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Why no veggies yet?

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Why no veggies yet?

Post  rahmsahro on 7/7/2012, 2:31 pm

We live in Tucson (Zone 9b), our garden is growing beautifully, had plenty of flowers on the tomatoes and peppers, and the eggplant is still flowering. But nothing has produced fruit (except 3 teeny green grape tomatoes that seem to stay the same size, and 3 small patio tomatoes). We're using a drip soaker system, the soil is Mel's Mix, and it gets watered every day for 1/2 hour (a tad less than the guy at the nursery recommended). I'm wondering if our hot desert heat is stunting our veggie production. We are, however, getting a lot of those teeny little mushrooms. Any suggestions? Thanks! Izzy & Mike
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Re: Why no veggies yet?

Post  camprn on 7/7/2012, 2:36 pm

Are you seeing bees? You could be having some pollination issues. How hot has it been? If the temp is above 90 tomatoes will not usually set fruit.

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Bees

Post  memart1 on 7/7/2012, 2:47 pm

Camp -- I seldom see honeybees, but often there are other bees (those fuzzy black and yellow ones like smaller bore bees) but they seem to like my marigolds that border the garden. Are they good pollinators, too, and do you think they will go to the veggie blossoms when I am not looking?
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Re: Why no veggies yet?

Post  elliephant on 7/7/2012, 2:57 pm

Are the peppers bells? If they are, it's probably the heat. Most likely the heat for the tomatoes, as well. But the eggplant :scratch: ? My eggplant are doing fine in our high 90s/low 100s. And pepper plants other than bells are doing fine in the heat. Tomatoes and bell peppers don't like to set fruit when real heat kicks in, especially if it isn't cooling off at night.

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no veggies yet

Post  rahmsahro on 7/8/2012, 2:42 am

Thanks for the suggestions! I'm thinking it's probably the heat as well; we've been way above 90 for most of the month ~ like usually over 100. True, we've got hoops over our garden for shade cloth, but the nights have been hot too. The cukes, though, do have tiny fruits, my husband pointed out this afternoon, and our other peppers (not in the SFG but older plants from last season) are producing just fine. It is the bells that aren't producing ~ this is our first year trying them. The eggplant has a lot of blooms; we'll have to see if any of those set fruit.

I thought that maybe the shade cloth covering was keeping out the bees (good thought, the pollination suggestion), but we've got plenty of bees, hummers, and moths everywhere else, and the cukes are doing just fine. More than likely, we've just got to wait till Tucson cools off a bit...sadly. Sad

Many thanks!

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Re: Why no veggies yet?

Post  Pollinator on 7/8/2012, 9:04 am

@memart1 wrote:Camp -- I seldom see honeybees, but often there are other bees (those fuzzy black and yellow ones like smaller bore bees) but they seem to like my marigolds that border the garden. Are they good pollinators, too, and do you think they will go to the veggie blossoms when I am not looking?

Watch them when they leave a flower. Do they have very long tongues, just about as long as their body? If so, they are Anthophora bees. I have them in my garden and I have to laugh when I see them. When they leave a flower, they are slow to retract their tongues. They look so unbalanced with that long tongue sticking out, that they look ungainly. You wonder how they can fly!
Anthorphora bees nest in the ground; they prefer clay soils; and they build little "chimneys" of the clay they dig out. They are fascinating to watch when they are digging, the dirt just flies out of the hole. If you find a patch of them on your property, protect them; they are pure gold.
Actually any bee, even the teeny Ceratina bees, not much bigger than a gnat, can be valuable pollinators. It depends quite a bit on the structure of the flower.
Seeing bees on one plant, doesn't necessarily mean other plants in the garden are getting pollinated. You likely have five or six different kinds of bees, and some work some plants, some work others, some work a variety of plant species, others may only work one.
You have to be observant. The old Chinese saying: "The best fertilizer in the garden is the gardener's footprints." certainly applies here. Watch what is happening at your flowers. Learn to recognize your pollinator friends (and know which are efficient pollinators and which are only visitors), and protect them - they are vital to your success as a gardener.
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Re: Why no veggies yet?

Post  camprn on 7/8/2012, 10:12 am

Good post, thanks for the info Pollinator.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



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Bees as Pollinators

Post  memart1 on 7/8/2012, 10:15 am

Thanks for the info. My garden is 2-1/2 ft x 26 ft along the front of the house. I have french dwarf marigolds in all but two of the half squares at the front edge and I see several of these bees almost every time I go to the garden. They sound interesting, so I will make a point of observing them more. My four acres are yellow clay with lots of stone, so they love it. I hope to post a few pics later today, but I don't know if they will be in this thread. I am going to do a search for bee pics and see what all I can find. flower flower flower
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Re: Why no veggies yet?

Post  boffer on 7/8/2012, 12:18 pm

"The best fertilizer in the garden is the gardener's footprints."

Thanks for that; it's new to me. It's fun to randomly come across little gems that I can relate to!
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