Disk and Ray: Delving into Composite Flowers


“The neighbor across the street, who is a know it all and a Master Gardener,  said that coneflowers are a single flower. I thought they were a lot of little flowers. Am I remembering incorrectly from biology class long ago or is my neighbor a plant idiot with a big title? Just wondering.  Thank you! Jordie”

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Prairie Coneflower

Hi Jordie,

Thank you for your question. Good news: you are right.

As a horticulturist, I interact with folks that garden with various levels of knowledge.  However, I think the thing that is most detrimental to gardening the gardener that *believes* they know everything because they are a Master Gardener.

Don’t get me wrong — the Master Gardener’s program is great and has made a lot of advances in educating people. But, as with any subject, you will always have a few bad apples that will are the overly-puffed up ‘expert’ that knows ‘everything’, but really knows nothing. Generally this comes from insecurity and the need to be the best and brightest in the room, no matter what. And deep down, they truly believe they know it all.

What is funny is when you have a conversation with folks like this and they assure you that they know more than you because they are Master Gardener (and have taken 8-18 weeks of training), while you have a Master’s Degree (and 9 years of post-secondary education).  You can read more of my thoughts regarding Master Gardeners here.

But I digress. Let’s get back to composite flowers!

Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) are a member of the Aster Family (Asteraceae).  The is one main key feature to the family: they all have composite flowers.  A composite flower seems to be a single flower, but is actually a cluster of many smaller flowers that work together to look like a single large one.

A great example of this is the sunflower (Helianthus annuus).  If you look at it closely, you will see that the large ‘center’ of the flower is actually comprised of a ton of little flowers. These flowers are called disk flowers. Each has 5 tiny petals that are fused into a cup-like structure, 5 stamens, and a pistil.  Each disk flower makes one seed.

On the outside, in the area that most say are the petals of the ‘single big flower’/composite flower, are the ray flowers. These flowers have all 5 petals fused together to make one huge petal. They also have 5 stamens and a pistil. Like the disk flower, each ray flower makes one seed.

Each species within Asteraceae varies in the amount of disk and ray flowers it has. Because of this, the family is broken down into two subfamilies. In the Dandelion subfamily, you have composite flower that have ray flowers overlapping each other all the way to the center. In the Aster subfamily, you have more traditional composite flowers with the ray flowers at a minimum on the outside.  However, the lines between the two subfamilies have been blurred with the advent of plant breeding and the selection of plants with less or more ray flowers, respectively.

Of course, I am sure your Master Gardener friend would poo-poo what I have said because of all the sepals around the underside of the coneflower — surely that would make it a single flower and not a composite flower.  Ha! Wrong again.  Those are not sepals!  They are bracts!  Bracts are modified leaves that surround the composite head. A great example of bracts at work are found in artichokes — the bract is what you eat.

If you wish to find the sepals, you would have to look at the ray and disk flowers under a microscope, as the sepals are reduced to hairy pappus (small scales) or are not present at all.

I hope this information helps you out. Please feel free to share this article with your neighbor.

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© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Transplanting Rhubarb in the Autumn


“I want to transplant some of my rhubarb in South Dakota.  How do I transport the roots (it is 12 hr drive)?  If I can not get them in the ground before it freezes how can I keep the roots safe and get them ready for spring?  How long do I have to get them in the ground – before the ground freezes?

Thanks,

Lynn”

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rhubarbHi Lynn,

Thank you for the email regarding your rhubarb.  We are getting into the time of year when it is not best to move the plants — long or short distance.

What you want to make sure of before the plants are moved is that they are completely dormant but before the ground freezes.  Once dormant, dig up the roots.  If you are moving them a long distance, they can be put into a brown paper bag with moist sphagnum moss.  This bag is then incased in a plastic bag so you won’t get your car wet.

When you are ready to plant, make sure to put a little sphagnum moss in the hole.  The acidity is okay because it will help the rhubarb to have a nice red color and it will maintain the moisture during the dry times in autumn.

