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Q and A: tomato plants, moving canned food, pruning melon plants, and fungus on pepper plants — 6 Comments

  1. Robin,

    I agree that some tomatoes with wilt will go ahead and produce something. The only trouble with leaving them in place is that while they are in the garden, they are often spreading the disease. In a smaller garden, this can be devistating where BIG AG with acres and acres of plants, it doesn’t matter so much as the affected area is small, compared to the whole field.

  2. Regarding pulling tomatoes with wilt diseases, personally I wait until the tomato has completely given up the ghost. Sometimes the plant can beat the wilt, or at least still produce something for you. It’s an individual decision, and one that’s best made after learning about the various diseases and the pros and cons of this kind of action, but just so the original asker knows, some of us (Big Ag included) tend to take a wait-and-see approach rather than the more drastic approach.

  3. I use clothespins and write the plant name on the sides with t a permanent marker. Then, just clip it to the cage, or to the plant itself. I use cattle panels to grow my tomatoes and cucumbers on, so I just clip it to the panel.

  4. We saved the slats from a broken blind and cut them to size with one end cut into a V to stick into the pot or ground. I write on them with Sharpie permanent markers and they last for the season. Punching a hole and tying to the plant of the tomato cage would also work. I always start with a map but somewhere not too far along forget to update it.

  5. Re- general garden ID:

    We use cut up milk jugs (Jackie, you probably don’t have any of those ;-) & Sharpie markers for any necessary ID’s. The map is better overall, but sometimes I’ll plug a hole from a lost transplant with another, unmapped, plant.
    We can always use another pepper plant…

  6. Identifying tomato plants: This would require more time than Jackie’s suggestions, but it is possible to use a Pilot permanent marker, one of the wider points, and write the tomato name on an upper leaf when you plant them. You might need to repeat that as the tomato grows if the leaf isn’t easily visible or falls off. You can also color code them with yarn or tape and keep the key in the house until you need it. I have to do that because I don’t plant my tomatoes in rows or in a block – they are scattered all around. You can put tape or yarn loosely around the tomato stem before you plant it and either move or replace it as needed. (You can also write IDs on iris leaves when re-doing an iris bed.)