Latest posts by Italophile

giant marrow seed

Posted: 22/09/2015 at 13:11

Sounds interesting. Ask the grower what variety it is. It could still be F1. 

Sungold Tomatoes

Posted: 22/09/2015 at 08:47

Sounds like it's been a pretty ordinary summer all over the place. The usual explanation for less-than-stellar crops. I had it too hot here for about two and a half months. I had a production hiatus of about that length, toms won't set fruit in constant extreme temps. They restarted when the temps dropped but it was late in the season by that stage.

And, yes, tom growing can be over-complicated. In general terms, keep the beggars alive and ticking over. It's that simple.

giant marrow seed

Posted: 22/09/2015 at 08:43

Collect the seed after you harvest and cut it open, whether to eat or not. Dry the seeds and store them, keeping them airtight at a constant moderate temp. What variety is it? Heirloom or F1? If F1, it won't grow true-to-type next season.

Sungold Tomatoes

Posted: 22/09/2015 at 08:37

Verdun, once the toms are on their way to ripening the plants themselves are pretty much redundant. The fruit isn't getting much at all from the plant.

A question about passion flowers

Posted: 20/09/2015 at 09:29

They're indestructible in my experience. Don't let one out of its container. I planted one in the ground and it turned into the biggest bully of a plant I've known (except non-clumping bamboo, obviously). I ended up digging it out. Or thought I had. I was still digging up runners two years later.


Posted: 17/09/2015 at 09:32

Good housekeeping, GM. Towards the end of the season, when the fruit is (hopefully) ripening, the plant itself has next to no involvement in the fruit's progress. It has done its job.


Posted: 17/09/2015 at 08:10

Green Magpie - Sungold will split, regardless. One of the traits of the variety. I stopped growing them, a bit too sweet for my taste, but I used to harvest a tad early to avoid the splitting. 

Liz - there's no killing the spores, per se. Burn or bury. A couple of leaves in the compost won't hurt. Tomato fungal spores of any description are only really a hazard to the next crop if the spores make it onto the new foliage.

Fungal spores enter the garden on the breeze. There's no stopping or avoiding them. All you can do is try to minimise their effects via the sort of housekeeping Dove mentioned above. 


Posted: 17/09/2015 at 07:07

Stored properly - sealed, dry environment, moderate temperature - tom seeds will remain viable for 10 years and more. I'm still using seeds I saved in 1995. 

The best reason to ferment tomato seeds during the seed-saving process is that it removes the green/yellow gel around the seed, a natural germination inhibitor. It stops the seed germinating inside the tom. Fermenting can also remove nasties.

Late blight tomatoes, remove what I can now?

Posted: 13/09/2015 at 09:06

Liz, if it's Late Blight, the spores live on in the soil. Or on top of the soil, anyway. That's where the spores finish up after dropping from the foliage. Freezing doesn't kill them. You can turn over the soil, burying the top soil (and the spores) deeply. The spores can't do any further damage from underground. The risk they can pose, lying on the surface, is being splashed up onto foliage next season when watering.

Whether it's Late Blight is another matter. But the above applies to most fungal spores anyway.

terracotta pots

Posted: 10/09/2015 at 15:19

You can get terra cotta pots that are - so to speak - resistant to freezing. We use them here. Cost a bit more but worth it.

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