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Italophile


Latest posts by Italophile

Raspberries

Posted: 22/04/2013 at 08:54

MrCP, for starters, they need well-drained soil so you'd have to dig in a lot of organic material to aid the drainage. Apart from that, they're not difficult. They like lots of sun. Here in central Italy it gets achingly hot in summer so mine are in a spot that you'd describe as part shade. They thrive.

You'll need sufficient space to provide some sort of support for the canes as they grow. Traditionally they're tied to wires strung tightly between sturdy stakes or poles. Canes can grow to 6' or more.

Pruning methods depend on whether you grow summer- or autumn-fruiting varieties.

Peppers

Posted: 22/04/2013 at 08:41

Gaz, the only time I grew Jalapenos the plants grew to about 3' or 4'. Treat chillies exactly the same as you would tomatoes. As much sun and warmth as possible.

MrCP, temperature (warmth) rather than direct sunlight is the key to ripening. That said, different types ripen to different colours. It depends what you're growing. For larger types, give them a rap. A hollow sound says they're ripe. For smaller types, you should see some withering of the stem at the stem end.

Runner bean quandry

Posted: 22/04/2013 at 07:46

Blotting paper, Welshonion? I remember that stuff. Is it still around?

Trouble germinating sweet corn

Posted: 22/04/2013 at 07:44

My sweetcorn has just germinated. Started the seeds in toilet roll tubes full of damp mix. Our daytime temps here have hit the mid-20sC. I left the rolls in a crate wrapped in bubble wrap for extra warmth on the terrace during the day, put them under cover at night. They all germinated within a week.

tomatoes

Posted: 21/04/2013 at 18:18

Transplanting deeply encourages strong root growth. Any stem that is buried will become root structure. When transplanting into their final home, I take off all branches and leaves up to the top foliage, the canopy. Plant so that the canopy is virtually sitting on the soil. Just lift the leaves a tad when watering until the canopy grows up clear of the soil. It won't take long.

Runner bean quandry

Posted: 21/04/2013 at 09:11

Hi Wendy. For the bean (seed) to be truly viable it needs to be mature which it isn't straight from the pod. Beans for sowing are left on the plant to dry out completely before harvesting for sowing. Given your time-frame, your best bet is probably to buy some dried beans, take the fresh bean (seed) from a pod, show them the difference and explain it. The fresh bean (seed) will, eventually, turn into the dried one. Then plant the viable dried one.

tomatoes

Posted: 21/04/2013 at 08:59

You can afford to let the mix dry out providing you don't leave it bone dry. Permanently damp roots can cause more problems than underwatering.

Trouble germinating sweet corn

Posted: 20/04/2013 at 07:20

Jay, cukes and corn need the most warmth of just about all veg to germinate. It's the soil temp that's key. Where are the cuke and corn seeds sown? If in cells or pots, try putting them into plastic bags to generate a mini hothouse.

tomatoes

Posted: 20/04/2013 at 07:18

Lizzie, how much water are they getting? Seedlings need minimal watering. Permanently wet roots do them no good at all. Curling is usually a sign of overwatering.

Growing tomatoe's indoors

Posted: 19/04/2013 at 21:36

saltski, a friend of mine used to use an electric toothbrush. Goodness knows why.

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