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Garden Chat
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Author:  RandiJM [ Thu Jun 23, 2016 4:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Garden Chat

Oh thanks! I am going to drill holes (need to borrow a drill)! How do I compost the dead plants? Can I just mix them into the soil? I need a remedial class.
Is there anything that is foolproof I should plant? We have room for more containers. Should I start from seeds or continue with the little starter plants?

Author:  amonik [ Fri Jun 24, 2016 3:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Garden Chat

What I did on my balcony was 1) put a couple inches of pebbles or leca (english?) in the bottom of the pot, and 2) use saucers. That way, even if water stays in the saucer, the roots of the plant will usually be ok. I had to use saucers to avoid spilling water on my neighbours' balcony, I don't know if that's a concern for you. Now that I have a patio, I don't use them.

Author:  Jill [ Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Garden Chat

RandiJM wrote:
Oh thanks! I am going to drill holes (need to borrow a drill)! How do I compost the dead plants? Can I just mix them into the soil? I need a remedial class.
Is there anything that is foolproof I should plant? We have room for more containers. Should I start from seeds or continue with the little starter plants?


First, you do need drainage and drainage holes, but were your plants sitting in water/soupy soil or did something else kill them? Some plants, like cucumbers and squash (courgettes) do not like root disturbance, so if you roughed up the roots excessively as you were planting, that could kill them. And other times you can water and miss newly planted root balls (it takes time for them to send their roots out into the new soil) and the roots can be bone dry while the soil in the rest of the pot is sodden. Or too much nitrogen fertilizer could have burned them.

If there's enough soil, you can chop up the dead plants and work them in to compost in place. What are you wanting to grow and what are your light conditions? You'll get faster plants from starts over seeds, and some veggies won't ripen this late from seed. You can check out great gardening books from libraries and also look growing conditions, etc. for what you want to grow online. And then continue to ask questions here too. Good luck!

Author:  zwingtip [ Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Garden Chat

SOS PPK, I have an area of expertise and gardening isn't it. Earlier this season I very excitedly bought some tomato plants (all indeterminate) and planted them in a raised bed. I pinched off the suckers religiously, set up a timed soaker hose so they get even watering, and fertilized the soil. They were about a foot tall and everything was awesome. Then I went away for 10 days, assuming that they would continue growing at the expected rate and when I got back I would tie them to their stakes. I came back to this:

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The side branches have taken over and now I have tomato bushes instead of nice orderly vines (except for the San Marzanos. Those are behaving). What do? Can I safely lop off the side branches? One of them is growing a tomato already. How do I even know which branch is the main stem? I do not have space for them to be so spread out.

Author:  Jill [ Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Garden Chat

I never have much luck with side shoots either - they are persistent! So I start out pinching or clipping them off, but once they get away from me I usually just leave them. I grow in cages rather than single stakes though.

The main stem will still be a lot thicker than the others, so you can still prune them out, but you may be sacrificing overall growth/tomatoes at this point.

Author:  caterpillar [ Sat Jul 02, 2016 12:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Garden Chat

zwingtip wrote:
SOS PPK, I have an area of expertise and gardening isn't it.

My area of expertise is tomatoes but I still don't have any advice. Maybe cut the tops off the side branches so they stop growing, but I think taking them all completely out now would be pretty stressful for the plant. Unless it's a cherry variety I don't think you've got enough leaf to support the amount of fruit that has set, so maybe take off anything small and just keep the best tomatoes? Or umm, just let it do it's thing and try again next year? :P

Author:  electric_claire [ Sat Jul 02, 2016 10:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Garden Chat

I have had the best tomato crops- as in the biggest, tastiest individual tomatoes, not necessarily the highest number of tomatoes- when I've been ruthless with pruning it back, because then the plant can put more energy/sugar into the fruits vs. into continuing to grow leaves. Pruning off excess leaves will also help the plants be well ventilated and reduce your chance of mildew and diseases. I have definitely cut off parts that have flowers and even little baby tomatoes. I say go for it! Or maybe pick some plants to experiment with cutting back, and leave others, and see how it affects production for you. I would try to identify the main stem, tie that part where you want it (I like to use twist ties so that I can loosen them as the stem grows, if needed, so they don't get strangled later on in the season) and then cut back one branch anywhere where there are two growing out of the stem at the same place, and also just try to be strategic so that there is good airflow. You also want to keep leaves above flower clusters to shade the fruit from sunburn. When pruning bigger suckers, use a sharp knife or even better pruning shears, and it's a good idea to disinfect the blade first/between plants, particularly if you have some that are showing any signs of disease since going from an infected plant to an uninfected plant would be a great way to infect that second plant.

