Common Veggie Problems

Common Veggie Problems

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Poor fruit-set on any vegetable can be caused by extreme temperatures, dry soils, too much shading, poor pollination or excessive nitrogen in the soil.

As far as extreme temperatures are concerned, the only way to adjust for this is to make sure your veggies are protected from frost in winter and are in afternoon shade during summer months.

Try to keep soil evenly moist. For example, water to about 2 feet deep and then water again when the soil is dry to a depth of about 2 inches.

Your vegetables need to have 4 to 6 hours of direct sun in summer, and can tolerate full sun in winter.

Poor pollination is more prevalent on cucumbers and squash. Companion plants that draw bees, such as lavender, moss rose, and basils, are always helpful. You can also touch the inside of one flower with a Q-tip or an artist’s paintbrush then touch that “tool” to the inside of another flower to help pollination.

To correct excessive nitrogen in the soil, use a super phosphate or a 0-10-10 fertilizer. Blossom end-rot occurs mostly on tomatoes and peppers, although sometimes on squash and cucumbers also. End-rot appears at the bottom of the fruit itself as a brownish spot. This signals a calcium deficiency in developing fruit. This can be caused by rapid growth early in the season followed by dry weather, extreme fluctuations in soil moisture, and excess salts in the soil. To help remedy this, use dolomite lime when planting, or a ready-to-use liquid calcium spray. You can also use a calcium fertilizer, like Cactus Juice, along with your regular fertilizer.

Plant in well-drained soils. Avoid using a lot of manure or high nitrogen fertilizers. Water regularly and thoroughly. Leech soils by watering a little heavily about once a month.

Try to avoid using a lot of insecticides. If you must use an insecticide, use an all natural product (e.g. Triple Action Plus or Captain Jack’s.)

Now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor!