21 votes

How true is the idea that weeding your vegetable garden is necessary?

The stealing nutrients narrative is, in the general case, true. There are certain plant combinations which work well together, a classic example being "the 3 sisters" of corn, beans, and, ...
davidgo's user avatar
  • 4,073
18 votes
Accepted

How do cucumbers happen? What does "very poorly pollinated cucumber" mean exactly? How can pollination be "uneven"?

It's not so much the number of ovules that are pollinated, it's WHEN the bees visit that determines successful pollination. This is from the Missouri Botanical Garden: Weather conditions are key ...
Jurp's user avatar
  • 19.2k
16 votes
Accepted

Do's and Don't's for a backyard compost?

I think in general, most people stick to using produce scraps, tea leaves and coffee grounds for their pile. There are a few concerns with other types of scraps: Some scraps will attract vermin (meat,...
michelle's user avatar
  • 9,484
15 votes
Accepted

Can I save broad bean seeds before they're dry?

Once the foliage dies back, the beans are mature, but must be dried. If you can't or don't want to dry them on the stalk, pull or cut the stems and hang them by the bases in a dry, airy place. Once ...
J. Musser's user avatar
  • 51.7k
15 votes

What is brix, and should I care?

Brix is a measurement of sugar in liquid foods. I check Brix degree to sell my grapes. They pay me pro Brix/Kilo (with some maximal limit of Brix, and maximal Kilo per square meter). For wine I ...
Giacomo Catenazzi's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between male and female asparagus plants, and is it important for growing?

Male asparagus plants don't produce seeds; female plants do. With asparagus, you need to allow some stalks to grow fully over the growing season in order to provide energy for next year's growth. ...
Niall C.'s user avatar
  • 7,209
14 votes
Accepted

Calorically dense crops that can be grown in southern Ontario, Canada?

"Calorically dense"? Look at fruits. Apples, brambles (raspberry/blackberry), currants, strawberries, blueberries. Pie cherries (sweet will depend on your microclimate, pie are hardier), apricots, ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 23.8k
14 votes

Do vegetable seeds have a shelf life?

Yes, all seeds have an average "life span", but the length varies between species and is greatly influenced by storage conditions like temperature, humidity and light. As a rule of thumb, dry, cool ...
Stephie's user avatar
  • 16.3k
12 votes
Accepted

How often should I loosen soil?

Once, and then don't walk on it. Since you are starting with raised beds, which presumably have not been walked on since they were made, I'd not get overly concerned about it. There are, to be sure, ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 23.8k
12 votes

Calorically dense crops that can be grown in southern Ontario, Canada?

Are you familiar with John Jeavons? If not, I highly recommend checking him out. I think his "How to Grow More Vegetables" is still the best resource for this type of information. Unfortunately, I can'...
michelle's user avatar
  • 9,484
12 votes
Accepted

What is it called when picking the produce the farmers are not collecting?

This activity is called "gleaning". A word you will find in the Bible. For example, "And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when ...
Lorel C.'s user avatar
  • 3,619
11 votes
Accepted

What exactly term 'companion plants' means?

There are some general principles to this, for example Use tall plants to create shade to help stop smaller plants from bolting to seed (e.g. sweet corn + spinach) Use plants with strong scent (e.g. ...
alephzero's user avatar
  • 11.4k
11 votes

How true is the idea that weeding your vegetable garden is necessary?

It really depends on what you're growing, how you're growing it, what you expect from your garden, how big the weeds are, how close they are to your plant, how many weeds there are, how fertile your ...
Brōtsyorfuzthrāx's user avatar
10 votes

Does cauliflower produce secondary growth after the main harvest?

Maybe we should rethink the way we garden! I, too cut the main head off that was huge on my fall cauliflower. But it had been planted next to a new fruit tree and I did not want to disturb the roots ...
user14324's user avatar
  • 101
10 votes
Accepted

What to do with 250 seeds!

Seed lasts quite a while. It is said at least 30 percent of your seed is non viable the next year but I've seen maybe 10 percent or really normal germination. Keep your excess seed in the dark, ...
stormy's user avatar
  • 40.3k
10 votes
Accepted

Why do my Cherry tomatoes split as they ripen?

