The Rusted Garden Blog

How To & The Benefits of Topping Off or Pruning Pepper Plants: Several Video Examples with Control Plants

Posted by Gary Pilarchik on

How To & The Benefits of Topping Off or Pruning Pepper Plants:  Several Video Examples with Control Plants

  By Gary Pilarchik (The Rusted Garden)  There are several reasons you may want to prune peppers. One reason is to help the pepper plants develop stronger sturdier stems. Another reason is to force or create a bushier plant with more side shoots which leads to more flowers and potentially more peppers. Visit my YouTube Channel with over 800 gardening videos: The Rusted Garden     I want to be clear, you do not have to do this. If you haven't pruned peppers before, take the middle ground. Prune a couple plants and see how they respond. One of the...

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How to Build A Hot-House Tomato Cage for Early Spring: Be the First with Ripe Tomatoes!

Posted by Gary Pilarchik on

How to Build A Hot-House Tomato Cage for Early Spring:   Be the First with Ripe Tomatoes!

By Gary Pilarchik (The Rusted Gardener) These cages can be built in 15 minutes. They will allow you to get your tomatoes into the garden a lot earlier. It works. I use a few every year and I am the first in the area with red tomatoes. Try it! Visit my YouTube Channel with over 800 gardening videos: The Rusted Garden Wind-Break They act as a wind-break and keep the plant from chilling from winds. They also allow transplants time to get used to the elements without becoming overly-stressed from temperature changes. It makes a mini shelter for them. Heats...

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How to Use Aspirin (Salicylic Acid) to Trigger Tomato Defenses: Why is this a Good Thing.. Beef Up the Beefsteaks!

Posted by Gary Pilarchik on

How to Use Aspirin (Salicylic Acid) to Trigger Tomato Defenses: Why is this a Good Thing.. Beef Up the Beefsteaks!

By Gary Pilarchik (The Rusted Garden) Tomatoes use a hormone similar to salicylic acid to trigger a response called 'systemic acquired resistance' or SAR. This response helps a tomato plant fight off bacteria, fungi and other diseases. This defense response is a naturally occurring internal plant process that can be started manually (so to speak) by spraying your tomato plants with aspirin. The salicylic acid in the aspirin will trigger the tomato's defenses, by mimicking the natural hormone, as if it were being attacked. You can preemptively trigger the SAR response in tomatoes. Why is this a good thing? The...

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Frost Protection for Your Cool Weather Crops: Cups & Bags Make A Difference!

Posted by Gary Pilarchik on

Frost Protection for Your Cool Weather Crops:  Cups & Bags Make  A Difference!

by Gary Pilarchik (The Rusted Garden) In Maryland Zone 7 we get the four full seasons of temperatures. We often get a period of great weather in February or March and think the frost is gone and spring is here, only to be hit be a deep freeze. You would think I would learn but I don't and I try to get plants out early. Yes... every year! Your cool weather crops like; lettuces, spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower and peas can actually take a frost and a freeze into the upper 20's and survive. Now the cold can still damage...

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Planting Spring Peas in Containers: Get Them Out Early!

Posted by Gary Pilarchik on

Planting Spring Peas in Containers: Get Them Out Early!

by Gary Pilarchik (The Rusted Garden) Peas love the cold and can handle the morning frost. What they don't like is prolonged wet, cold, soggy, soil. It often leads to their death. A bit less dramatically said... they mold, rot and of course don't germinate. I am in Maryland Zone 7 and you can give peas a try, starting in mid February if you want to push them early into the ground. But... container plantings can help you start peas and other vegetables a few weeks early with more success. Why? Containers drain better and warm faster than spring earth...

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