Latest posts by Italophile


Posted: 31/08/2013 at 12:03
Dovefromabove wrote (see)

Yes, they're varying between an almost plum and heart-shaped.  They're orange with greenish shoulders - lovely colour but as I said tastewise quite bland.  

I took some photos of the first one but I'm having camera trouble - it keeps draining the battery within a few shots - I got a new battery but the problem continues so it's the camera - probably need a new one 

Well, I've never kept any plum seeds and the only heart I have is Anna Russian. If they're orange ... there shouldn't be a pink in the mix because pink is a recessive colour gene and AR is a pink. You'd have to think a yellow/gold in the mix with a red. My yellow/golds are Kellogg's Breakfast, Jaune Flammeé, Golden Queen and Jaune Negib, none of which are hearts.

A complete and utter mystery.


Posted: 31/08/2013 at 08:08
Dovefromabove wrote (see)

Sadly the first fruit from the 'mystery' tomato tasted quite bland 

Are they all developing the same shape? They seemed to vary between heart-shaped and round/oblate in that photo. If the shapes are varying it's a cross. What colour are they?


Posted: 31/08/2013 at 08:05
Birdy13 wrote (see)

A couple of years ago we grew a couple of cherry type tomato plants that yielded some absolutely lovely round orange fruit, most no bigger than about 25 mm across.

They had a beautifully balanced, quite 'deep' sweet flavour with no trace of acidity.

'I've no idea what they were called but I found I could eat them easily - this from someone who doesn't particularly like tomatos especially shop bought ones. 

Anyone got any idea of possible names please?

And am I right that moneymaker is red not orange?

Yes, Moneymaker is red. Your mystery tom might have been Sungold. They're incredibly sweet. Here's Sungold. Ring any bells?

Harge and david, ripening is purely down to temperature. Direct sunlight on the fruit isn't necessary. Ripening is an internal chemical process for the tom. The plant plays no actual role.

Optimum temps for ripening are anything above low-20sC. They will ripen at lower temps but, obviously, take longer the lower the temperature is. If your daytime temps get down to consistent low teens, you're better off taking the toms off the plants and taking them inside where it will be consistently warmer. A kitchen bench or similar is ideal. Sit the toms upside down, on their shoulders, to avoid bruises developing on the blossom (bottom) end.

Garlic planting

Posted: 30/08/2013 at 13:58

CG, planting a lot deeper than one otherwise would and covering the patch with straw (or similar) is the usual means in those conditions. My ground freezes - probably not to the extent yours does - and it has worked for me.


Posted: 30/08/2013 at 07:37

We're only an hour south of Florence by train so we pop up there quite a lot. One of my favourite spots in Florence is the brass plaque on the ground in Piazza della Signora marking the spot where they burned Savonarola alive in 1498. But then I'm strange.

You'll find info on most of those varieties on the 'net though some aren't commercially available. They're mainly beefsteaks. CP and CC are medium oblates, as are Golden Queen and Jaune Negib. Anna Russian is a heart-shaped variety, Camp Joy is a cherry, Jaune Flamée is golf ball-sized.

Multiple Headed Sunflowers

Posted: 29/08/2013 at 15:09

I haven't had that many before but sunflowers will produce multiple blooms.


Posted: 29/08/2013 at 10:50

bigolob, I grow heirlooms from a seed collection I've accumulated over the years. The US is the home of heirloom tomatoes in terms of the number of enthusastic - some would say obsessive - growers. One fella I know there grows hundreds of plants a season, dozens of different varieties. Needless to say, he has lots of space.

I've had long-term contact with a number of them and they've very generously helped me out with seeds and advice. I've returned the compliment with seeds, too.

There are some I grow every season: Marianna's Peace, Soldaki, Camp Joy, Pink Gaetano, Cherokee Chocolate, Cherokee Purple, Brandywine OTV, Anna Russian, and Jaune Negib (purely to make sweet tomato pickles).

Others I grow every couple of seasons: Golden Queen, Dr Neal, Jaune Flammée, Kellogg's Breakfast, etc.

Marianna's Peace, Cherokee Purple and Soldaki are my favourites. Marianna's Peace, I think, rivals the famous Brandywine Sudduth, claimed to be the King (or Queen) of tomatoes. Soldaki, a Polish variety, isn't far behind it. Rich complex flavours, like a glass of fine red wine.

Cherokee Purple has an extraordinary, unique flavour. Rich, without the complexity of those above. Just a delicious tom. Its sister variety Cherokee Chocolate - CC arose as the result of a spontaneous mutuation of a colour gene in a CP fruit - isn't far behind it either.


Posted: 29/08/2013 at 08:04

The plum varieties - including San Marzano - are more prone to Blossom End Rot than other shapes. No one quite knows why. Something in their genes. The last time I grew San Marzano the plant was riddled with BER while other varieties, planted three feet away, in identical conditions, were BER-free.

bigolob, San Marzano are the classic sauce tomato. The better quality imported Italian tinned toms are San Marzano. Skin on the thick side, lots of flesh, not a lot of juice, not many seeds. They're not the ideal tom to grow as a straight eating tom.

Rosemary edible?

Posted: 28/08/2013 at 16:19

Rosemary is a Mediterranean native that grows wild in the hottest, roughest conditions. It needs nothing except plenty of sun and very well-drained soil. In a pot, it would need to be exceedingly well drained.


Posted: 27/08/2013 at 16:34

Linny, are there any female flowers? You need both male and female flowers. If you have both, you have a pollination problem. You could try hand pollinating.

Here's something I posted on another thread about hand pollinating squash. The same principles apply.

Discussions started by Italophile

Italophile has not started any discussions