I hope this information helps you out.  If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.

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© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Why I ‘Often’ Say Not-so-Nice Things About Master Gardeners…


“You seem to have a real problem with master gardeners. What is your ******* problem? Are you jealous that you are not one? Master gardeners are experts and instead of being a ******** about gardening you should actually learn something about gardening. You know **** and you give poor advice. I’m sick of you ******* about us. You are one of those ******** that once planted a plant and now think you know every ******* thing about gardening and you probably have to copy your blog articles off of someone elses blog and put them up as yours because you are so ******* dumb. All the comments you have up are the good ones because you probably delete all the ones that ***** at you because you are a ******* *******.  You are making fun all the time of people that actually know how to garden and you give master gardeners a bad name. I wish someone would regulate blogs so stupid ********** losers like you could not write dumb*** articles or copy other peoples articles. Why don’t  you stop being so ****** up and go become a master gardener so you are not so full of ****!

Lynn”

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Dear Lynn,

Thank you for your comment. Your comment is proof that all comments posted on my blog are published, although yours has been edited for this post because of your use of colorful language. I made the edits equally colorful.  However, your original post on my “Post a Question” page has been left in its entirety because I do not have the ability to edit posts to my page.  My readers that enjoy the rancor of a sailor’s tongue can head over to view it in all of its explicative glory.

So, why do I sometimes say things about Master Gardeners that may indicate that not all are experts?

 

Real World Justification

I totally agree with other bloggers and forum posters that “Master Gardener” is a misnomer and I have said that attending classes (where attendance usually isn’t even required), completing a take-home open book test, and then performing 40 volunteer hours does not make anyone a “master” at anything.  As one of my friends, who is a Master Gardener, said of her training, “there were people in my class who’d never put a plant in the ground in their lives, and after “training” and certification, still hadn’t. One man didn’t even know that potatoes grow under the ground.”

“Master” in the name leads to problems like:

- People that know nothing about gardening think it is the same has having a Master’s Degree or being a Master Carpenter. These are titles that represents actual mastery of a subject through hard work, non-open book tests, and more than just showing up and standing around for volunteer work.

- Apparently, it can go to people’s heads (as seen in my experience).  “Some Master Gardeners take that title seriously and are quite vain about it.”  “They are quite pompous for the limited amount they know.”

- It makes people insipid:  “They use the title of ‘Master Gardener’ as evidence of knowledge of all outdoor things with all-inclusive expertise. Plus they tend to be really really boring because when you start to talk about plants they can’t say anything because they have gotten lost by your knowledge.”

- The name is often mistakenly assumed to indicate a higher level of knowledge and training than actual horticulturists with years of university training.

- Many complaints that America’s Master Gardener, Jerry Baker, is a known quack who’s made millions off that self-proclaimed title while giving advice that often kill or stunt plants. It died because you aren’t a master like him.  Ever wonder which program on PBS’s Create channel gets the worst reviews and has the highest number of complaints from non-Master Gardener garden groups and viewers? Jerry Baker’s show.

 

My Justification

When I was in my teens, I worked at research facility that had trial gardens. The folks I worked with all had experience with farm crops (having been raised on the farm), except for one.  The lady in charge of the gardens was a Master Gardener, and boy, did she know it all. She made sure that everyone else knew that she knew it all too (even in areas like horses, homemaking, mechanics, and more).  Even though she had gone through the classes and was her county’s biggest, best gardener (named so by the local Master Gardeners association), she still didn’t realize that you don’t plant your cole crops 4″ apart. According to her, all the package directions for the seeds were wrong, and it was the soil’s fault that her cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. heads were golf ball size or smaller. That rotten sandy soil. Really? Then why was a researcher a few plots over growing huge cole crops with the same water and fertilizer regime?

