Garden Basics with Farmer Fred

038 Where are the Tomatoes and Zucchini? Blueberry Basics.

August 18, 2020 Fred Hoffman Season 1 Episode 38
Garden Basics with Farmer Fred
038 Where are the Tomatoes and Zucchini? Blueberry Basics.
Chapters
00:01:22
"Why No Tomatoes or Squash?"
00:17:53
Blueberry Basics
Garden Basics with Farmer Fred
038 Where are the Tomatoes and Zucchini? Blueberry Basics.
Aug 18, 2020 Season 1 Episode 38
Fred Hoffman

It’s a rather general garden question we received that has a lot of possible answers: "Why am I not getting any tomatoes or zucchini?" But that very general question, with no other details, gives us the opportunity to go through a checklist of all possible causes. One of those reasons just might hit home for you.

Blueberry harvest is ending here in California, but it’s still going on in many other states. We pay a visit to a demonstration garden where the Master Gardeners share their secrets for growing great blueberries. And, how to protect those berries from marauding birds. Even if you don’t have an interest in growing blueberries, you just might be interested in the details of their easy-to construct bird barrier to protect your other garden goodies.

We learn something new, every time, on Garden Basics with Farmer Fred. And we will do it again today in Episode 38, If your tomatoes or squash not producing, We tell you why. And we will do it in under 30 minutes. Let’s go.

Helpful Links:
Squash Pollination Tips
Fair Oaks Horticulture Center Berry Links
Bird Netting for Berry Protection from Wilson Orchard & Vineyard Supply
Blueberry Growing Advice from Dave Wilson Nursery
Nutri-Rich Fertilizer

More episodes and info including live links, product information, transcripts, and chapters available at the home site for Garden Basics with Farmer Fred  https://www.buzzsprout.com/1004629.

Garden Basics comes out every Tuesday and Friday. It's available wherever podcasts are found. Please subscribe and leave a comment or rating at Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Got a garden question? Call and leave a question, or text us the question: 916-292-8964. E-mail: [email protected] or, leave a question at the Facebook, Twitter or Instagram locations below. Be sure to tell us where you are when you leave a question, because all gardening is local.

All About Farmer Fred:
Farmer Fred website: http://farmerfred.com
Daily Garden tips and snark on Twitter
The Farmer Fred Rant! Blog
Facebook:  "Get Growing with Farmer Fred"
Instagram: farmerfredhoffman
Farmer Fred Garden Videos on YouTube

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

It’s a rather general garden question we received that has a lot of possible answers: "Why am I not getting any tomatoes or zucchini?" But that very general question, with no other details, gives us the opportunity to go through a checklist of all possible causes. One of those reasons just might hit home for you.

Blueberry harvest is ending here in California, but it’s still going on in many other states. We pay a visit to a demonstration garden where the Master Gardeners share their secrets for growing great blueberries. And, how to protect those berries from marauding birds. Even if you don’t have an interest in growing blueberries, you just might be interested in the details of their easy-to construct bird barrier to protect your other garden goodies.

We learn something new, every time, on Garden Basics with Farmer Fred. And we will do it again today in Episode 38, If your tomatoes or squash not producing, We tell you why. And we will do it in under 30 minutes. Let’s go.

Helpful Links:
Squash Pollination Tips
Fair Oaks Horticulture Center Berry Links
Bird Netting for Berry Protection from Wilson Orchard & Vineyard Supply
Blueberry Growing Advice from Dave Wilson Nursery
Nutri-Rich Fertilizer

More episodes and info including live links, product information, transcripts, and chapters available at the home site for Garden Basics with Farmer Fred  https://www.buzzsprout.com/1004629.

Garden Basics comes out every Tuesday and Friday. It's available wherever podcasts are found. Please subscribe and leave a comment or rating at Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Got a garden question? Call and leave a question, or text us the question: 916-292-8964. E-mail: [email protected] or, leave a question at the Facebook, Twitter or Instagram locations below. Be sure to tell us where you are when you leave a question, because all gardening is local.

