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Is this where I ask rookie questions?

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Is this where I ask rookie questions?

Post  ncst8guy on 4/27/2012, 2:12 pm

This will be my first ever summer trying to grow stuff. I've read the ansfg book, but can't recall some specifics.

For starters, we have planted some pepper seedlings, along with some eggplant. Neither of these are along the trellis. Will we need to get a cage support for these plants before too long?

Also, when using a vine tomato on the trellis, am I supposed to trim the lower branches? Or just the ones that grow out of the "armpit"?

Also, I still have some empty squares for the summer. We have the usual summer stuff, peppers, cukes, maters, zucchini in the ground. Is there anything that isn't bushy or needs a trellis y'all wouldn't be without?

This whole system is very very simple, but I could burn water if I was left alone with it long enough.

I can't get a confirmed answer from anyone, and we are the only ones we know personally even trying this sfg system. Our goal is to impress the many doubters who said this wouldn't work lol.

Thanks for the advice!!!

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Re: Is this where I ask rookie questions?

Post  quiltbea on 4/27/2012, 2:32 pm

There's always the herbs no kitchen can be without; basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, tarragon, chives and whatever you like best. Just think of walking a few feet from your doorway and cutting fresh herbs to add to your supper. Mmmmm, good.

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Re: Is this where I ask rookie questions?

Post  littlesapphire on 4/27/2012, 2:43 pm

I don't know about eggplants because I have yet to grow them, but I've noticed that my peppers usually need some kind of stake late in the season to keep them from toppling down. Just something tall and sturdy to tie them to, really.

As for tomatoes, keeping them pruned helps prevent disease and pests. My suggestion is to trim enough of the leafy parts off to let there be some airflow. Make sure not to snip any tomatoes off! I've seen people who trim off all the leaves that are below the flowers, and keep doing that as you harvest the tomatoes. But really I just clip things until it looks like the plants have room to breathe again.

As for suggestions for what to grow, carrots are easy, as are lettuce! You could try some bush beans, and tie a string around them if they get too bushy. Radishes are easy, and if it's not too late for your region, so are onions.

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Re: Is this where I ask rookie questions?

Post  H_TX_2 on 4/27/2012, 2:48 pm

I don't use a cage for my peppers. I use a bamboo pole about 4 feet long and drive that into the ground and tie the pepper plant to it as it grows.

I would go with rosemary and basil for the empty squares as they are easy to grow and easy to use in the kitchen. You can also add something like marigolds as they are supposed so help repel some pests and nematodes.

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Re: Is this where I ask rookie questions?

Post  givvmistamps on 4/27/2012, 5:53 pm

I haven't grown eggplant either since we're not fans of it (I've only had one eggplant dish I ever liked) but what I've read says you can stake it just like you would a pepper plant. The bamboo is a good, cheap way to get something for now, but eventually they'll split and need replacing. If you can afford something more durable and plan to garden every year for the rest of life, invest in that. I had to do bamboo this year, and will use it until it's split.

You do need to figure out if your tomatoes are determinate or indeterminate. Determinates are going to be bushy and you shouldn't thin suckers off them unless it needs breathing space. All a determinate needs is staking or a cage. An indeterminate is a vine that will get really tall, and all suckers should be broken off under the flowers; they snap off pretty easily if you just bend them sideways. You need to trellis indeterminates. (I found this out after I'd already planted my tomatoes, so had to move them around and provide appropriate support for their respective growth habits.) Somebody around here gave a link to a good youtube.com video that showed exactly how to care for each growth type.

It might be rather hot in Raleigh for growing lettuce (I lived there for a year 22 years ago), but if you have them behind taller plants that might help you to grow some for part of the hot season at least. Personally, I'd go with herbs. Fresh herbs is the perfect complement to add to your fresh veggies! Just figure out what you use most in cooking, then figure out what will grow in your area...most will, by the way.

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Re: Is this where I ask rookie questions?

Post  Fantasma on 4/27/2012, 5:59 pm

I'm absolutely in love with the smell of my Lime Basil. I recommend it to anyone who loves citrus scents like I do.

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Re: Is this where I ask rookie questions?

Post  Chopper on 4/27/2012, 7:11 pm

Peppers and eggplant can go either way. Sometimes they need support and sometimes they don't. I have at times used both bamboo and upside down tomato cages for them and I prefer the cages. They do not need a tremendous amount of support and the cage just kept them from toppling over whereas the bamboo can topple with them, especially if any wind is involved.


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