In college, I worked on campus in my department and one of the favorite major advisors for the department was a huge Master Gardener. She had landscaped an area near one of the entrances to the building. Oooohhh, aaaahhh. NOT! Apparently she had never heard of this funny little thing called ZONES! Just because it grows as a perennial in Florida where you saw it on your last family trip does not mean it will grow here.  Even at the best of times, the area was an eyesore and finally the university told her they would be doing all future landscaping in the area because it made the campus look bad.  She also wore Wal-Mart bags on her feet and nitrile gloves on her hands because she was scared of deadly soil organisms.

After getting out of grad school, I started working at Unnamed Major Home Gardener Seed Catalog and spoke with Master Gardeners daily. How did I know that they were? Well, first of all, when they called into our customer service department and got an answer they didn’t want to hear, they made sure that the operator knew they were a Master Gardener.  Of course, said Master Gardener always wanted to talk to the horticulturist. The slips that were passed along to me for call backs always noted that I should be prepared because the customer was a Master Gardener.  They would talk to me and I would set them straight. If they didn’t like what I said, they often would tell me that I was an idiot and that I didn’t know what I was talking about and that they were a Master Gardener. I would apologize for their dissatisfaction for my response and provide them with some university extension websites from their state that they could find the information on (that repeated the exact same thing I had just told them).  This usually calmed them down, but a few would threaten to talk to my boss and get me fired. I remained at my job for years after, and when I finally left the company, it was because I wanted to leave because I was starting my own business.

This past spring, my Mom was alerted to a plant sale for the Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, Master Gardener’s Association. Tons of roses, heirloom plants and more. We went, and while there were a lot of plants, most were common plants you could find at any greenhouse (even Wal-Mart) with a huge price on them. There was also a table where Master Gardeners had brought plants from their back yards. About half of them were misidentified and some were invasive species.  My Mom purchased a ‘Scabiosa’. She has wanted one for years, and since this person had had it in their back yard growing, it must be okay for the zone. It looked healthy too. Just one little problem. “Mom, that is a hardy geranium. It looks like a Geranium macrorrhizum.” Mom planted it in the garden and when it bloomed, it looked like this:

Geranium macrorhiza

 

That, my friends, is a Bigroot Geranium (Geranium macrorrhizum).

And last, but not least, I still enter back home at the fair.  For years, I have been thinking I will just stop entering flowers and houseplants because the entry list becomes more convoluted each year — like it was written by someone that knows nothing about flowers and houseplants. When I was a kid, we had these two older ladies that were the superintendents and they were rock stars! The entries came in by 11 a.m. and they had things ready to go for judging 2 hours later. 1000s of entries. Over the years, these ladies retired and were replaced by local Master Gardeners. First, it was too hard to get the entries ready for judging in 2 hours. They had to be entered the day before. Then the Master Gardeners could not figure out if the entry list should read stems or blooms for various flowers. And then this year the change was made that you cannot have any pot over a couple gallons in size because they are so big.  As each change was made, the number of entries dropped significantly.  Now the entries are down to a couple hundred, and it is still just so difficult for the Master Gardener lady that is the superintendent.  This year she was baffled by petunias and daylilies. She didn’t know that petunias can have more than one bloom per stem or that daylilies are open for only one day. Petunias! Daylilies! These are common, beginning gardening plants!  And yet, she is one of the top Master Gardener in the county.  Need I say more?

 

The long and short of it is that I hold a Master’s Degree in Horticulture, I operate my own horticulture business, I have numerous published journal articles and am a contributor to a gardening book, I am a certified horticulturist, and I have almost 35 years of gardening experience. Despite ALL of that, I would never go so far as to call myself a Master or an Expert or anything else that would remotely suggest that “I have arrived” when it comes to gardening. Any person that TRULY has a breadth and depth of their field knows that no matter how trained they are, there is always something to be learned. I learn more about gardening every day through my own hands-on experience here at my farm and through the experiences of other gardeners that I help out with consultation and advice.

