zaika
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Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:31 pm
Location: Portland

A variety of questions about various plants

I'm a brand new gardener, so bear with me please!! Thank you! :lol:

Overall, I'm pleased with how easy it's been to grow most of what we planted in our community garden plot. Our strawberries grew like weeds and we got a ton of really bright red and sweet berries already. And our lettuce makes the BEST salads I have ever had. From what I hear, these are super easy to grow and I didn't have to do much with them.

First thing has to do with my bell pepper plant. It's not dead or wilting or anything like that, but it...just...isn't growing. The weather has been very wet and not as warm as it should be in June/July (although warm weather is coming), but the other plants don't seem to bothered by this. Any ideas why might be going on? I don't even know where to start in terms of figuring out what I'm doing or not doing right. lol

Second are my cucumbers. I have the regular cucumber variety (I don't remember the name...but you know...the long green kind...lol) plant and then a lemon cucumber plant. They are growing fast and I'm seeing baby fruits on them, but the not-lemon cucumber plant's leaves are being chewed on something fierce while the lemon cucumber's leaves are being left alone. They are right next to each other...so I'm not sure what might be going on there. Any ideas? It doesn't seem to be slowing it down any, so should I be concerned?

Third are my pumpkins. I got two starters, and looking back on it now, I could have done with just one. There is one that is growing like a maniac, while the other is growing more moderately. I've realized that my small plot can't just have these rude pumpkin vines growing all over the place, that they need to be managed. So how do I manage these guys? Should I make them try growing up instead of out?? Should I get rid of one of them? Or try digging them up and putting them somewhere else? I want pumpkins this year, but I would like to have some semblance of order. LOL

That's it for now. Thank you SO MUCH in advance for your patience, and hopefully some ideas about my questions. :)

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rainbowgardener
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Hi and welcome! Congratulations on starting to grow your own food; you will love it!.

Peppers really like warm, sunny weather, so probably will start to do better as your weather finally starts to warm up. The Pacific Northwest is the only part of the country that hasn't been in heat and drought! They are also heavy feeders, so be sure your soil is enriched enough. Sometimes failure to thrive is due to lack of soil fertility.

So apparently whatever is chewing on your cucumber leaves doesn't like lemon flavor. :) That's a good thing to know. Cucumbers have a huge amount of leaf surface and can easily part with some of it. So as long as it doesn't get too bad and it isn't slowing the plant down, you can probably just ignore it. But you might want to start figuring out what your pest is. One of the commoner ones would be the cucumber beetle which looks a little bit like a ladybug but yellow and striped.


Striped cucumber beetle (there are also spotted ones):

[img]https://www.hort.uconn.edu/ipm/veg/pics/Strcucbtlelg.jpg[/img]



Yeah, pumpkins take up a huge amount of room. That's why I don't grow them. They can be grown up a trellis, if you can build a VERY large sturdy trellis that can support the weight. Then you have to put the pumpkins in a sling (like from old nylons or something stretchy like that) or very soon their weight will just rip them off the vine. If it were me, especially being your first year, I'd get rid of one of them. If you think it is big now, you have no idea how big it will be by fall!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

zaika
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Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:31 pm
Location: Portland

Thank you so much for your reply!

I kinda figured lack of heat would be the problem for the bell pepper, but since the tomatos were doing so well maybe there was something wrong. I'll also make sure to fertilize it next.

I've noticed a ton of lady bugs in my garden. Do they get cucumber munchies? I've removed a lot of june bugs, ear wigs, and slugs...but not the lady bugs because they're so cute. lol

As far as the pumpkins, I think I might take your advice and remove one of them and then get a trellis going. I like the idea of a trellis and then using nylons to hold them up. At least they wouldn't be on the ground and susceptible to rot, correct? Since I can't get there every day or even every other day, this might be a great solution.

I'm all about doing and learning. It'll be sad to see one of the plant go...but at least now I know exactly what you get into with a pumpkin plant. LOL

Again, thank you so much for giving me a little direction!

cynthia_h
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Location: El Cerrito, CA

When you remove the pumpkin vine, cut it at ground level with scissors or a knife. This way, any subsurface roots that may be entwined with other plants won't be disturbed and won't disturb others as they're removed.

Ladybugs are a very beneficial insect. You want ladybugs in your garden. Very much! They eat aphids, which are a scourge in damp climates and maybe elsewhere, too (my gardening experience has been in Tampa, Atlanta, and here, so yeah aphids).

Peppers are among the most heat-loving veggies. If the warmth isn't there, fertilizer will only stress the plant, so hold off on that thought until there's sufficient warmth to make the plant happy. Otherwise, you'll probably see a flush of top growth beyond what the roots can support....uh-oh....

Happy gardening!

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

zaika
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Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:31 pm
Location: Portland

Thank you so much for the tips, Cynthia!

I was sure lady bugs were the good insects, so I'm glad they can stay. :) I don't think Portland stays as damp as the southern states can, but we definately have our fair share of the wet stuff. Since the ladybugs have stuck around since we got the plot, I'm assuming aphids are somewhere in my plot. lol

This week we're supposed to have warm and sunny weather...high 70's/low 80's. I hope it sticks around. We seem to be having the opposite problem of the rest of the country (I heard something about June being the 2nd wettest June on record for our area...sheesh). Anyway, I wonder if maybe next year, it would be better to start bell pepper indoors until the warm weather sticks around?

Thanks again!

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jal_ut
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Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Are you growing for food or fun? Pumpkins can sure produce a lot of food if you eat pumpkin. I would just let them both grow and point the vines in a way they can go. Once you get a couple of good fruit set on a vine, you can clip the growing end and terminate its advance. The pumpkins will not transplant well at this stage of the game.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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