Latest posts by Italophile


Posted: 04/08/2013 at 15:33

You can freeze them though they can tend to be mushy when thawed. If you want to freeze them, cut them into pieces about an inch long, blanch for about a minute, plunge into icy water to stop them cooking. Dry them thoroughly, put them into freezer bags, suck out as much air as you can from inside the bags, seal the bags and put into the freezer.

I think they're best frozen by turning them into a soup and freezing the soup

Cutting back a cherry tree

Posted: 04/08/2013 at 11:02

Yup. Definitely. Always prune straight after fruiting. Cut out any weak or dodgy branches, branches that are crossing another one, and branches that are growing inwards towards the centre of the tree. Trim for height, too.

san marzano toms

Posted: 04/08/2013 at 10:57

Give them time, mits, they will ripen. Ripening is down to temperature rather than direct sunlight. Optimum temps for ripening are anything above low-20sC. The ones in the photos have already started to change colour so they're on the way.


Posted: 04/08/2013 at 10:55

The female flowers (that produce the cukes) aren't being properly pollinated, Jean. If they're indoors, the insects can't get to the flowers to transfer the pollen from male flowers to female flowers. You might need to pollinate by hand.

when do i pick cucumbers

Posted: 02/08/2013 at 07:15

15cm sounds like a reasonable size. If they've turned dark green and are nice and firm, harvest one and try it as a guide. Leave them too long before harvest and the seeds get too big and the cuke is coarse.

No fruit showing on Butternut Squash in polytunnel

Posted: 01/08/2013 at 16:30

My butternuts did something very unusual this year. Produced female flowers first. Never seen it before. Probably never see it again.


Posted: 01/08/2013 at 07:45

Andrew, it's worth looking at why the extensive foliage. Are you feeding the plants? If you are, and with a nitrogen-rich fertiliser, you'd be encouraging leaf growth at the expense of fruit.

Tomato leaf spots

Posted: 01/08/2013 at 07:36

It doesn't look fungal, Mike. Even if it were, with only 6 weeks left, it's not worth worrying about. With 6 weeks left, any toms that are going to ripen for you will be far enough advanced not to be compromised.


Posted: 31/07/2013 at 14:00

Daisy, curling leaves are very very common on toms. Usually nothing to worry about. What are your temps like? And how often are you watering?

No fruit showing on Butternut Squash in polytunnel

Posted: 31/07/2013 at 13:58

nickharr, male flowers always appear before the females. You just have to be patient. And, given that they're in a polytunnel, it's likely you mightn't get the amount of insect life you'll need for pollination. You could need to hand pollinate to guarantee fruit.

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