 

But It’s Not All Bad…

While I know many gardeners that are Master Gardeners with enough knowledge to fit on the head of a pin, there are a number of Master Gardeners that don’t have to flash their credentials to the world. These are the ones that truly embody what the Master Gardener program is supposed to be about, but helping through outreach programs and 4-H, using their talents to judge at county fairs and horticultural shows, working at a horticulturally-related job, or expanding their knowledge by getting involved with companies like Seed Savers Exchange. These non-flashy Master Gardeners know a lot about gardening and have yards that show their knowledge, and they don’t have to get up on a soap box and say, “look at me” to make themselves feel better because of their inadequacy in the garden or a lack of plant knowledge. When I gripe about Master Gardeners, my issues are not directed towards those that are using the program in the way it was meant to be rather than using it as a social status. Unfortunately, when one attends an event where a Master Gardener(s) is(are) present, it is too often the flashy, ‘expert’, attention-hungry Master Gardeners that show up. And by their actions, they show how little they know and give the organization as a whole a bad name.

Maybe a more appropriate name for the program would be “Horticultural Volunteers” or “Horticultural Research Volunteers”. I wonder how many ‘experts’ like yourself would still be interested in being in the program?

 

Remember, Lynn, the loudest one in the room is the weakest one in the room.

 

 

 

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© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Lickin’ the Cold of Winter with Garlic!


“Dear Miss Horticulturist,

A few weeks ago I purchased a large quantity of garlic from the grocery store.  I didn’t get all of it used in time and now it is sprouting.  Can I plant it and overwinter it?”

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Thanks for reading and for submitting your question.  Because WordPress doesn’t provide me with a ton of information, I’m going to guess that you purchased a California White garlic and that you live in an area that gets cold in winter.

The Good: Garlic can be planted any time during the year.  You are going to want to plant the cloves down about 6 inches.  It does take some time to come up,  so don’t give up on them!

The Bad: California White types do not overwinter in colder areas.  If you were to plant it at this time of year, it would grow up until winter, but not come back in spring.  They are what is known as a ‘softneck’ type.  For garlic that you want to overwinter, you should put in a hardneck variety in northern (wintery) climates.

The Ugly: Okay, there really is no ugly, but I just was in the mood to use that analogy.  =)  For future reference, if you are planting a hardneck variety, they should be put in the ground on October 12th.  That is ‘the day’ –although, I admit, I put mine in last year on a very warm day in November because I moved in late October last year.  The varieties I recommend are:

Musik:  A hardy, high-yielding hardneck porcelain variety out of Canada that grows well in northern climates. Very large bulbs yield 4 to 5 buff-colored cloves streaked with red. Good hot flavor. Easy to peel. Stores 6 months or more.

Inchellium Red:  One of the best flavored softneck artichoke garlics, the flavor mild and long-lasting with a hint of hotness that gets stronger in storage. Large off-white bulbs blushed pale purle at the base have 4 to 5 layers with 10 to 20 cloves per bulb. Stores for up to 9 months.  (Grows really well in Wisconsin.)

Italian Late, German Porcelian, Northern White, Siberian, Spanish Roja, and Purple Glazer.  I grew each of these this summer in my garden — and have found that no two varieties are alike.

Spring Garlic Varieties can be planted at the same time as onion sets in spring.  The ones I recommend are:

Late Italian: A softneck artichoke garlic with tight, light colored wrappers surrounding fat, round outer cloves. Has pleasing rich garlic flavor. Very productive. Keeps 6 to 9 months.

Silver Rose:  This softneck silverskin garlic makes beautiful braids with its rose colored cloves encased in smooth, bright white wrappers. Widely used by gourmet cooks who know and use garlic. Fast growing and stores up to 8 months.

California White:  An easy-to-grow strain acclimated to northern conditions. The large bulbs can be separated into cloves that are planted the same as onion sets. A bulb makes 10 to 20 cloves.

