noz03
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What to do with last years plants? (tomatos, herbs, etc.)

Sorry I am a complete newbie to gardening, please be patient with me :)

Last year was the first time I planted a few tomato plants, some basil and a few daisy plants. Of course they all died over the winter and am now wondering what to do. First problem, they are all in huge non-movable troughs on my balcony and digging them out would be difficult without making a mess, second problem is there seems to be little white balls of fungus around some of the troughs.

Lastly I'd like to ask... With the herbs and daisys would they not start to grow again naturally? Or do I need to plant new ones from scratch?

Tomatos:
Image
Basil:
Image
Daisies:
Image

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jal_ut
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Re: What to do with last years plants? (tomatos, herbs, etc.

Tomatoes are gone. Pull out what's left and plant some new ones. The lil white balls...... just take a putty knife and scrape them off and toss in the trash. Herbs and Daisies? Some types may overwinter. About all you can do is look and see if they look alive. If they have some green showing, let them grow. If not pull and replace.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/- Plant a Garden

noz03
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Re: What to do with last years plants? (tomatos, herbs, etc.

jal_ut wrote:Tomatoes are gone. Pull out what's left and plant some new ones. The lil white balls...... just take a putty knife and scrape them off and toss in the trash. Herbs and Daisies? Some types may overwinter. About all you can do is look and see if they look alive. If they have some green showing, let them grow. If not pull and replace.
Hmm, well the basil looks pretty dead, it started to turn to wood (is there a proper name for that?:)) even long before winter set in. With the daisies.... I donno, there is a tiny bit of green in them. They didn't fully die till the weather really froze (it gets down to -10 here at night in winter). I was kind of hoping I just need to cut the plant off and the roots would resprout. I guess that was wishful thinking though?

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applestar
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Re: What to do with last years plants? (tomatos, herbs, etc.

Most basil are annuals and they are cold sensitive so yeah definitely gone. Daisies -- what were they? Many kinds of flowers might be called daisies -10 as in -10°C is 14°F so that is pretty cold. There are perennial plants herbs that would survive that, but not basil.

After winter, most of the fine roots are dead and tomatoes should come up easily just by twisting the top and pulling up the thicker roots near the base of the stem. If you can't dig out all of the roots, it's generally better to plant something other than solanacea (tomatoes, peppers, eggplants) in the same containers this year. But I consider the remaining roots organic matter for the potting mix.

To prep, what I might do is (lay down something underneath to catch debris -- usually flattened potting mix and mulch bags -- and) dig out vertical shafts (maybe with bulb planter) and fill them with good compost mixed with perlite, organic fertilizer, and possibly dolomitic lime and shredded or fine bark mulch. i would then use a gardening hand fork to loosen the soil mix and blend.
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Gary350
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Re: What to do with last years plants? (tomatos, herbs, etc.

Burn the dead plants, ash is good fertilizer.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: What to do with last years plants? (tomatos, herbs, etc.

Or compost them or trash them.

One of the first thing you need to learn is the difference between annuals and perennials. Annuals are plants that are genetically programmed to sprout, grow, bloom, set seed, and die all in one growing season. Then in nature, their seeds would rest in the ground over the winter and sprout the next spring. So they may come back from seed (called self-seeding), but the original plant died at the end of the season or when it had finished setting seed. Tomatoes and basil are both annuals. And neither of them self-seeds very much for me. Since I compost everything, I often get volunteer tomato plants where I put my compost down. Basil doesn't even do that.

Perennials are long lived plants (some longer than others, there are short-lived perennials like delphinium that are usually done after a few seasons and long-lived ones like peonies that may keep coming back for fifty years or more). In cold winter areas, the perennials usually die back to the ground, maybe leaving some basal leaves at ground level. Then in spring they automatically come back from the roots and send up new stems. Your daisies might be perennial.

After you pull the dead stuff out of your containers, you will need to fill them back up with fresh potting soil. Best wishes starting your 2017 garden!
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