All About Farmer Fred:
Farmer Fred website: http://farmerfred.com
Daily Garden tips and snark on Twitter
The Farmer Fred Rant! Blog
Facebook:  "Get Growing with Farmer Fred"
Instagram: farmerfredhoffman
Farmer Fred Garden Videos on YouTube

Farmer Fred :

Welcome to the Garden Basics with Farmer Fred podcast. If you're just a beginning gardener or you want good gardening information, well, you've come to the right spot. It's a rather general gardening question that we received and it has a lot of possible answers. The question: "why am I not getting any tomatoes or zucchini?" It may be a very general question with no other details. But actually, that gives us the opportunity to go through a checklist of all the possible causes. One of those reasons just might hit home for you. Well, the blueberry harvest is ending here in California, but it's still going on in many other states. We pay a visit to a demonstration garden where the Master Gardeners share their secrets on growing great blueberries, and how to protect those berries from marauding birds. So even if you don't have an interest in growing blueberries, you just might be interested in the details of their easy-to-construct bird barrier to protect your other garden goodies. We learn something new every time on Garden Basics with Farmer Fred. And we're going to do it again today in Episode 38. No tomatoes, no problem. Want to learn about blueberries? We've got you covered. And we're going to do it all in under 30 minutes. Let's go. We like to answer your questions here on the garden basics podcast. There are many ways that we tell you about during the show how you can contact us. One of the ways is through the get growing with farmer Fred Facebook page. And that's where Lynn wrote us, Debbie, and her question, her question is, is very general. she says, "Why is neither tomatoes nor squash producing?" Whoa, well, let's let's ask ourselves the questions that we don't know the answers to.

Debbie Flower :

Right, you can give us a lot of information but there are a lot of things we can think about that might help answer her question.

Farmer Fred :

Exactly, exactly. I mean, I, the first thing that comes to my mind is: the right plant in the right place. Lynn, we don't know where you are, right? If you're in Palm Springs, well, I can see where the problem would lie. It's too hot in Palm Springs to grow tomatoes in August.

Debbie Flower :

Right. when temperatures get over about 85 certainly over 90 degrees, the pollen in the tomatoes doesn't live. So you can't form a fruit. you have to have it's called viable, means has life, you have to have viable pollen.

Farmer Fred :

Right. And then we get to the prospect of the right plant in the right place. As far as in your yard. We don't know if it's in sun or shade.

Debbie Flower :

Right. So tomatoes need at least eight hours of sun a day. But in some places, more than eight hours is fine and in some places more than eight hours is too much and the plant will get too hot. when I lived in Tucson, my tomato plants produced quite well but they got afternoon shade. And that was the right thing for south facing tomato plants in Tucson.

Farmer Fred :

It depends where you live. What is tomato growing season in Tucson? I gotta believe it's like January through June.

Debbie Flower :

Right before it gets really hot. Yeah, but they were year round plants. They were perennials in Tucson. They lived through the summer and into the next year and produced again the next year.

Farmer Fred :

How did they live in 110 degree heat without a lot of water?

Debbie Flower :

afternoon shade. water and afternoon shade. Yeah.

Farmer Fred :

So, then we don't know where you live. And we don't know what varieties of tomatoes and zucchini we're talking about here. And that's the other thing about right plant in the right place. You should be growing the varieties that are suitable for your locale.

Debbie Flower :

Mm hmm. And your locale meaning your temperatures but also your soil and potentially the pests that would exist in your environment, your humidity. Very, very high humidity can can make the pollen very sticky and then it will not move around where it's supposed to go. There are tomatoes made if you're very cold there are tomatoes made that do not need pollination, and they will, it's called pathenocarpic fruit production. It means without pollination, they just make fruit anyway, it's like a false pregnancy. And and those those work. They're typically made for cooler temperatures, Oregon and north of Oregon, along the Pacific Coast, they're used quite a bit.

Farmer Fred :

All right, so let's see. Now we we figured out that well, it could be the city you're in, it could be the area of the yard you're in, it could be the variety of the plant you're using. I think there is a culprit affecting us here in the Sacramento area this year. And that's more heat than we're used to consistently and a lot of the popular tomato varieties that have done well in the past, many are suffering now because of all the 100 degree days we've been having.

Debbie Flower :

right you're not going to get pollination when the temperature gets above about 90 degrees so you're not going to get fruit and the plants themselves suffer they are just trying to pump water through themselves. I actually didn't grow tomatoes this year because my bed where I would put them is faces south and is up near a light colored stucco wall. So they get not only the heat and the sun that they would get in a full southern exposure but they also get the reflected heat and sun from that wall. And in the past they've just fried they just can't keep up with sweating so to speak to keep themselves cool. Even though the I've given them enough water the system that pumps that water to those plants just can't keep up.

Farmer Fred :

and as we learned a few weeks ago, regarding zucchini, is that the boy flowers like it hot but the girl flowers like a cool so if it's consistently over 85 or 90 degrees, the girls stay home.