Elephant Garlic: Very mild flavor is ideal for soups, salads and sauce leaving no garlic aftertaste. Actually a member of the leek family. Mammoth bulbs weigh up to one pound or more, each with 5 to 7 huge cloves.  (Note from my garden: 2009 was the first time I grew these and I didn’t have much luck.  I’m not sure if it was our very cool summer or they just need something more than the other types of garlic, leeks, shallots, and onions I grew.  I need to do more hands on research with these. =)

 

© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Little Tykes?


“I read your previous article and was wodnering about little tyke cukes.  I had them this year and made lots of pickles, but the bigger ones were soft.  Would that be from the enzyme too? But I had picklers?  Why did this happen?”

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Although Little Tykes are a pickling cucumber, they have a different makeup than the slicers previously discussed.  Little Tyke Hybrid is bred specifically for baby cucumbers — usually about 1 to 3 1/2 inches in length.  When they get larger than that, they are starting to ripen.  While you may have Little Tyke and another variety in your garden (or are just used to growing a different variety), the ‘typical’ size for a different variety is overgrown for the Little Tyke.

Once your Little Tykes get over the 3-4 inch size, I would recommend using them like an overgrown cucumber: make yellow pickles or relish, but don’t use them for your dills, sweet, or bread and butter pickles.

© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Soggy but Tasty: Making Pickles with Slicers


“Dear Horticulturist,

This year I grew a ton of Diva Cucumbers and canned pickles from them.  The little ones turned out okay, but the spears made from larger ones had very soft insides.  The taste is okay, but there just isn’t any crunch.  What did I do wrong?  Is there anything I can do to them to make them crunchy?”

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Before we delve into why your pickles are soft, let’s examine how a pickle is made:

Pickled vegetables are a great example of fermentation.  The vegetable is submerged in a brine solution.  This prevents the growth of mold while promoting bacterial growth.  Good bacteria eat the sugars present in the vegetable and, as a bi-product, create lactic acid.  Lactic acid is what gives your pickles the characteristic tart taste.

The problem that comes into play with how you made your pickles is that you used Diva.  Diva is a slicing cucumber.  Slicers are not recommended for pickling because they contain the enzyme endopolygalacturonase.  Endopolygalcturonase is created at the blossom end of the fruit and acts to soften the normally-rigid tissues of the cucumber.

Pickling cucumbers also have endopolygalacturonase; however, they also have various proteinase, and amylase  inhibitors.  These inhibitors work on protein and sugars, respectively, to prevent the softening action of endopolygalacturonase.  As a result, a pickle created with a pickling cucumber will be crunchy.

The reason why your smaller cucumbers had no problem witht he pickling process is because they were less mature and lower levels of endopolygalacturonase would have been present.

These pickles are safe to eat, but what will likely be more of an issue is just that they are not going to give you that typical pickle crunch.

© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tomato and Pepper Blossom Drop


“All of my tomato and pepper seeds I ordered Baker Creek grew fine. Only no fruit. Tomatos would bloom, flowers would fall off. Peppers would bloom, flowers would fall off. Next year I’ll buy my plants from Home Depot. Thanks for recommending a crappy company.

Michael”

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Hi Michael,

Thank you for the email regarding your peppers and tomatoes.  It’s sounds like the plants were not the problem, but the environment that they were grown in, as your plants suffer from blossom drop.

Blossom drop is a common tomato and pepper growing problem that can be extremely frustrating to the home gardener. Otherwise healthy looking tomato and pepper plants set flower blossoms, only to have them dry up and fall off the plant before a fruit is formed.

Blossom drop can be attributed to several causes, most often related to either temperature and / or stress.
–Temperature Too High or Too Low
–Lack of Pollination
–Nitrogen – Too Much or Too Little
–Humidity Too High or Low Humidity.
–Lack of water
–Stress from insect damage or disease
–Too Heavy Fruit Set

The best way to combat the problem is to grow varieties suited to your climate.  Often times, hybrids are able to grow anywhere but still need ‘optimum’ conditions.  Gardeners that experience this problem often decide to grow heirloom varieties that are native to their region along with the hybrids so they are always assured of having a crop from one or the other or both.

