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Tabasco
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Cull or Cure Weak Plants?

When you have two plants right next to each other and one is doing great while the other is
half the size and barely surviving, do you nurse the weak one, or just rip it out?

I almost want to let pests and whatever concentrate their efforts on the weak plants,
but on the other hand, I want the weak plants out so they don't harbor issues.

And then I consider the chance that the weak plants will eventually overcome and bear fruit.

Any general guidelines would be appreciated.

valley
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Re: Cull or Cure Weak Plants?

Hi, Sometimes they come back, I'd try to help it. but if it has a disease I'd try to cure it, if its too far gone I'd pull it.

A bush, a rose or what ever, I'd try to help it. If it's a lettuce I'd pull it.

I just had a situation like that with two peppers, there both doing better now that they're moved to a new location.

Richard

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applestar
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Re: Cull or Cure Weak Plants?

Most of the time, I see one plant somehow overwhelm the other. Weakened plant becomes magnet for various disease and pest issues and can infect pass on the pests to the other especially after it has been overcome,

My feeling is that if there is plenty of time left in the growing season, best bet would be to soak the base of the plants, then holding gently but firmly pull the weaker/less valued plant sideways and basically rip it out with some form of root system still attached. Use a hand fork to assist if necessary to disentangle roots. This plant can be potted up and nursed in shadier area until sufficient root system forms to support the upper structure, then it can be planted elsewhere.

Depending on complications during the procedure, the more valued plant may suffer some root damage loss and need a week or so of recovery time.
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valley
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Re: Cull or Cure Weak Plants?

Oh! We're talking about two plants growing against each other, Yes, I'd do the same.

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applestar
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Re: Cull or Cure Weak Plants?

Note though -- 'cause I was mostly thinking about tomatoes before -- that there are some plants that are more shocked from minor root damage than others. For those, sacrificing the weaker plant by cutting it off at the soil level is necessary. (I usually think "OFF with his head!" :twisted: :kidding: )
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JosephsGarden
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Re: Cull or Cure Weak Plants?

I grow only open pollinated or promiscuously pollinated crops. Because what I am growing has a lot of genetic diversity within the varieties I usually choose to cull. I save my own seeds, so I don't want poorly adapted plants to reproduce and add to the genepool.

Here's an example of what I mean using watermelon. Planted on the same day. Treated to the same conditions but growing much differently: I notice the same thing with just about every crop that I work with. So for me it is chop, chop. CHOP!

Image

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Tabasco
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Re: Cull or Cure Weak Plants?

applestar,

So if there seems to be hope, you are quarantining, nurturing, and replanting in a different location?

JosephsGarden,

I went ballistic on some of my slimy, ailing cuke plants. Chop!
It's weird because one part of you sees the time and care you put in to each plant,
another part sees it as a potential threat to the thriving plants.

I think it's a good practice to defend against what I'll call filial degeneration.

Impatience, and frustration can be tempting, but I can see how it makes sense to keep a cool head and try to work it out.
Man, this is like a relationship :shock:

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Cull or Cure Weak Plants?

It does depend on what kind of plant you are talking about, something valuable and long-lived like a shrub, I would probably move and try to save. But for all the annual stuff, I would just get rid of it. I think the weaker one is a magnet for disease and insects. And in my yard annual stuff is a dime a dozen, since I grow them all from seed. (I just recently washed, rinsed, dried, sorted and put away 450 little pots left over from my seed starting operation!)
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feldon30
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Re: Cull or Cure Weak Plants?

What do you call a vegetable plant growing where you don't want it?

A weed.
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