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Vegetable plants want hep

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Vegetable plants want hep

Postby Kenyd » Jun 27, 2012 4:50 pm

Wow! Do I have a bunch of questions to ask. If anyone can give me advice on any or all of these questions, that would be great!

Ok, I live in Toronto, Canada; I believe zone 5 or 6.  I have about a 400 square foot garden.  It only gets direct sunlight for maybe 6 hours a day (9am - 3pm).  The soil is fresh triple mix this year covered by 2" of black mulch.  I water it daily, weed weekly and Miracle Grow liquid every 2 weeks. So I would call it partial sun moist soil conditions.  I have no idea about pH.  Mostly deciduous leaves getting blown in, but some pine needles make it in on a very windy day.  Everything is going crazy this year and it looks like a bumper crop. I would add pictures as I'm so proud but I'm quite computer illiterate.  Here are my questions,

1) My tomatoes (plum, beefsteak and cherry) are 4' high now, when do I start cutting suckers?  I've never had them grow so tall so fast. 

2) My potatoes are about 3-4' tall already and the plants have fallen over. What do I do with the flowers? Cut them off or leave them alone?  Do I leave the tops alone or cut them by maybe half?

3) Something is eating holes into my sweet yellow banana peppers, ghost pepper and bush bean leaves.  What could it be? What should I do?  No pictures but any suggestions are great. 

4) This spring, I had onions pop up in April. I assume they were from last years "dormant" seeds. They are now over 2' tall and falling over.  The tops are incredibly thick.  It appears the bulbs aren't growing, just the tops. What do I do?  Cut the flowers off?  Just harvest the tops now?  I'm confused on this one. 

Carrots, beets, cabbage, peas, beans and herbs are all ok. Btw, everything from seed this year. I'm so proud of them all!

Thanks in advance,
Ken
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Re: Vegetable plants want hep

Postby Dumbo » Jun 27, 2012 5:16 pm

Thumbs up.

Yup same here. I have people telling me they have never seen tomato plants this big. Everything is huge.

Kenyd wrote:1) My tomatoes (plum, beefsteak and cherry) are 4' high now, when do I start cutting suckers? I've never had them grow so tall so fast.

There are two camps on this one:
1) the get rid of the sucker crowd
2) the don't get rid of the sucker crowd who say they are beneficial to the plant.

I never remove suckers. I didn't notice any when I planted mine in the garden, or I would have tried it this year. But now that they are planted I don't touch them.

Suckers should be gotten rid of when they are small. No clue if you should cut off large suckers...

Kenyd wrote:3) Something is eating holes into my sweet yellow banana peppers, ghost pepper and bush bean leaves. What could it be? What should I do?


Different camps on this as well.
Some people spray an insecticide (one made for food plants)

Some leave it be if the plant is out-pacing the amount being eaten.

Some do companion planting (or whatever it's called), putting certain types of flowers around the garden plants to lure the bug to that instead of the veggie's. This is what I did this year. Aside from the odd hole here and there in my veggie I have no issues.

The flowers, however, are eaten up a lot. So this companion thing I think works wonders to lure bugs away. Flowers are all half price this time of year (or less). Maybe ask some people what type you should get that would work. I'm not a flower person and I forget the names of the ones I put in.
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Re: Vegetable plants want hep

Postby Kenyd » Jun 27, 2012 8:42 pm

Thamms Dumbo.

If you' big and strong with suckers, I'll leave them on and just removethem in the fall for quick on the vine ripening. You've had success with compaion flowers so I'll give it a try. Time to take pictures on my cell phone and take it to the garden center. If the flowers get eaten, I don't care. I'm growing veggies and don't care about pink, red, and yellow flowers around all my green leaves anyway.

Anybody with any other ideas?
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Re: Vegetable plants want hep

Postby Dumbo » Jun 27, 2012 10:11 pm

Still have the empty flowers packets. This is what I have around the garden:

Marigolds (3 different types)

Catnip attacks the neighbourhood cats and they nailed a few voles so far leaving them at my door as presents :/ It also deters something else, but I forget what it is now.

Zinnia's.

And finally Asters.

All the flowers I planted are eaten half to death. Brings in the bee's and makes things look a little pretty (but not much since they are half eaten and doing their job). :)

Some known to work that I didn't try yet:
-Nasturtiums
-sunflowers
-Mint (the herb)
-Lupin (this i have but didn't use since I read cats who chew on it will likely die from poisoning. My cat tastes every plant)
-And I think someone mentioned wild flowers to bring in the pollinators and maybe the predator wasps that will feed on the bugs eating at your garden.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_c ... ts#Flowers for a summary

Maybe someone else will answer your remaining questions.
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Re: Vegetable plants want hep

Postby Dumbo » Jun 27, 2012 10:39 pm

In regards to the suckers I found this (it's about 5 pages long)

Pruning Tomatoes
http://www.finegardening.com/how-to/art ... atoes.aspx

Per this article, if your sucker branch is big, they say to use the "Missouri pruning" method.

Seems there are two types of pruning:
1. When the sucker is small, pinch it off in it's entirety.
2. If it is large pinch it off leaving the last two leafs from the sucker (this is called "Missouri pruning")
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Re: Vegetable plants want hep

Postby Kenyd » Jun 30, 2012 6:43 pm

Thanks everyone. Let's see how it goes.
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Re: Vegetable plants want hep

Postby Heidi S » Jun 30, 2012 9:24 pm

Ken,

I grow my tomatoes in planters in a smaller greenhouse, so I do prune the suckers. In my world these are the little stems that grown in between the big leaves and the main stem. I nip them off with my fingers as I am only promoting a single strong stem tied to a bamboo stake. This helps me keep the plants within their boundaries. These are the 'Indeterminant' varieties. Determinant varieties need no staking, and don't tend to sprawl (like bush and patio types).

If you have lots of space, let 'm sucker and sprawl.
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Re: Vegetable plants want hep

Postby Heidi S » Jun 30, 2012 9:31 pm

Ken on the topic of potatoes, my dear old Oma (german Grandma) who grew copious kilos of spuds in her 88 years on this earth, would tell you - just let the potato plants tell you what they are doing. They flower because they do, leave them alone. But this is a cue to look for fresh new nuggets that can be dug up from the sides of the plants, without disturbing the main crop. Apparently the flowers are a sign the first tubers are starting to form. Flopping stems isn't a huge problem, other than a sign of vigorous growth - perhaps too much fertilizer or too much nitrogen. cut back if still feeding.

The plants will tell you when they are ready for harvesting - the stems and leaves will yellow and wither down. This will be the time to lift them for drying to get ready for storage - just keep them out of sunlight or they will go green.
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