Small fruiting tomatoes tend to be a lot juicier (that is ratio of meaty pulp to juice) than medium or large fruiting. Tomato produces a skin of a certain size for the number of fruits it has, then as ...
Colin Beckingham's user avatar
10 votes

Why do my Cherry tomatoes split as they ripen?

There are two main causes of fruit split - the first is irregular watering. Once tomatoes have fruitlets, and especially as they start to get bigger and ripen, its critical to water sufficiently every ...
Bamboo's user avatar
  • 133k
10 votes
Accepted

What should I use to get rid of some kind of weed in my onions

To me, it seems a easy job (and quicker) to do it by hand: not many and large plants. Not many small and new one, so it seems there are not many seeds around. Do you know what plant it is? Where do ...
Giacomo Catenazzi's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Managing Cover Crops

An important thing that many people miss is that if a cover crop produces fruit and seed (beans in your case) it is no longer a cover crop or green manure, but a crop, which depletes the soil rather ...
Richard Grevers's user avatar
9 votes

Rollie pollies - are they harmful to vegetables?

The wood at the bottom of the bed looks pretty dark in comparison to the rest of the side. It's most likely that the woodlice are feeding off a decaying box, rather than anything in the bed. They'll ...
Nic's user avatar
  • 1,043
9 votes

Concerned about slow growth of my seedlings

I'm by no means an expert, however I am pretty sure that, at least for Zucchini, Cucumber and peppers 1% more light = 1% more growth. Thus in order to increase growth, maybe you should start moving ...
davidgo's user avatar
  • 4,073
9 votes

Is it okay to grow root vegetables in soil enriched by manure?

There are two possible problems that could come from using manure on root vegetables, one of which only applies to fresh manure and the other is more applicable to fresh manure also. The first, and ...
GardenerJ's user avatar
  • 5,879
9 votes

Is it okay to grow root vegetables in soil enriched by manure?

There is a big difference between manure from ruminants (e.g. cows) and non-ruminants (e.g. horses, chickens, etc). Non-ruminant herbivores produce poo which is relatively bulky and contains a lot ...
alephzero's user avatar
  • 11.4k
9 votes

My transplanted seedlings are all dying!

Lesson the first - plant more than you need, and hold some in reserve. If everything goes well, you have plants to give away. If things go wrong, you have spare plants. The transition from indoors, ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 23.8k
9 votes

Does keeping lettuce seeds in an open package affect their viability?

Yes, this will affect the seeds' viability but depending on your climate, it may not be enough to worry you. In general, lettuce seeds last about 2-5 years. If your climate is hot and humid, the ...
michelle's user avatar
  • 9,484
9 votes
Accepted

What are the best garden uses for 5 gallons of used coffee beans?

We get 30 litres of coffee grounds once a month from the local deli. We're on a list of people who take the stuff to stop it going into landfill. It just goes straight into our compost pile. Newly ...
Graham Chiu's user avatar
  • 23.3k
9 votes

What are these abnormal tomatoes on my tomato plant?

This looks like blossom end rot. Here is another source of info. According to the second link, which is from Clemson University: After tomatoes are planted, gardeners can minimize the potential ...
That Idiot's user avatar
  • 7,039
9 votes

Is there anything wrong with letting cucumbers get large?

I have heard that letting them get too large makes them sour/bitter. According to: https://bonnieplants.com/growing/growing-cucumbers/ They say, "Don’t let the cucumbers get oversized or they will ...
Eli Wiel's user avatar
  • 111
9 votes

Is there anything wrong with letting cucumbers get large?

No, there isn't. Providing you check them for flavor and make sure they haven't aged too far. At about 2 inches diameter. Larger than that and you'll start noticing flavor change and flesh hardening ...
Fiasco Labs's user avatar
  • 3,953
9 votes
Accepted

How do I grow Wasabi?

Contrary to what you often see, Wasabi can be grown in moist, but not submerged, soil. You'll do best starting with fresh, viable seeds. Here's a few points on preferred conditions in soil growing (...
J. Musser's user avatar
  • 51.7k

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