Friday, 1 June 2007


Wednesdays, 7.30 SBS

I have just discovered this show where this Greek/ Australian bloke goes around to various European home gardens in Melbourne and checks out what and how they grow vegies. It is, on the one hand, hilarious and on the other so informative. The website is also worth a look. Here is an extract from one show :

........His Napoli tomatoes are grown with two leaders to a height of 5½ feet tall. Leaves are removed from the leaders to stop diseases occurring; this also helps to direct all nutrients to the top of the plant where it's needed for the new growth. The canopy of tomatoes extends over a homemade pergola constructed of galvanised piping. The tomatoes are cleared of any leaves at the bottom of the canopy so that full sun can be absorbed into the leaders and there is a continuous flow of air around the stems, enabling them to breathe. There are just enough leaves left on top of the canopy to protect the tomatoes from frost and scorching sun. Napoli tomatoes are normally grown in spring to summer and require warm to temperate climate conditions. But Cosimo shows that he still has tomatoes growing in Melbourne’s late autumn climate conditions. Tomatoes thrive in a light organic soil, but Cosimo’s garden consists of clay soil, which is heavy, and this is why he must rake the soil to air the roots and remove weeds regularly. For a canopy like Cosimo’s, allow two leaders to develop into a bushy plant. Harvest the tomatoes and remove new leaders and leaves. Tie back the main leaders to a pole or a pergola. Repeat this process until the leaders reach a height of two metres. Allow the tomatoes to branch out over the pergola or canopy. (This is the interesting bit and I am going to try it this summer)

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