ThaSaltineCracka
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Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

(please note, that I do not know why all my pictures are uploading either sideways or upside down.)

Hello. I am using a city planter planing box to grow my plants. I think I have an equal number of tomato and cucumber plants. And a lone spearmint plant in the middle of it. I have put down Jobe's organic fertilizer. The grey tarp is to prevent weed seeds from finding their way in.

A couple of the cucumber plants I think may be too close to eachother. I have taken a couple pics of those specifically to illustrate the issue. I had to pull out a plant in the corner that was withering, now I'm wondering if I can transplant one of the cucumber plants to there so that they arent so squished together.

Lastly Ive found some sort of insect on one of the leaves. Any input?
Attachments
Top down view of plants
Top down view of plants
Strange white discoloration on one of the leaves. This moslty appears on some lower leaves of cucumbers and I have pruned some of them.
Strange white discoloration on one of the leaves. This moslty appears on some lower leaves of cucumbers and I have pruned some of them.
Arial view of the plants im worried about. Both appear healthy, but the leaf im holding back covers the leaf of the right plant.
Arial view of the plants im worried about. Both appear healthy, but the leaf im holding back covers the leaf of the right plant.
Strange white stuff on side of plant.
Strange white stuff on side of plant.
Aerial view of mint plant with tomatoes surrounding it.
Aerial view of mint plant with tomatoes surrounding it.
The dual plants you see in the middle are the ones I think are too close. The hole in the tarp at the bottom left is where I want to transplant it to.
The dual plants you see in the middle are the ones I think are too close. The hole in the tarp at the bottom left is where I want to transplant it to.
Strange insect
Strange insect
Spearmint plant
Spearmint plant

ThaSaltineCracka
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

Going to bring in it garage tonight, lows are supposed to dip into the 40's.

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skiingjeff
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

Sorry, Don't know about the bug. But we've had great success using the "pickers" for our broccoli and kohlrabi!

Good luck :)

ThaSaltineCracka
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

skiingjeff wrote:Sorry, Don't know about the bug. But we've had great success using the "pickers" for our broccoli and kohlrabi!

Good luck :)
Looking to buy a couple more boxes, maybe one for peppers/herbs and one for other veggies... Where do I find dolomite??. Also I've released a few worms into the soil, hoping for them to enrich the soil.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

How big is this container? Nothing gives much sense of overall scale.

It looks like maybe 5 tomato plants, the mint, and 5 cucumber plants. Any size I can imagine for a container on a deck, that is WAY too many plants. Depends a little on what varieties. There are dwarf and "patio" varieties that would work better for that situation.

Full size tomato plants are very big plants. Grown in containers, they should have MINIMUM of a five gallon bucket sized container for one plant, better 10-15 gallons. Just to give you an idea, when planted in the ground tomato plants should have at least 30" space in every direction between them. And they will need some kind of support system, cages or stakes.

Cucumbers make big vines. To save space they can be grown up a trellis. But even trellised, there should be at least 12" between plants.

Tomato plant picture I found (those cages are probably at least 5' tall)

Image
https://www.heirloomtomatoplants.com/Kun ... nt%201.jpg
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

The white discoloration of leaves in picture two is probably just sunburn. When plants are put in to direct sun that haven't been used to it, they can get burned like that. The burned leaves won't recover, but new leaves that emerge should be fine.

The paler area on the tomato plant stems doesn't look like "white stuff" to me (like anything added on top), it looks scraped. Either you managed to accidentally scrape the stem with your trowel or something or some critter gnawed on it. It just looks like the outer "skin" layer of the stem got scraped off.
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applestar
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

I think it WOULD be a good idea to get a couple more and separate the tomatoes and cucumbers out. As rainbowgardener mentioned, You may have been a bit over optimistic about the number of plants.

Here is the instruction PDF for City Pickers: https://www.homedepot.com/catalog/pdfIma ... 18c4cb.pdf
-- it says 2-3 tomato plants so....

When combining plants, be sure to consider their nutrient and sun requirements. Tomatoes and peppers need similar nutrient balance. Herbs need more nitrogen, but so do cucumbers. Also consider how and how much they would grow and what would shade the others. But you do need to stick to recommended number of plants for best results.

Dolomitic lime should be available from most independent garden store sources as well as the big box stores. Ace Hardware would carry them too.