It really doesn't have to be an exact science, though, so I would say go for it and see what happens! I was so nervous the first time I pruned my tomatoes but now I enjoy doing it.

Author:  RandiJM [ Sun Jul 03, 2016 8:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Garden Chat

Thanks for your help people! Out of the dozen or so starters we planted a few of them are actually viable still, so that is...okay! The ones that were in the planters that super-drowned I don't think can be salvaged so we have to start over with new ones. Where to dump all the water is another issue because there's no way we can carry it through the house. Maybe a 2am dumping off the balcony is in order...

Author:  amonik [ Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Garden Chat

I went to an open garden event today (tusen trädgårdar). I only went to one garden because kids, but it was so beautiful! It had edible things, fragrant and beautiful flowers, lots of herbs, a cozy covered patio, and trees. The kind of place I dream of! And it was small, maybe a little larger than our garden but not much.

Author:  zwingtip [ Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Garden Chat

Thanks for the advice!

I've tied up the plants as best as I can. I 3x 3 varieties, so I'm not too worried about losing yield. I pruned one of each type pretty aggressively and will see how they hold up. If they do, I may prune the others as well. They're all very suddenly starting to fruit. I guess having a week of 90 degree weather will do that.

Author:  jordanpattern [ Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Garden Chat

I missed the boat on pruning my tomatoes. I planted them 4 weeks ago and wasn't expecting them to go as crazy as they did. I finally got out to my community garden plot to stake them yesterday, and I intended to prune them, but they were so wild that I mostly just left them and just removed anything that was touching the ground. Next year, I'll be much more proactive, though as it stands now, I don't think I'm going to have any shortage of tomatoes.

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Author:  Mars [ Tue Jul 12, 2016 2:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Garden Chat

RandiJM - I know it's probably a bit late, but - one thing I find in regards to seeds vs. starts is that starts are better for your bigger, more summery crops (tomatoes/eggplant/zucchini/melons/cukes, etc), but seeds are better for your smaller, leafy things (any greens/peas/wildflowers).

I would say in my experience as a Very Lazy Gardener - the best tip I can give people is to definitely leave some fruit/seedpods on the plant once the season is over and let it rot into the soil. Then keep that pot and soil sitting out over winter and next year it will likely volunteer itself (grow on it's own without you having placed the seed). For me, volunteer plants are always way easier to grow (needing less water, etc), and produce way more fruit.

Author:  Greatta [ Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Garden Chat

Hello! I just started practicing gardering. I want to prepare my garden to spring and planting. I know that I need to install automatic watering of plants, I found here inexpensiven http://www.discounttrader.com.au/, is it good? What I need tools for the garden? the blades will be enough? How to choose the compost? What plants are easier to grow for newbie? Thanks for the tips! I watched the information on the Internet, but there are different opinions.

Author:  Morgyn [ Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Garden Chat

I've just planted broccoli, kale and parsley seeds! :) The last lot of seeds I planted (lettuces) died, I think because I planted the seeds too deep and watered them too much, so I've corrected those mistakes this time around. Wish me luck!

Author:  Morgyn [ Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Garden Chat

I think my asparagus crown is finally sending up shoots! It's hard to tell, because they're very tiny and could just be blades of grass, but they're slightly fatter at the top (as asparagus is), so I'm hopeful.

Author:  Moon [ Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Garden Chat

We have had such a weird summer - lots of rain and heat has been hit or miss. So far I have been able to get one head of lettuce and three cherry tomatoes out of the garden. That's it. Le sigh.

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