Garden Myths - Learn the truth about gardening

Archive for the Vegetables Category

Organic Seeds – Why Buy Them?

Lots of people are looking to buy organic seeds but as a chemist this has never made any sense to me. I started asking people on social media for their reasons for selecting organic seeds over conventional seeds or heirlooms seeds. The answers clearly indicate that people don’t understand why they want organic seeds, but one valid reason did emerge.

In this post I will look at the reasons people give for buying organic seed and discuss the validity of the reasons.

Burbee organic seeds

Burbee organic seeds

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Blossom End Rot

Blossom End Rot (BER) is a disfiguration found in fruiting vegetables, like tomatoes. It also affects peppers, watermelons, egg plants and apples. This problem is usually blamed on a shortage of calcium, but this turns out to be a myth.

blossom end rot in tomatoes

Blossom end rot in tomatoes

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Nematodes and Marigolds

Companion planting is a standard recommendation for growing vegetables. One of the most commonly recommended plants for this is the marigold, which is supposed to be good for preventing various pests from eating the vegetables. I will limit the discussion in this post to using marigolds to reduce or eliminate nematodes in the garden.

nematodes and marigolds - Root knot nematodes on carrots

Root knot nematodes on carrots

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Square Foot Gardening

The idea of square foot gardening has become popular over the last few years and some of the underlying concepts of the this gardening technique make sense.

I was at an industry gardening show recently and spotted a plastic box for square foot gardening. I just started to laugh. What a silly idea!!!

square foot gardening

Square foot gardening box

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Growing Tomatoes – Should You Remove Bottom Leaves?

A local gardening group was touring a greenhouse operation that grew tomatoes. The tour guide told the visitors that they removed the lower leaves from the plants because “they robbed nutrients from the upper part of the plant that was producing fruit”. In short, removing lower leaves resulted in a better harvest. It is unclear if that means larger tomatoes or more tomatoes.

Some home gardeners remove lower leaves believing that they will get a better harvest. Others don’t bother and claim they get a good harvest without the extra effort. Who is right?

Growing Tomatoes Should You Remove Bottom Leaves

Growing Tomatoes – Should You Remove Bottom Leaves?

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