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Latest posts by Italophile


Posted: 27/04/2013 at 12:19

Nicholas, unless you've got temps of at least 15C daytime and at least 12C overnight you're pretty much wasting your time. Lower temps - within reason - won't necessarily hurt them but their development will be compromised.

1st early Potateo's

Posted: 26/04/2013 at 13:14

My first Pentland Javelins have just poked their first leaves through the soil after less than two weeks.

Broad beans

Posted: 26/04/2013 at 13:13

Meh, I've got too many other things to eat, Dove. BBs are like peas, beans, etc. They need plenty of water when they're flowering. I planted mine last November and sort of forgot about them. Went to have a look, found tons of flowers but very dry soil. A couple of good soakings and now there are pods all over the place.

Hot roof garden = dry pots!

Posted: 26/04/2013 at 13:09

Welshonion is right about the size of the pots. The colour of the pots and even what they're made of will also contribute to their capacity to retain moisture.

The darker the colour, the more heat they will absorb, the quicker they will dry out. Terra cotta pots will dry out quicker than plastic ones because the terra cotta "breathes". Plastic doesn't. I prefer terra cotta because its capacity to "breathe" is, I think, healthier for the plant inside. The downside is portability. Terra cotta pots can get mighty heavy.

I hope you weren't fertilising your lavender and rosemary, Jessica, because it's the last thing they need. They thrive on controlled neglect in very very well drained soil.


Tomato/Chilli Transplants not growing!

Posted: 26/04/2013 at 12:50

Tom, if they had true leaves when transplanted they were ready. You can even transplant at cotyledon stage if you're careful. I do. Despite the tin foil-lined box and the south-facing window, they just haven't had enough light. They might also not be warm enough.

If you have a desk lamp or similar around the place, put them under the light. Lower the light - or raise the plants - till the light is about an inch and a half above the plants. You won't burn the plants. Leave the light on for at least 12 hours a day. Watch the moisture levels in the mix because the warmth will dry things out.

Runner bean quandry

Posted: 22/04/2013 at 19:41

Welshonion got it right ...

... and you'd have to catch me first, Mummy Muddy Paws.

Runner bean quandry

Posted: 22/04/2013 at 17:40
Welshonion wrote (see)

Just checked.  Rymans sell blotting paper.

What about dip-in ink wells for my desk?

Runner bean quandry

Posted: 22/04/2013 at 10:08

See if they have any dip-in ink wells for my desk while you're there.


Posted: 22/04/2013 at 08:54

MrCP, for starters, they need well-drained soil so you'd have to dig in a lot of organic material to aid the drainage. Apart from that, they're not difficult. They like lots of sun. Here in central Italy it gets achingly hot in summer so mine are in a spot that you'd describe as part shade. They thrive.

You'll need sufficient space to provide some sort of support for the canes as they grow. Traditionally they're tied to wires strung tightly between sturdy stakes or poles. Canes can grow to 6' or more.

Pruning methods depend on whether you grow summer- or autumn-fruiting varieties.


Posted: 22/04/2013 at 08:41

Gaz, the only time I grew Jalapenos the plants grew to about 3' or 4'. Treat chillies exactly the same as you would tomatoes. As much sun and warmth as possible.

MrCP, temperature (warmth) rather than direct sunlight is the key to ripening. That said, different types ripen to different colours. It depends what you're growing. For larger types, give them a rap. A hollow sound says they're ripe. For smaller types, you should see some withering of the stem at the stem end.

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