Debbie Flower :

Yes, yes. And the other thing that's different. All of what was talked about applies to both zucchini and tomato. But the additional thing for the zucchini is that there are boy flowers and girl flowers, and you need an insect, pollinator. And it's an insect, typically a bee, to carry the pollen from the boy flower over to the girl flower and deposit it on the girl flower. that happens in the morning and the girl flower has to be receptive. The pollen has to be ripe. So again, that happens in the morning, and that pollen transfer has to occur. So if you don't have the bees to do that, that's a morning job for the gardener to go out and take the male flower. I like to take off the petals because they get in the way and stick it into the female flower and touch the knob in the center of the female flower and then you've done the pollination. But bees are also Insects are also good for pollinating or helping to pollinate tomatoes. tomatoes pollinate themselves, but many environmental conditions like temperature get in the way of them doing that successfully. So having the insects around is beneficial. So if lots of insecticides especially general insecticides are being meaning they kill many, many things are being used around that garden then the those insects that do the pollination or help do the pollination with the tomatoes are not present.

Farmer Fred :

And when it comes to tomatoes, you can help the tomatoes along by doing kind of the same thing by just shaking the little branch where the flowers are in the morning and moving that pollen around.

Debbie Flower :

Yes, yes. So being the pollenator, you have to get up in the morning and do it pretty early on in the day.

Farmer Fred :

Well, this would be another question we would have asked Lynn and that would have been: Are you seeing flowers? And if you're not seeing flowers well we go back to well, not enough sun. The weather was too hot. Does water play a part in flower development if there's too little or too much water can that affect flower development?

Debbie Flower :

absolutely any kind of stress the plant first thing a plant will do is shed parts when it's under stress. And the parts it says if it's really under stress would be the, the flowers and the fruit they would go first. Because they're really taxing on the plant they aren't making their own food, they're being fed by the rest of the plant. And so if they're stressed too much water eliminates oxygen from the root zone and so the roots can't function to not enough water obviously, you know, the plant will so it's not able to take up water or nutrients because of the water just isn't there so that those are very stressful situations and they will drop flowers. Too much heat will be that as well. Too much cold. They may not even form flowers in too much cold or in too much shade. There's just not the energy being made by the green parts of the plant to facilitate making a flower. So any kind of stress will cause dropping up the flower.

Farmer Fred :

The other question we would have asked Lynn in regards to her non performing tomato and zucchini is, how does the plant look? Are the green leaves healthy? Do you see signs of insect damage or disease?

Debbie Flower :

Absolutely, absolutely. Yep. healthy plant. Is it healthy because only a healthy plan is able to produce a baby fruit.

Farmer Fred :

Now another factor that may play a part in this. Sometimes people love their plants too much with fertilizer. And if you use too much nitrogen in a fertilizer that puts all that growth into green growth and not much into flower production.

Debbie Flower :

Right. And fertilizers, we've learned, that people who grow plants have learned that in general we do not need to apply phosphorus and potassium much, if at all. And so many of the fertilizers we buy now are primarily nitrogen. So nitrogen is the first number on a fertilizer bag. usually a bag typically has three, in some cases four, numbers on the front of the bag typically, and that's percent nitrogen is the first number; of percent phosphoric acid, which is a source of phosphorus, is the second number; percent potash is the third number, so that's potassium. And then if there's a fourth number, that's sulfur, almost everything is highest in nitrogen. So over-fertilizing with that those fertilizers that are high in nitrogen will lead to lots of green growth but no fruit.

Farmer Fred :

Now I think of sulfur as something that lowers the pH of the soil. What sort of specialty fertilizer would have that fourth number on the box or bag?

Debbie Flower :

Something for an acid loving plant. gardenia, Azalea, Rhododendron, Something for an acid loving plant.

Farmer Fred :

But again, you wouldn't apply the sulfur unless you knew the pH of your soil, right?

Debbie Flower :

You need a soil test. In most cases, we don't need the sulfur to grow a tomato. And so you would have to have a soil test that would prove that you need that before applying it no reason to spend your money on something you don't need.

Farmer Fred :

And that takes us back to Lynn's question. we delve a little deeper and maybe it's the soil maybe the pH is out of whack to try to grow tomatoes or zucchini,

Debbie Flower :

right or maybe they're in containers that are just way too small. Container production is a wonderful thing because not everybody lives in a place where they have wonderful soil or if they have lots of soil, or maybe they live in a place with no soil. And maybe they have a balcony and container production is totally doable, but the container has to be big enough. We're really looking at half barrel size, things to grow really robust tomato plants and squash plants.

Farmer Fred :

How many tomato or squash plants would you put in a barrel? squash?