Good luck! I'm experimenting with some second hand DIY planters that work on the same SIP (sub irrigated planter) principle this year. Since it's going to be raining again today for the third day, I think I will concentrate on planting the containers today.... 8)

Note that some herbs prefer and have better aroma and flavor if grown a little dry. These types of herbs probably won't do as well with force fed/constant moisture of these planters, and in fact they won't need them. (Mint should be fine moisture wise, but they are perennials and will try to take over the planter -- I suspect by the end of the season, you would find stolons -- underground runners -- snaking around under the plastic cover/mulch and trying to grow out of other plants' holes....)
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skiingjeff
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

HD sells dolomite lime as "Garden Lime" in 6.75 lb bags and Agway also carry it.

I agree with Applestar and RGB, the instructions called for 8 broccoli plants in a pickers box and we only put 6 and the box is definitely FULL! We put 10 kohlrabi in the box and they are doing fine but the bulbs are getting so big they are a little crowded so probably 8 would have been perfect. :)

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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

From what I found online is thw box is 24.5 x 20.5 inches. The reason that it is sort of crowded is because when I was buying the plants I thought it was one plant with 2 different stems and not two plants. I only had the money for one box.

I should buy an organic vegetable soil for the next box. The instructions were very confusing as to what I should use, they discouraged using a lot of things that are in most bags at the store.

I ended up using miracle grow (forgive me), and am annoyed at the amount of wood chips. But I am using organic fertilizer so that helps. The boxholds 2.5 gallons of water and is a pita to move, but at least it is on wheels.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

24.5 x 20.5 inches is 502 sq inches is 3.5 sq ft. That is a very small amount of space. In general, full size tomato plants need a 2' by 2' area for one plant. You could get the 30" spacing I recommended by putting one in each of two diagonally opposite corners. Then branches will be sticking out of the box, but that's ok if you have support. Then you could have a cucumber plant in each of the other corners, with trellis for it to grow up and out of the box. Your mint plant could stay in the center, since they don't mind getting a bit shaded. And then your less than 2x2 box will be quite full.
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

I just counted and I have 7 cucumber plants and 6 tomato plants.

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applestar
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

This might be an *opportunity* to try growing some of them conventionally in regular containers without self watering, or with other automated or semi-automated watering methods and compare, OR to try building one of those SIP DYI.

There are a couple of threads here in the Container Gardening Forum with pretty detailed discussions on the Hows. I *know* I'll be posting about my experiment•experience throughout this season. :wink:
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ThaSaltineCracka
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

applestar wrote:This might be an *opportunity* to try growing some of them conventionally in regular containers without self watering, or with other automated or semi-automated watering methods and compare, OR to try building one of those SIP DYI.

There are a couple of threads here in the Container Gardening Forum with pretty detailed discussions on the Hows. I *know* I'll be posting about my experiment•experience throughout this season. :wink:
I decided to move one of the tomato plants to a seperate container to make room. It is wide and deep. And although the width at the top is the length of my hand, I hope the roots can grow down deep.

I also moved my basil plant into the main "hub" into the corner and hoping that will take.
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

That urn may become unstable and tip over. with the narrower bottom. I actually use muck buckets. They are sold as ice buckets at Walmart. When they go on sale they are less than $10. I make holes in them with a soldering iron for drainage.
They don't last a long time, about 3 or 4 years as they are not uv resistant so they get brittle, but if you don't try to move them or lean on them they can last a while longer. The hold about 18 gallons of soil. A 20 inch pot is about the same size but costs a bit more and does not necessarily last any longer. They just don't make pots the way they used to. And many pots today do not come with holes. Whisky barrels will also work. They hold enough volume and are wide enough at the base that unless you have a very strong wind, they won't easily get blown over.

With a tomato, unless you have a container variety which will only get a couple of feet long, you will need some type of trellising system. If you decide to keep it in the urn, it would be better to use a cage instead of a stake. BTW, I have a few of those urns, when it is time to replace the plants, it can be a chore to dig out the roots without breaking the pot. The narrower top makes it hard it impossible to pull the root ball out from the top without breaking it up first.
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

Are you sure that is "a" basil plant? Did you buy it that way in a pot? I'm thinking it is a bunch of little plants. They often sell them that way to make it look fuller and leafier in the pot. I think they will need to be separated.
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ThaSaltineCracka
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

Well I found this huge flower pot in the back of the shed. I had to remove all but the dirt at the very bottom because there was weeds growing. The opening at the top is like 2 ft across. And the container is knee high. Im thinking about moving 2 cucumber plants into here and putting them on opposite ends, or put ib tomato plants. Tell me what you think.

I also found in the shed 4 of these hanging plant boxes. Also tell me what you think should go into these. I also put a comparison photo.
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applestar
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

That's a gorgeous container for ONE indeterminate tomato plant. Yep -- just one.

What variety tomato plants did you get? Is there more than one variety? Let's see who can have this wonderful container. ...as mentioned before, TWO tomatoes can go in one of those City Picker boxes, maybe THREE depending on variety.

