London (change)
Today 6°C / 3°C
Tomorrow 7°C / 1°C


Latest posts by Italophile

Watermelon in the UK?

Posted: 28/05/2013 at 06:48

Seeds from a bought watermelon would only be worthwhile if it were an heirloom variety. Seeds from a hybrid variety won't produce true to type.

Watermelons also need a lot of space to grow in.


Posted: 27/05/2013 at 08:25

I usually plant my sweetcorn out later than the toms.


Posted: 26/05/2013 at 19:47

They'll love you for it, Bf, and repay you!

The sweetcorn mightn't ...


Posted: 26/05/2013 at 10:24

Dang in-laws! The toms will be fine, Bf. They'll just take a little bit longer to get up to speed once they're planted out in better weather. In the meantime, do everything you can to help them along with bona fide sun and warmth.


Posted: 26/05/2013 at 10:00

Bf, put them outside during the day even if it's 10C. The sun will do them more good than the temp will harm them at this stage of their lives.

To help them along, invest in some bubble wrap. Put the pots in a crate or similar, erect props of some sort in each corner (higher than the tops of the plants) and use the bubble wrap over the top to create a mini greenhouse. It will add at least 5º to the temps inside the bubble wrap.


Posted: 26/05/2013 at 09:42

Verdun, decent soil, etc, aside, weather's really the key to a good crop. Temps from low 20sC upwards are the go. And don't pamper them. They thrive on controlled neglect.

The common fungal diseases - Early Blight, SLS, etc - don't really impact on either the quality or quantity of fruit providing sensible housekeeping is practised. Nip off the diseased leaves at the earliest opportunity, etc. With reasonale care, these common fungal problems rarely kill a plant.

Cripes, Bf, you've got a forest there! They look desperately in need of sun, too. You'd be hard pressed to dig holes deep enough to bury them down to the canopies. I'd aim for burying down to half way. Nip off the wee branches with sharp scissors, dig deeply and plant.


Posted: 26/05/2013 at 09:05

Verdun, sorry, but I never foliar feed tomatoes. Damp/wet leaves are an invitation to fungal problems. I know people do foliar feed in the mornings to let the sun dry the leaves but I wouldn't. Dry leaves and as much air circulation as possible are about the only natural aids against fungal problems.

Haven't heard of milk preventing deficiencies. Some claim milk is a guard against fungal problems. I've seen it argued that milk changes the pH of the surface of the leaf making it less comfortable for the fungal spores. But there's no scientific evidence, purely anecdotal.

artjak, toms will certainly grow without their stems being buried at planting time. The benefit of burying is the extra root structure. The stronger and more extensive the root system, the healthier the plant.


Posted: 26/05/2013 at 08:45

Good point, Verdun. Forgot about grafteds.


Posted: 26/05/2013 at 06:25

You can take off the cotyledons, Bf. Once you've got developed foliage the cotyledons have done their job. They provide the nourishment till the real leaves come along.

The deeper you bury the plants the better. All of the stem that's underground will turn into root structure. I take off all wee branches and foliage up to the canopy - the very top cluster of wee branches and foliage. Then I plant so that the canopy is virtually sitting on top of the soil. It will be off the soil within two or three days as the plant starts to grow.


Posted: 25/05/2013 at 07:39
greengardener2 wrote (see)

I have Gardener's Delight outside - but also, for the first time, something just called 'Italian Plum' tomato. Should I pinch out the side shoots of the latter or leave to grow as a bush? Anyone happen to know? Thanks

Haven't come across "Italian Plum" as the name of a variety. Sounds more like a description. San Marzano and other similiar tomatoes are "plums". What is its growth habit at the moment? Spreading like a bush variety or developing separate leaders with growing tips?

If it's a true "plum" variety it should be doing the latter as an indeterminate variety. You can nip out the side shoots.

Discussions started by Italophile

Italophile has not started any discussions