save basil for things like bruschetta where you're adding extra flavour - garlic, oil, etc.


Posted: 22/08/2013 at 16:47

Sliced on hot buttered toast with lots of salt and pepper isn't bad either, Fairygirl.


Posted: 22/08/2013 at 16:46

I've found that beetroot need mid- to high-teens C to develop properly.


Posted: 22/08/2013 at 16:41

Heather, ripening is all down to temperature. Nothing to do with direct sunlight. Optimum temps for ripening are anything above low-20sC. They will ripen at lower temps but correspondingly slower. Once daytime temps get down to the low teens consistently you're better off taking them inside to ripen.

Skin thickness and taste are usually down to the variety as Welshonion said above. Though, as I've reported here before, a tomato can thicken its skin in the absence of adequate moisture. It's more likely to happen in very hot weather. It's the tom's way of preserving moisture.


Posted: 22/08/2013 at 14:03

You need to be careful making pasta sauces with other than plum varieties like, eg, San Marzano. The plums are almost designed for sauce - lots of flesh, not a lot of juice, not many seeds. Other varieties, full of juice and seeds, cooked down, can produce a lake of liquid and seeds.

The beauty of the raw tomato sauce - posted above - is that it doesn't cook down the toms to let them shed their juice and seeds.


Posted: 22/08/2013 at 12:42

But of course!

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