22

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, squash. Similarly rotating crops can be beneficial as different crops add and remove different elements from the soil. Another strand of evidence, I have a little ...


20

Those are male flowers, so what you're experiencing (no fruit) is absolutely normal. Female flowers have a mini fruit underneath, and usually appear when the plant is a little older. Look for a miniature fruit under the flower. The shape will depend on your variety. It looks like you may already have 1 or 2. It is normal for a young squash plant of any kind (...


17

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, dairy, fats, breads, processed foods) Some scraps could carry pathogens that are unlikely to be killed during the composting process (meats, food from the ...


15

Pumpkins are easy to compost. If they were used for crafts/decoration, it's possible that they contain inorganic matter such as paint, ribbon, candle wax, plastic twine, foil, etc. Make sure all such material (if any) is removed. The seeds will survive all but the hottest compost heaps, and can be a nuisance later. I don't usually worry about it, and pull ...


15

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 understand that sugar is direct proportional with alcoolic degree in wine, and people now think that a strong wine is better then a "soft" wine. I know that Brix is ...


14

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. Since female plants are putting some energy into making seeds, they don't store as much, so they'll produce fewer spears than a male would. The crop is the ...


14

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 the pods are completely dry, and the beans are hard, you can save them for storage. If the foliage is still healthy and green, leave the pods on the plants. ...


14

"Calorically dense"? Look at fruits. Apples, brambles (raspberry/blackberry), currants, strawberries, blueberries. Pie cherries (sweet will depend on your microclimate, pie are hardier), apricots, plums. These folks think you are wrong about soy: The soybean, agriculture's jack-of-all-trades, is gaining ground across Canada. Until the mid-1970s, ...


14

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 and dark, possibly in the original sealed package is the best way to store seeds. The standard garden veggie seeds should typically1 last at least two to three ...


12

Rust is iron oxide, which does not harm plants in moderate amounts, because it is not water soluble unless the soil ph is very low. In fact, oxidized iron is what gives most red subsoils their color. Watering your plants with this water will not harm them at all. If you suppose there was nothing environmentally harmful in it before (which is NOT a good ...


12

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, contradictory opinions on this. Some folks like to stir everything up - it feels like they are doing something. I'm presently of the opinion (having done the ...


12

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't find my copy right now, but I do have a smaller, less detailed book of his on hand, and this is what he says: If you compare all of the foods we commonly ...


12

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 thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the Lord your God." King ...


11

That is a ladybug larvae - don't kill it. It is eating pests, and is a beneficial insect. Are the beetles they were found with ladybugs? that would make sense. But Mexican bean beetles and Cucumber beetles also look like ladybugs, I'll include a side by side comparison picture. From left to right, ladybug, mexican bean beetle, and cucumber beetle: From ...


11

That looks like a squash of some kind. It will probably send out runners and spread quite a bit. The fruit should be edible, but I can't really tell what it will look like. It may be more like a pumpkin (it resembles Cucurbita maxima).


11

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. herbs and some flowers, such as marigolds and sunflowers) to repel insect pests from other plants. Mix fast growing and slow growing plants, so the fast growing ...


11

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 soil is, how the specific weeds interact with your plants and each other, etc. Plants can compete with each other, produce chemicals to inhibit other plants, and ...


10

That is Early Blight, Alternaria solani. The earlier you treat, the better the control, as a strong infection will build up resistance to the fungicide. Here's what to do: Remove all leaves showing signs of early blight (yellowing, dry margin, large to small round dead spots.) Do not touch the unaffected leaves with the removed portions, or your hands ...


10

Pollination is probably the issue - the cucumber is formed behind a female flower, but if the flower does not get pollinated, then it yellows, shrivels and drops off. You haven't said whether you're growing under glass (less likely to be pollinated by insects) or not, but you can hand pollinate - take a small paintbrush, grasp the male flower (the ones ...


10

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, plenty of room between seeds, lots of air and between 40 and 55 degrees F. If you know your seeds are dry you can vacuum pack them. In two weeks plant another ...


10

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 b.nota points out extra water arrives. The fruit is already turgid, the extra water has nowhere to go but to burst the balloon. It is particularly a problem ...


10

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 day, without missing a day or two, or giving a bit less some days than others. If you don't, then the tomato, receiving a sudden influx of water, swells ...


10

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 the seeds come? (to me it seems artichokes). Other trick (on so nice garden): dig twice, with some week space between the first and the second one. Most plants ...


9

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 so I left it there thinking that it would decompose on its own. In the spring it produced 4 side shoots - each producing a very full head. I cut those off ...


9

This paper reviews toxicological data from human and animal studies regarding neem derived pesticides. I don't have access to the full paper but in the abstract it says that The non-aqueous extracts appear to be the most toxic neem-based products, with an estimated safe dose (ESD) of 0.002 and 12.5 microg/kg bw/day. Less toxic are the unprocessed ...


9

Grubs like the one you've pictured feed on plant roots. If there are a lot of them, then yes, they are doing damage. You may just not be noticing it yet. The worst part is they will eventually pupate into adult beetles, and those will work on damaging the above-ground parts of your plants. If they are Japanese Beetles (hard to say without more info but the ...


9

That is magnesium deficiency. It can also cause yellowing between leaf veins. Treat by watering Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) at a rate of 1 cup per every two gallons, with every watering until the symptoms leave. See a comparison pic:


9

It varies by type of plant and sometimes between seed sellers. It could mean from when you sow your seeds or when you transplant. Burpee is one of the seeds merchants that is pretty clear about what they mean and in general appears to follow the following pattern: When seeds are primarily directly sown in your garden the maturity date is from the time your ...


9

Your strawberry and veggie patches are almost done for the year where you live, so it seems to me it would be best to tackle them next spring. For now, I would cut down the weeds as close to the ground as possible, but not worry about getting rid of them altogether. In the spring, when the strawberries (and weeds) start coming back, you'll be able to hand ...


9

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 than rebuilding it. That is, all the nitrogen a legume has put into the soil during the growth stage, is consumed by the plant during the fruiting stage. So if ...


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