I really think you are underestimating how big they get.
Will it help to see a season of growth? Here's mine from last year. Subject: Applestar's 2014 Tomato Gardens

Among the ones I grow in the ground, I keep track of the ones that grow extra tall. You'll see towards the end -- last page or so -- a photo of variety called Cherokee Lime that grew up to the rain gutter on the single story part of the house.

You'll also see that I grow DWARF tomato varieties, but they also grow in a range of sizes. I experiment to see which kind can grow in 2-3 gallon containers. But these are rare in stores, especially big box stores.

I might be able to help you with how big they get if I know which ones you have.

...this one from 2013 might be even better since this one is mostly only tomatoes Subject: Spiral Tomato Garden
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ThaSaltineCracka
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

I believe that they are Big Boy heirloom tomatoes and Marketmore cucumbers.

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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

rainbowgardener wrote:Are you sure that is "a" basil plant? Did you buy it that way in a pot? I'm thinking it is a bunch of little plants. They often sell them that way to make it look fuller and leafier in the pot. I think they will need to be separated.
Those look like basil to me. I may be wrong, but they look exactly like mine did when they first start sprouting from seed.... except i don't like to bunch mine up that much...

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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

Yes, I wasn't questioning that it is basil,that's why the quotes around "a" basil. Maybe it should have been underline or something. I was questioning that it is one basil plant. As I said: " I'm thinking it is a bunch of little plants. They often sell them that way to make it look fuller and leafier in the pot. I think they will need to be separated."
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applestar
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

ThaSaltineCracka wrote:I believe that they are Big Boy heirloom tomatoes and Marketmore cucumbers.
Big Boy is a hybrid. This means you don't really want to save seeds from these as they don't grow true to type.

I'm seeing two different size descriptions -- do you know which source yours was from?

Bonnie Plants
https://bonnieplants.com/product/big-boy-tomato/

Big Boy Tomato

Fruit size: 16 to 32 oz
Matures: 78 days after planting
Plant size: 6 to 10 feet
Spacing: 36 inches apart
Plant type: Indeterminate
The name, Big Boy, is easy to remember and so is the flavor. This is a big, sandwich-type slicer [...]Long vines need staking, or grow the plant in a tall cage.
Burpee:
https://www.burpee.com/vegetables/tomato ... 00976.html

The fruits weigh in 10 oz. with many reaching 1 lb. or more. Healthy, indeterminate vines produce all summer long. The bountiful harvest begins about 78 days after setting plants in the garden.
Seasonality: Mid Season
Fruit Weight: 10-16 ounces
Fruit Bearing: Indeterminate
Days to Maturity: 78 days
Sun: Full Sun
Height: 48-60 inches
Sowing Method: Indoor Sow
Spread: 24-36 inches
A customer review at Burpee:
They always out grow the XL cages I have purchased from you all at Burpees. Each plant is about 4 feet wide by 4.5 feet high.
Optimum fruit size is always affected-diminished RELATIVE TO restricted container size BTW.
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ThaSaltineCracka
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

Yes, that's how they were when I bought them. I think they are Big Boy, I don't have the receipt from Hewitt's anymore to double check. I know they are Marketmore cucumbers because I kept the packet since it has extra seeds.

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applestar
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

Do you still have the pots/containers the tomatoes came in? We're they in individual pots or multi-cellpack?

Did they have label sticks?
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ThaSaltineCracka
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

The tomatoes were in a cellpack. There were 6 cells and one plant to each cell. Exept one cell had 2 plants. Same for the cucumbers. The tomatoes had label sticks. I cant find what I did with the sticks.

Ive filled up the huge pot and will transplant a tomato into there.

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applestar
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

I wanted to make sure you used a WELL DRAINING MIX. Ina large container like that, it's easy for the soil mix to get compressed and hard to drain. Best way to create well draining mix is to add larger chunks, especially in the bottom 1/2. I usually mix in larger uncomposted sticks and things (eggshells, avocado skin, seashells ...) from the compost pile and bagged composted mulch, pea gravel, etc.

don't use solid layer of gravel or cans etc. that just takes away from amount of soil the plant can use.

Sorry we should have discussed this before....
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ThaSaltineCracka
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

Well I had to use the rest of what was in the bag. I mushed up the old soil that was at the botton and added fertilizer. Then I filled to the upper third and added more fertilizer. And I just filled the rest. I used my hands to mix everything around, especially at the bottom where the soil had been sitting for 2 years or more.

Idk why someone would put road gravel and metal cans in soil... unless im thinking of something else. Lol

And I buried an end portion of a cucumber that started to get rotten and mushy.

