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Latest posts by Italophile

Tomato fruit issue

Posted: 25/07/2013 at 08:02

Kevin, 35C is very hot for toms in a closed environment, shaded or otherwise. It's the ambient temp that's important. I think that could be your problem. Can you increase the ventilation?

Tomatoes can be moved providing you do it at the coolest time of the day (or night). I've dug up mature plants from my garden and put them into containers for a neighbour. Water well first, take the whole root ball with soil, and transplant. Keep the transplant out of direct, warm sun for three or four days.

Lavender dying

Posted: 24/07/2013 at 06:39

Agreed. Young lavender needs water to get established, particularly in hot weather, but the roots can't be allowed to remain wet. Not only very well-drained mix but a container with plenty of drainage holes.

Tomato fruit issue

Posted: 23/07/2013 at 08:42

Kevin, the absence of other symptoms seems to suggest it's cultural. How hot has it been getting in the greenhouse? Excessive heat can impact on fruit.


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.

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