The most frequent cause of tomato and pepper blossom drop is temperature:
–High daytime temperatures (above 85 F / 29 C)
–High Nighttime Temperatures (Below 70 / 21 C)
–Low Nighttime Temperatures (Below 55 / 13 C)

Tomatoes and peppers grow best if daytime temperatures range between 70 F / 21 C and 85 F / 29 C. While tomatoand pepper plants can tolerate more extreme temperatures for short periods, several days or nights with temps outside the ideal range will cause the plant to abort fruit set and focus on survival. According to the University of Wisconsin, temperatures over 104 F / 40 C for only four hours can cause the flowers to abort immediately.

Gardeners in cooler climates should not rush to get their tomatoes and pepper planted in the spring. Wait until nighttime temperatures are reliably above 55 F /13 C or protect them with a cover at night. You won’t gain any advantage by setting them out too early. Choose early maturing tomato and pepper varieties for spring growing in cooler climates. (Early Girl, Legend, Matina, Oregon Spring, Polar Baby, Silvery Fir Tree Tomatoes; Chablis, Jupiter, King Arthur, Mini Belle Blend, North Star, Banana Bill, Boris, Gypsy, Chichimeca, Early Jalapeno, and Stoked Peppers)

Select heat a heat-tolerant (“heat set”) tomato and pepper varieties for areas with long periods of hot or humid weather. High nighttime temps are even worse than high daytime temperatures because the tomato or pepper plant never gets to rest. (Florasette, Heat Wave, Solar Set, Sunchaser, Sunmaster, Sunpride, Surfire Tomatoes; Chinese Giant, Canary Belle, Mini Bell Chocolate, Mini Bell Yellow, Napolean Sweet, Atris, Felicity, Pimiento L, Balada, Burning Bush, Caribbean Red, Habaneros, Fish, Fatali, Minero, Orange Thai, Serrano Chili, and Zavory Peppers)

Tomatoes and Peppers need some help to pollinate. Either insects, wind or hand shaking of the flowers is necessary to carry the pollen from the anthers to the stigma. During weather extremes, there are often no insect pollinators in the garden.
It sometimes help attract more bees if you plant nectar rich flowers in your vegetable garden.

Don’t automatically feed your tomato and pepper plants every week. Make sure your soil is healthy, with adequate organic matter. Apply a balanced fertilizer at planting and again when fruit forms. Too much nitrogen encourages the plant to grow more foliage, not more fruit.

The ideal humidity range is between 40 – 70%. If humidity is either too high or too low, it interferes with the release of pollen and with the pollen’s ability to stick to the stigma. So pollination will not occur.  If humidity is too low, hose the foliage during the day. This will both cool the plant and raise the humidity. This is not recommended in areas with high humidity or when fungus diseases are present. Gardeners in high humidity areas should look for tomato varieties that aren’t bothered by humidity. (Eva Purple Ball, Flora-Dade, Grosse Lisse, Jubilee, Moneymaker, Sun Gold, Taxi, Yellow Pear Toamtoes, any pepper variety)

Water deeply, once a week, during dry weather. Tomatoes have very deep roots, sometimes going down into the soil up to 5 feet. Peppers can go to 2 feet deep.  Shallow watering will stress and weaken the plants.

Keep your plants healthy. Use good cultural practices and treat for disease as soon as symptoms appear.

Nothing will guarantee fruit set. Things like temperature and humidity are out of the gardener’s control. Sometimes you just have to be patient and wait for conditions to correct themselves. If the weather seems fine and other gardeners in your area are not having fruit set problems, you should consider the cultural causes of tomato and pepper blossom drop. Choosing a suitable variety and keeping your plants healthy will give you an edge.

I hope this information helps you out.  If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.

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© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.