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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

Update: over the past couple days, I placed 3 worms in the main hub (patio box) and one worm in the big pot. I also buried some expired kale that I had sitting in the fridge in all three containers. Today I went to look for some more worms to put in the big pot but could find none. Stranged since it rained this morning.

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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

Hey so I think these star things on my cucumber plants are flowers, not sure though... and new stems are regrowing out of where I had pruned the old stems to stimulate vertical growth. Should I leave it be?

I sampled a couple of my spearmint leaves and they had both stronger aromas and tastes. I attributed that to the dry days we've been having. Both today and yesterday we've had heavy rain.
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This a flower?
This a flower?

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skiingjeff
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

Yes, that's where you'll get your flowers :)

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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

Hello! Im back and have great news, all of my plants have flowers! Alot has changed in my garden. I recently removed a pine bush with my car LOL and covered the area with organic potting soil and peat moss and a couple other good things. Transplanted 3 tomatoes and two cucmber plants.

Phone is low on juice so can't type much. Question is ive only seen one bee this year, mostly seen beetles wasps and flies lol. So idk if theyve been pollinated or not. would polinate them myself but don't know which are male or females. Here are the pics. And whats the flower that looks like its growing out of a cucumber? Is it a cucumber or is it diseased?
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ThaSaltineCracka
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

More pics.
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Cucmber??
Cucmber??

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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

yeah I would say it's a cucumber. It will start getting bigger and look more like one soon

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applestar
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

Yuppers. What you have there with a baby cucumber attached to the base of the flower is the FEMALE cucumber flower. These are the ones that, when pollinated, will grow into cucumber fruits. The flowers you have been seeing on the cucumber plants, that had NO baby cukes attached were the MALE flowers. Their sole function is to produce pollen and have them transported to the female blossoms to pollinate them. usually they are open for one day only.

Wasps and flies, ants, even hummingbirds can also transfer pollen to the female blossoms. Easiest way to do this yourself is to pluck a male blossom and have it "kiss" -- face-to-face -- a female blossom.

The tomatoes are looking good! Those flowers are self pollinating. The cone shaped yellow part is called "anther cone" and produce pollen inside. Wind or bee buzzing on the blossom causes the pollen to be released and "snows" over the female part of the blossom inside or just protruding from the cone (usually inside). You can simulate the bees by touching the arching stem of the blossoms with an electric toothbrush. It is kind of fun because you will actually see pollen come right out of the anther cone. Same thing can be done with peppers and eggplants.

But I see in your windowbox, spinach, basil, and what looks like corn seedlings?
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

No corn lol. Just spinnach and basil. And in the main hub there are tons of what appear to be fruit flys crawling aroung on the soil. Its strange.

And can a cucumber plant have both male and female flowers? Or does each plant gender specific.

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applestar
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

Cucumber is a member of cucurbit family -- cucumber, squash, melon, gourd -- and normally they each have both male and female blossoms. IME typically the male blossoms start opening about a week to 10 days before female blossoms show up and open, but I have heard others have seen opposite sequence.

There are newer hybrids that grow mostly female blossoms with separate male pollinator hybrid -- I can't remember what they are called, but these are sold with a 2nd small packet of male variety seeds inside the packet of larger number of female variety seeds.... Or sometimes the two varieties are mixed in a packet and you need to plant the entire packet to be sure of planting the males. I never get this kind because I wouldn't have the room to grow that many.

There are also parthenocarpic hybrid varieties which do not need to be pollinated to develop fruits which are meant for greenhouse and hoop house culture with no insect pollinators. I have heard that these if pollinated, develop fruits that are not as good eating in some way.
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

So I managed to get a pic of one of the 50ish mini flys that cawl on the dirt in my main hub. They have wings but ive never seen them fly. Any guesses?

I also show a pic of something thats been going around from flower to flower "pollinating"I hope. Looks like baby wasp without the stinger.
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This thing...
Mini fly? Hard to get them when they aren't moving.
Mini fly? Hard to get them when they aren't moving.

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applestar
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

The "mini wasp" is a member of the Garden Patrol : Subject: SYRPHID • HOVER FLY, Garden Patrol Aphid Specialist

...I can't tell what the other one is...
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Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

How will I know when the cucumbers are successfully pollinated?

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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

The female blossom petalss will shrivel but the stem and baby cukes will not yellow and fall off -- they will continue to grow into cucumbers.
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ThaSaltineCracka
Full Member
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2015 4:03 pm
Location: Saratoga county, NY

Re: Tha Crackas first stab at a garden.

So just uploading some pics to show how I am doing. Oh and my rosemary and oregano plants have popped up.
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