Latest posts by Italophile

Leggy mint - help!

Posted: 07/05/2013 at 08:12

Mizzli, I know you're bothered by the flies but greenhouses get surprisingly hot inside in summer which won't help the mint. You could cook it. Traditionally, the best place for mint in a container is under a tap, protected from too much direct hot sun and kept moist by drips from the tap. Or kept moist by watering if your tap doesn't drip.

Wrapped in some fleece for extra protection, the mint should be happy in the greenhouse over winter.

Tomatoe leave have grey marks on them

Posted: 07/05/2013 at 08:03

Hard to know without seeing a photo, Nicholas. You'd need decently hot direct sun to scorch leaves. Dove is right, though. Never wet the foliage, particularly in a closed environment like a cloche. The humidity inside will lead to fungal problems.

Little elf chillies

Posted: 07/05/2013 at 08:00

Have you grown toms? You treat chillies exactly the same way. When the seedlings have a couple of true leaves, transplant them into 3" pots and give them as much light - preferably sunlight - and warmth as you can. When they're nice and sturdy, transplant them again to wherever they're going to spend their days.

Little Elf are a determinate (bush) variety so won't grow to much more than about 18". They will happily live in a 25-30cm pot. Don't overwater or overfertilise. Like toms, they thrive on controlled neglect.

Leggy mint - help!

Posted: 06/05/2013 at 11:48

Mizzli, we get the same winters here in central Italy. I've got an uninsulated summer studio/office on the terrace. In winter it becomes an uninsulated greenhouse - without a lot of natural light - for all the pots of things that need protection. I cut back the mint for winter and it copes perfectly well.

chilli plant

Posted: 06/05/2013 at 11:43


Leggy mint - help!

Posted: 05/05/2013 at 17:00

Mint doesn't mind being rootbound. Mine's been in the same average-sized pot for years. You can also cut it back pretty heavily on top too. Providing it's got decent growing conditions it will come surging back.

The little flies won't hurt the plant outside. What colour are they? White? If so, there's little you can do to get rid of them apart from swipe at them with your hand. They don't do a lot of damage unless in plague proportions.

The benefits of putting the plant outside in plenty of light far outweigh the little flies.

Mangetout seedlings: 'pinching' and dying

Posted: 05/05/2013 at 16:16

Calendula, if the problem area is at soil level might it be cutworms or similar? Have you had cutworm problems before?

Leggy mint - help!

Posted: 05/05/2013 at 12:57

I think it definitely needs more light. The legginess and pale colour indicate that it's searching desperately for light. Is there any reason why it can't go outside? Mint just needs some protection from full hot sun and to be kept moist.

best cherry tomato?

Posted: 05/05/2013 at 12:42
Salino wrote (see)

...Camp Joy... I've not heard of that one, sounds a bit unusual...



 That's probably the more common name. It's also known as Chadwick's Cherry after Alan Chadwick, the English horticulturalist who developed it. It's a red cherry on a large, regular-leaf plant. It should be much better known in the UK than it is.

best cherry tomato?

Posted: 05/05/2013 at 07:56

I've tried a lot of cherry varieties over the years. The best I've come across is an English heirloom called Camp Joy, also known as Chadwick's Cherry. If allowed it will grow into a huge plant but it's easy enough to contain. Produces masses of delicious fruit. You'll find it at several UK online seed suppliers.

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