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Latest posts by Italophile

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.

Black fly on tomato

Posted: 20/07/2013 at 15:59

The black "flies" could be flying aphids, Patricia. They're not uncommon around toms. For that matter, the green ones could be the same. Hard to know without seeing them. Either way, you could mix up an organic garlic spray or use a commercial pyrethrum spray. They work on contact so you'd need to hit the actual insects.

Cucumber Leaves

Posted: 20/07/2013 at 10:57

Overwatering can have that effect. How often are you watering?

My Passion Flower is wilting... Help!

Posted: 20/07/2013 at 08:39

bigolob, you see them here all over Tuscany. They're lovely in full bloom. I planted one but had to yank it, unfortunately. They're invasive monsters. I'm still finding it popping up two or three years later.

Santy, I think you might have been overwatering. Giving it a break from water is a good idea.

Tomato plants

Posted: 19/07/2013 at 08:27

Peta, your experience is proof positive that toms don't need to be pampered.

Tomato plants

Posted: 19/07/2013 at 08:26
Jessica Rose wrote (see)

Bit of an update for you, I have a few flowers on my tomato plants..  

how many times a day would you water the plant in this heat? 


The bottom line is water when the plants need it. The mix shouldn't be permanently damp. Don't be afraid to let the mix dry out. I don't mean leave the mix dry for three or four days, but a day without water will not hurt a tomato plant. They're immensely tough, durable critters and will produce at their best if treated as such. More tom plants are damaged by overwatering - and overfertilising - than neglect.

All sorts of factors contribute to a container watering regime. Smaller pots dry out quicker than larger ones, terra cotta dries out quicker than plastic because terra cotta "breathes". The temperature and number of hours in direct sunlight also contribute.

Dove's watering regime (two posts above) sounds about right. You'd need vastly hotter temperatures than you're currently getting to justify more watering.

My toms are in the ground. The temps have been in the mid-30s for a couple of weeks with nothing lower than 22C overnight. I water - very deeply - every four or five days.

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