22 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, ...
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  • 3,396
20 votes
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Why are the blooms dropping off my zucchini without fruiting?

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 ...
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  • 51.5k
17 votes
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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,...
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  • 9,414
15 votes
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Is it possible to recycle a Jack-o'-lantern into compost?

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 ...
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  • 51.5k
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 ...
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14 votes
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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. ...
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  • 7,159
14 votes
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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 ...
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  • 51.5k
14 votes
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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, ...
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  • 18k
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 ...
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  • 15.5k
12 votes
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Is rust from a steel rainwater barrel harmful to edible plants?

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. ...
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  • 51.5k
12 votes
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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, ...
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  • 18k
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'...
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  • 9,414
12 votes
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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 ...
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  • 3,639
11 votes
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What is this little insect larvae on my cucumbers?

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 ...
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  • 51.5k
11 votes

What is this large plant that came up when I turned my soil?

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 ...
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  • 51.5k
11 votes
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Why did my young cucumbers turn yellow and fall off?

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 ...
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  • 128k
11 votes
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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. ...
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  • 11.2k
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 ...
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10 votes

Sudden Outbreak of Yellow Leaves on Tomato (and Other) Plants

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 ...
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  • 51.5k
10 votes
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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, ...
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  • 39.8k
10 votes
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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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 128k
10 votes
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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 ...
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9 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 ...
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9 votes
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What to do about grubs in vegetable garden and potted tree?

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 ...
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  • 7,707
9 votes
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What is causing the leaves to develop brownish patches between the veins on my tomato plant?

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 ...
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  • 51.5k
9 votes
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Is "Days to Harvest" measured from planting date or sprouting date?

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 ...
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9 votes
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What is the safest weed killer to use around a toddler?

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 ...
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  • 9,414
9 votes
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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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 1,023

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