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Italophile


Latest posts by Italophile

Seed companies

Posted: 23/09/2012 at 09:42

I stick with T&M for seeds I can't source here in Italy. Great range, prompt delivery, never any germination problems.

Tomato rot?

Posted: 21/09/2012 at 15:30

If it's a blight - let's call it fungal - issue, it has no devastating impact on the soil. If Late Blight, the spores don't live on in soil. If Early Blight, much more common, spores can have fallen to the soil. Turn the soil over and bury them. Buried, they're harmless. Ditto the other fungal diseases. A scrub of the greenhouse with a 1:10 bleach solution will deal with any lingering nasties.

Given reasonable precautions, reinfection from spores from the previous season is pretty rare. Most infections are new ones. Fresh spores arrive every season. They travel on the breeze. There's really no avoiding them.

Tomato rot?

Posted: 21/09/2012 at 14:58
Jammy2 wrote (see)

I agree it does look a bit like the photo of late blight. Maybe I've just been lucky - I've removed the fruit as soon as I noticed a problem.

I have used liquid tomato fertiliser - that could be the issue and would explain why its only the lower ones where I watered

Late Blight usually manifests on leaves and branches/stems before it spreads to the fruit. If it's the fruit alone that's damaged, I suspect something else has impacted.

Tomato rot?

Posted: 21/09/2012 at 14:54

Gary, both Early and Late Blight affect spuds and toms so, if the spores are around, they are going to spread.

Tomato rot?

Posted: 21/09/2012 at 12:53

Mmmmm. If it were one of the common fungal or bacterial diseases there would be symptoms elsewhere. It looks a wee bit like Late Blight -

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/11930.jpg?width=259&height=194&mode=max

- but it can't be with no other symptoms. And if it were Late Blight it would have demolished the plants within your two or three week time frame.

Any chance of it being fertiliser burn?

Nice toms, though, and I like your gap between the lowest foliage and the soil. Good housekeeping!

Tomato Ripening

Posted: 21/09/2012 at 11:14

Brandywine is one of the great toms, Maud. You couldn't have chosen better. Plus anything you sow, grow, nurture and harvest yourself always tastes better!

Tomato Ripening

Posted: 21/09/2012 at 10:51

The theory is that the banana exudes ethylene gas, a substance that hastens the ripening process. Toms actually produce their own. I tried it once, just for fun, and found it made no difference at all. Ripening is down to warmth. Optimum temps are anything above low-20sC.

Enjoy the Brandywines!

Chillies problem

Posted: 21/09/2012 at 10:45

The final colour depends on the variety, dino. Most start out green with red probably the most common end result but you can also have green, yellow, brown, whatever.

One test for maturity is the stem connection between the fruit and the plant. As the fruit nears maturity, the stem connection dries out and weakens. The fruit will come away with barely a tug. You can also feel the fruit itself. If it's hard, it's not ready. If there's some give, and you can feel some space inside - where the seeds are - it's pretty ready.

Tomato rot?

Posted: 21/09/2012 at 09:38

James, are there absolutely no signs of disease on the foliage or stems/branches?

Freezing veg

Posted: 21/09/2012 at 08:13
smada_1 wrote (see)
How do you freeze veg?

As Welshonion says, the methods vary, but just about always involve blanching in boiling water. Vegies contain enzymes that aid their maturing process. Freezing alone doesn't deactivate the enzymes and frozen raw vegies will continue to mature and (eventually) deteriorate even if at a slower rate. Blanching in boiling water effectively stuns the enzymes into inactivity meaning the veg should be - as it were - frozen in time.

After blanching, the veg has to be plunged into iced water to chill them, to stop them cooking. Then it's a matter of drying them completely, bagging them - removing as much air from the bag as you can - and freezing them, ideally as rapidly as possible.

The professionals work on an industrial scale with instant blanching, instant chilling, instant drying and snap-freezing. Home freezing doesn't produce the same results but I do it quite a lot with a more than satisfactory outcome.

 

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