Debbie Flower :

I would one. I know the temptation is like four because they're very small and you get them such cute babies. And then you put them in there, they have, they will ultimately have very large root systems and will take advantage of the water and nutrients available in the soil in the entire barrel. If they're if they can do that, if you plant tomatoes, and this could be another reason she's not getting fruit, or flowers. If you plant vegetable plants too close together, they will never produce. If you've ever had a tomato fall in the garden, and you don't really you don't pick it up, maybe you don't even notice it. And next year you come out and there are all these tomato plants growing in a little clump in the yard. The temptation might be to leave them but if you do, they'll grow but they'll be small and none of them will produce fruit. There's just too much competition.

Farmer Fred :

And getting back to the barrel question. I think for most tomato plants, one per barrel is plenty.

Debbie Flower :

I agree. Yes. Well, okay, I guess it could be a container issue and something you pointed out on a previous edition that I think bears repeating. growing plants in containers is fine if it's an annual, but if it's a perennial or a tree or a shrub, there could be problems down the line. Yeah, every time I've tried that, and I have lots of plants and containers. The perennials just do not perform, especially after the first year, first year, they may look great. And then they become basically rootbound. And so they don't get very big and they need to be watered more often and they need nutrition more often. And so either you move them up to the next size container, or you put them in the ground, or you can knock them out, knock off all the media and replant them do some pruning as well and replant them in the same container but they will never get very good.

Farmer Fred :

So exactly for then the permanent plants in your landscape, they're best off in the ground or a raised bed, I would think.

Debbie Flower :

Yes, but if you can't do that, if you're have no soil and no raised bed, there are techniques, but just don't. When you go to the nursery, the tag says it's going to be 20 feet tall and 20 feet wide. It will never get that big in your container. Just be aware of that.

Farmer Fred :

If you want to learn more about the conversation we had about roots and root pruning, go back to our July 10 episode of garden basics, and that would have been episode number 27. I think it's an episode I called I did not know that or it even says root cuttings, I do believe, so check that out. So we've covered sunlight, we've covered location, we've covered variety, we've covered insects, diseases, fertilizer, soil, pH, containers versus in ground. Is there anything else that in Lynn's situation would keep her tomatoes and zucchini from flowering?

Debbie Flower :

Boy you pretty much covered my list. sun/shade, health of the plant, watering extremes, anything that's causing stress. we didn't I don't think we specifically discussed diseases.

Farmer Fred :

Well, that goes back to, Is it a healthy plant? I mean if you look into the plant the plant, right but i think in a lot of situations people go over they glance at it and walk away. When you're checking the health of a plant, you got to look at the underside of the leaves.

Debbie Flower :

You sure do. because there's stuff going on and even in the ground, it's a big healthy plant. Sometimes you lift up the leaves on the ground and you find harboring it's harboring insects. It would be slugs and snails in my yard. or and or you've got weeds growing under there that are competing with your plant and they need to be pulled out. You might find that your irrigation system isn't wetting the soil under the plant. So yeah, it's it's definitely a more close up both of the distance inspection you can see change in color or Up close, we can see the specifics.

Farmer Fred :

Exactly. And don't ignore the margins of the leaves either. That's a telltale sign for a lot of issues, especially watering.

Debbie Flower :

Mm, yes.

Farmer Fred :

Good luck, lynn. Right. And by the way, if you want to leave a question at the get growing with farmer Fred Facebook page, please tell us where you live. Thank you.

Debbie Flower :

Yes, and maybe Lynn will contact us again, and and contact you again with more specifics.

Farmer Fred :

Once again, we went through all the possibilities, the permutations of why a tomato plant or a zucchini plant just won't flower. And if you have a similar issue, if you just run through that list that we talked about, you just might discover the problem. Once again, Debbie Flower, our favorite college horticultural professor, retired. Thank you so much for your help.

Debbie Flower :

Oh, it's my pleasure. Thanks for talking to me.

Farmer Fred :

Garden Basics with Farmer Fred podcast has a lot of information posted at each episode. Transcripts, links to any products or books mentioned during the show and other helpful links for even more information. Plus, you can listen to just the portions of the show that interest you. It's been divided into easily accessible chapters, and you'll find more information about how to get in touch with us. We have links to all our social media outlets, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Also a link to the farmerfred.com website. That's where you can find out more information about the radio shows. You remember radio, right? now, if the place where you access the podcast doesn't have that information, You can find it all at our home podcaster, buzzsprout. buzzsprout.com just look for the Garden Basics with Farmer Fred podcast. You'll find a link to it in the show notes. Right now let's learn some blueberry basics. A while back I paid a visit to the Fair Oaks horticulture center that's run by the Sacramento County masters gardeners here in Sacramento, California. It's a beautiful horticultural nugget you ought to visit it sometime when they're open. Maybe after the Coronavirus goes away, it'll reopen. But I was particularly interested in their blueberry display and the way they protect their blueberries. So even if you don't grow blueberries, but maybe you want to protect some of your other crops from ravaging birds, give a listen to how they do it. We're talking with Master Gardener, Shenna Mealey. and Shenna, This is quite the system you have here for planting blueberries now most people know that blueberries require an acid soil and to get around that a lot of people planting containers but you have it in the ground. What were some of the obstacles of having successful blueberries in the ground that require acidic soil?

