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Latest posts by Italophile

Tomato dropping blossoms - overfertilized?

Posted: 11/04/2013 at 11:50

Excellent idea, figrat. Take some growing tips - they have to be growing tips - with at least three or four inches of stem, poke it into a pot of damp (but not wet) mix and keep it warm - covered by a clear plastic bag is a good idea - with plenty of decent light. It cuts a month or more out of the usual development time. I do it every year for autumn crops.

Cucumber seedlings

Posted: 09/04/2013 at 07:53

It's also very very early for cukes. They're probably the veg that need the most warmth of all.

Tumbling Tom Red

Posted: 08/04/2013 at 07:40

Beth, don't bother nipping out the tops. Tumbling Tom are a determinate (bush) variety, meaning they will limit their branch growth themselves.

Tomato seedlings

Posted: 07/04/2013 at 10:09

Dove - congrats! You're going to be a mother. You could always put them under a couple of desk lamps or similar with the globes set an inch or so above the babies. That's what I do in the absence of the real thing.

Our weather has taken a small turn for the better, temps getting up into the low teens and some sun. The babies are all outside on the terrace. They're still a bit lanky and pale after the absence of decent sun and warmth but they should recover.

Red Dahlia - you can use the seeds as soon as they're dry.

Grafted cucumber plant

Posted: 04/04/2013 at 07:58

Eddie, cukes are the veg that probably need warmth most of all. They're usually the last things I plant out. I'd be wary of moist air, particularly still moist air. That's usually a recipe for fungal disease.

Dying Rockets

Posted: 04/04/2013 at 07:54

Sorry to say it, Mizzli, but the plants are still going to be fighting each other for survival in that small pot. By my count, you've got 14 or 15 plants in there.

I appreciate your lack of space but I'd suggest a wider, shallower pot, something like this one that I'm using for some spare strawbs:

It's 40cmx15cm and much more suitable for a small crop of rocket because the plants will have the room to grow. You can get smaller versions - 30cm diameter - which would also be suitable.

Tomato seedlings

Posted: 03/04/2013 at 09:27

My only problem with Sungold is that I find them too sweet. They also tend to split.

@ Dove

Start them earlier and keep them warm!

Tomato seedlings

Posted: 02/04/2013 at 07:52

And about time, Dove!

Tomato seedlings

Posted: 01/04/2013 at 16:33

What stage are the Piccolini at now, RD? The fruit has to be starting to change colour - not necessarily ripe - for the seeds to be viable.

Tomato seedlings

Posted: 31/03/2013 at 10:25
* Red Dahlia * wrote (see)
My other half seems to be wanting to harvest seed from a picolini that he has from M&S I'm thinking he doesn't have time to do this. What do you think?

Time is the least of the problems, RD. Squeeze the seeds into a small glass jar with as much of the tom's juices as you can get. If need be, add a tsp or so of water so that the seeds are sitting in at least some liquid.

Leave in a warm place, uncovered, for a few days or until a scum/mould forms. Add water to the container, swirl it around till the scum/mould separates from the seeds, let the seeds settle to the bottom of the container and carefully drain off the liquid. Repeat the process till the seeds are clean or tip the seeds into a very fine strainer and rinse them thoroughly under a tap.

Spread the seeds out to dry (ideally) on some coffee filter paper. The seeds won't stick to coffee filer paper. They will stick to things like tissues and kitchen paper. When the seeds are dry, they're ready to use.

The only problem is that Piccolini are a hybrid variety so the resultant plants won't produce fruit true to type. Still, it could be interesting to see what you will get.

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