Ask a Gardener

Ask a Gardener

Burpee's Garden Forum is a unique hub for the garden community, a one-step-shop to get your questions answered from fellow gardeners!

I planted 5 tomato plants this spring. They started to set fruit. That's when the leaves withered, curled and eventually dried up. The fruit was stunted. Only one, Burpee's big boy, wasn't affected. Some showed signs of recovery. What happened?

Asked by: ceejay12
They obviously became afflicted with some sort of disease; one of at least half a dozen possibilities. In my experience, the most common factor in encouraging diseases is too much water. Tomatoes are semi-arid(desert) adapted plants, and too much water will weaken your plants, especially their roots, and make them much more prone to root diseases. But some varieties are more susceptible than others, as you have experienced. I dig my tomato beds deeply, as deep as 18-24 inches deep, and add in generous organic matter to the backfill. I also add some crushed limestone and/or bone meal to add Calcium and thus ward off blossom-end-rot disease. Then I mulch the top of the soil with old newspapers or brown paper to suppress weeds, as well as some straw or other mulch on top to keep the wind from blowing the papers away. In doing this, where I live, once the transplants are established, they don't generally need any extra water other than the natural rainfall. Maybe a little drip irrigation in July and August could also be helpful, but not too much. Good luck
Answered by: Hessianguy2
Date published: 2017-07-23

I planted garlic var. Roja which I bought from Burpee. My plants didn't form cloves but single bulbs. What could be reason?

Asked by: Zeed
Trying to grow garlic as far north as Minnesota is a bit of a challenge. Make sure they are planted as early as possible, sometime in March. They prefer lots of frequent light rain, and fairly generous amounts of fertilizer. Growing good garlic/onions is a lot like growing a good lawn/grass, since both species are adapted to similar growing conditions. Whatever you do to make your lawn grow lush and green will also work well for growing garlic. Good luck for next year.
Answered by: Hessianguy2
Date published: 2017-07-21

We had 9 inches of rain here in Northeast Illinois, flooding our garden. The Brussels Sprouts plants have wilted and our wax beans, have turned yellow. Will the sprout plant rebound, with dry weather, or are they a total loss? And will the beans come back

Asked by: Dennis the Menace
I expect your beans will come back. I doubt that your Brussels sprouts will come back, however. Brussels sprouts are best grown as a fall maturing crop anyway (October-November harvest). Good luck.
Answered by: Hessianguy2
Date published: 2017-07-21

My brussel sprouts are about an 1" wide. It's July 20th in zone 5. If I harvest now, will the plant continue to produce thru fall? Or should I just take out the entire stalk making room in my garden?

Asked by: JoeW
I would harvest them now. I personally would take out the plants now also, since they most likely are not going to enjoy growing in the summer heat for the month of August and the rest of July. Brussels sprouts prefer cool, rainy, cloudy weather, and a light frost improves their flavor. In Indianapolis, they are best planted as a fall crop, setting out the little transplants around early to mid July and harvesting in October to November. Good luck.
Answered by: Hessianguy2
Date published: 2017-07-21

My tomatoes are turning black on the bottom on the vine as they ripen. What causes this and is there a treatment to stop this rotting on the vine?

Asked by: Joemc
You have the classic blossom-end-rot disease. It is due to lack of Calcium in the soil. I always add some bone meal and/or crushed limestone to my tomato beds before planting to prevent this. Once your plants are already planted and growing, watering them with skim milk is the only marginally effective remedy at this point. But you'll know what to do for next year, I am sure. Good luck.
Answered by: Hessianguy2
Date published: 2017-07-21

Starting t hand pollinate Silver Queen corn - getting seeds from male fronds - expected to get dust when I brush the fronds into a cup - how do I get the dust to reach each silk strand?

Asked by: Norman B
Just apply some pollen to the center of the silk bundle, i.e. where it exits the top of the ear husks. If you aim for the center, essentially all silks of that ear will receive at least one pollen grain and thus get pollinated. Good luck
Answered by: Hessianguy2
Date published: 2017-07-21

My golden pear tomatoes plants are dying overnight. I will trim the dead leaves and remove the fruit and they start to comeback. They are in 5 gallon containers and I water them twice a day. They have good drainage. My other 7 type of tom. no prob.

Asked by: cotton brian
Tomatoes do not like being watered twice a day. Tomatoes are semi-arid (desert) adapted plants. They like *enough* water but not too much. Too much water makes them much more prone to root fungus diseases, like verticilium and fusarium wilt, etc. Once one of these diseases attacks your plant, there is no hope of saving it. Some varieties are more prone to these diseases than others. Cut back to watering maybe every other day. Good luck.
Answered by: Hessianguy2
Date published: 2017-07-21

My cucumber leaves have rust spots on them starting at the bottom and working it's way up. What causes this. 

Asked by: Toot
You might want to web search for disease resistant varieties. I grew marketmore 76 and got a good yield one year and last year and this year I grew double yield and a disease is attacking the plants.
Answered by: Brian from TN
Date published: 2017-07-17
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