leebug1219
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Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 4:43 am
Location: Chattanooga, TN

New Gardener, needs help

Hi. I am brand new to gardening and I decided this year to do container gardening with tomatoes, cucumbers, and strawberries. My strawberries are looking okay (they've started to bud but no fruit yet) and my tomatoes are looking okay (some fruit, not as much as I excepted and they haven't started ripening yet), but my cucumbers are worrying me. I read hat cucumbers love water and must have 6+ hours of sun so they are in a good spot and I try to keep them well watered. However, the leaves are very very droopy and look wilt-tey. They do have some blooms on them and I have gotten one full grown cucumber off it but I am worried I am doing something wrong and I don't want to kill any of my plants. I live in South East TN and the average high for the last month has been around 95 (above average for us this time of year- we usually hit our hottest in late July/August. There also hasn't been a whole lot of rain, but I water them thoroughly everyday and sometimes sprinkle some more later in the day because they are so dry. I have mulch on top of the soil to help keep the soil cool. I have included pictures at bottom. The plants I have are: better boy tomatoes; eversweet strawberries, and japanese cucumbers.
If you go to lowes.com/plants and go to the plant search you can enter L16789 for the tomatoes and L20884 for the strawberries so you can see exactly what I have. The cucumbers were bought from home depot so I don't have a look up number for them. Thanks a million.

[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v417/pxr818/DSCF0387.jpg[/img]
[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v417/pxr818/DSCF0388.jpg[/img]
[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v417/pxr818/DSCF0391.jpg[/img]
[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v417/pxr818/DSCF0390.jpg[/img]
Last edited by leebug1219 on Sat Jun 26, 2010 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Binkalette
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Location: Minnesota - zone 4a

They all look like they could benefit from larger pots. The cukes especially. What kind of potting mix are you using?

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engineeredgarden
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leebug - How many cucumbers are planted in the yellow bucket, and what size bucket is it? I grow all kinds of things in homemade self-watering containers made from buckets, and they do quite well. I'm located in Northwest Alabama - so pretty mcuh have the same climate as you.

EG

leebug1219
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Location: Chattanooga, TN

Everything is planted in 5 gallon buckets which is what I was told to use. There is only one plant per bucket. The soil I am using is the miracle gro moisture control and I use miracle gro plant food on them too.

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gixxerific
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5 gallon buckets are the absolute smallest for those kinds of veggies. I have some tomatoes in 10 gallon and even that I consider marginal. Those toms' look huge I would guess they are root bound meaning the roots and struggling in the confined space they are given. It might help to trim them up a bit. I just staked a few of my container tomatoes this morning I trimmed them up a bit while I was doing it. They were getting to big for their britches.

At least try to keep them from laying over they will eventually break at certain stem intervals. Just keep them watered and they do alright. I like to only put cherry's in buckets myself.

The cukes are really to me too big of a plant to put in a bucket of any size. They may work but they can get very large. I mean VERY LARGE. Which requires quite a bit of soil for support as well as a lot of water.

leebug1219
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Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 4:43 am
Location: Chattanooga, TN

The cucumbers were doing really really well and now I am worried because all the leaves and stems are just kind of limp. The soil is still tacky when I stick my finger in it (other words it sticks to my finger). Did I over water them? Not water them enough? Do they need to be shaded more since we are getting temps close to 100? There is some fruit on them and they seem like they are growing and we actually just picked our first one from the vine.

I have been trimming the tomatoes as I stake them more and more. They are looking pretty good and not limping or wilting.

Thanks
Elicia

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engineeredgarden
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leebug - I have about 20 different homemade self-watering containers in my garden (notice I said self-watering) that are various sizes, and planted with a variety of things, too. For cucumbers, I grow 12 plants in a 34 gallon tote, and 2 plants in a 4 gallon cat littler bucket. (They work great)
For tomatoes, I plant cherry varieties in 4 gallon cat litter buckets, and a couple of beefsteak tomatoes in 18 gallon totes. (again, they do well)
I also do melons, corn, and broccoli in them.

Usually when the plant leaves go limp, it's due to either being rootbound, or from lack of water. The reason why this happens is because it's the plant's way of protecting itself - by minimizing the surface area that is exposed to sunlight.

EG

leebug1219
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Location: Chattanooga, TN

Hi everyone thanks for all of your advice. I moved the cucumbers to where they can get some shade later in the day and trimmed away at the tomatoes. We also picked the 2nd cucumber off the vine today :)

I've taken some new pictures, if you think I need to do anything else to them to make them flourish please let me know.

https://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v417/pxr818/Plants/

Thanks,
Elicia

garden5
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They may be getting root-bound. Have a look at [url=https://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrary/010137veg.roots/010137ch29.html]this[/url]. The root system of a cucumber can get quite large.
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