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Italophile


Latest posts by Italophile

The Tomatoes have arrived!!

Posted: 04/05/2015 at 21:39

12? Crikey, are you going into the veg business?

I should talk. I've planted out 16.

They'll be fine. They shouldn't be big enough yet to be bothered by wind in terms of blowing them over but keep a watch.

 

Advice needed with tomato and runner bean seedlings

Posted: 03/05/2015 at 21:58

I'd go with No 2. Here in Italy I use good quality terriccio - the equivalent of No 2 - for both sowing the seeds and potting up. I've never bothered with a dedicated sowing mix.

I think you might have been overwatering too. You can afford to let the mix dry out completely. Obviously don't leave it bone dry for days on end but it shouldn't be permanently damp even beneath the surface. Tomatoes are very sturdy plants, even at the stage yours are at. Less is better in every regard with toms - water and fertiliser. They don't need mollycoddling and will respond better to "tough love".

Always water from the top. Never let them sit in water to soak it up from the bottom. You'll end up with permanently damp mix.

Advice needed with tomato and runner bean seedlings

Posted: 03/05/2015 at 16:33

I've had a closer look at the photos, Cidermill. It might be my monitor but it looks like only one seedling is pale. Is that right? Or are they all degrees of pale?

Anyway, the colour isn't down to a lack of moisture. If anything, pale can indicate too much water. At this stage they should be in a straight good quality potting mix rather than seed mix.

 

Advice needed with tomato and runner bean seedlings

Posted: 03/05/2015 at 10:51

That's why I asked about what they're growing in. Seedlings shouldn't need any sort of fertiliser till after they're planted out.

Advice needed with tomato and runner bean seedlings

Posted: 03/05/2015 at 09:25

The toms look nice and sturdy but definitely on the pale side. What sort of soil are they growing in? Seedlings of that age, in a good quality potting mix, shouldn't need extra nutrition.

rocket leaves

Posted: 29/04/2015 at 11:57

That depth is okay. Is it well drained? None of those fertilisers really have the level of nitrogen that will give greens a serious boost. They also have no use for the P and K components. I use a dedicated nitrogen liquid fertiliser made from ox blood with the N component into double figures. 

rocket leaves

Posted: 29/04/2015 at 11:42

Rocket is "cut and come again" so more leaves will emerge. That said, if you want to harvest regularly you really need more than three plants. The spacing is okay, how deep is your soil? Rocket is at its best grown quickly so regular feeding with a nitrogen-based fertiliser will help.

rocket leaves

Posted: 29/04/2015 at 08:21

Probably overwatering. Rocket needs regular moisture in warm weather. Without it the leaves can become bitter and the plant can bolt. I always harvest when the leaves are on the small side. The larger they grow, the coarser the flavour, I've found.

The Tomatoes have arrived!!

Posted: 25/04/2015 at 12:30

Six weeks? Crikey, they've done mighty well. If you're stuck with 20 litre pots I'd put the plants into the bottom of the empty pot and fill in the mix around them to the top. Can make staking a bit tricky - you don't want to skewer the root ball with the end of a stake - so maybe insert the stake at the same time as you insert the plants.

Best of, um, British with the real estate!

The Tomatoes have arrived!!

Posted: 25/04/2015 at 10:43

It's a bit of both. They're very mature seedlings and very lanky. How old are they?

Even 4C won't damage them. Frost would. Have they lived all their lives inside? If so, they're going to need to be hardened off. If they were mine, and if they'd been hardened off, I'd plant them out now regardless.

If they haven't been hardened off, I'd stick them in the coldframe for both natural light and the beginning of the hardening off process. Then get them into their permanent home ASAP.

20 litre pots? I'd go a bit bigger. And look for depth in the pots to (a) let you bury them as deeply as possible, and (b) provide a stable base for stakes.

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