Shenna Mealey :

mostly every once a year in March, we test the soil. we test the pH with a pH meter And depending on what that pH is, then we know that we have to apply soil sulfur, we do that whether they're in a pot or in the ground. Then we add also fertilizer, we when we add our soil sulfur we add whatever we add half of the amount that the box recommends in March than the other half, we add in October so we write that down in our gardening calendar so we don't forget. And then we also fertilize in October also, and with doing that we keep our pH pretty well in check and our berries are very happy.

Farmer Fred :

Sulfur is not a quick acting ingredient it takes a while for the pH of the soil to change thus the the two applications one in March and one in October,

Shenna Mealey :

right and some people are tempted after they apply it in March. They're tempted to check the pH again, say in May and go oh no, I need to add some more soil sulfur. So we always caution them when we're explaining this. Don't check it again. Just know that You followed the instructions, you've done it correctly, and then have confidence that little by little, that pH will get to the place where you want it to be.

Farmer Fred :

You have your blueberry spaced here at about three to four feet apart?

Shenna Mealey :

Yes.

Farmer Fred :

And when people come here to the Fair Oaks horticulture center and see the blueberries, they're going to be amazed at your netting system here. talk about this netting system. It's a system anybody can put in at home,

Shenna Mealey :

right? It's very simple. If you don't net your blueberries, the birds will eat them before you get to blueberries turn blue about a week before they're actually ripe. But as soon as they turn blue, the birds will eat them gone. So if you want to protect them and have some yummy ones left for yourself, you need to net them. What we have done is we have a PVC pipe that's about four or five feet tall with a tee at the top and then that PVC pipe is actually over a piece of rebar. The rebar is in the ground. It's about a four foot piece of rebar. We poked in the ground about 18 inches PVC pipe goes over that a string has gone around through the PVC pipe tees. Up at the top. Yes. And then the netting is over that so that it's really just a support for the netting.

Farmer Fred :

Yeah, that string we should point out is actually like a white nylon rope,

Shenna Mealey :

right? And it could be anything it could be yellow, it could be you know, whatever. This year we actually painted our PVC pipe green. So it's a little less obtrusive. It actually looks really fabulous. And it's half inch PVC pipe to

Farmer Fred :

Yes, so that's very inexpensive,

Shenna Mealey :

very and easy to do something that anybody can do with a little you know, saw and and some spray paint if you want. Then the netting is the netting that we can buy locally is not as wide and it's kind of stiff and not as easy to work with. So we have netting that we found. Can I say where we get it from or apply? It's actually Wilson orchard and vineyard supply might be saying that backwards has never been available. The The netting that they have currently available is black, but it's also soft. It's wonderful to work with it comes in 50 foot wide amounts, so you can have a big expanse and and they will cut it to size. So that's the best resource we found around here to get your netting and they do mail order. So then the other part that's essential is you have to pin the netting down to the ground because those sneaky birds will actually climb under the netting eat your berries, break your leaves, trying to fly out they won't be able to fly out and then they'll just kill themselves and die. So we don't want that to happen. And consequently we have used (garden) hose. you can use anything actually. PVC pipe, old wood, something to secure the base of the netting around the entire side. We pin that down with irrigation clamps and that keeps it so that the birds cannot get in.

Farmer Fred :

So are these the longer bobby pins, about the six inch or eight inch?

Shenna Mealey :

Yes, yep, they're like one inch wide to go over enough to go over a big hose right and about six inches long.

Farmer Fred :

So basically you just have like 100 foot garden hose along the base of the perimeter and then pinned it down and that holds the netting in place. So squirrels or dogs or whatever, and birds can't get underneath it to get the berries. My question is how do you get in?

Shenna Mealey :

you have to lift it up, you have to unpin it, you have to lift up the netting from under the hose. The netting then just kind of flops up over the supports and you pick underneath there and then put it back down.

Farmer Fred :

What section opens up? how wide a section Do you have open up?

Shenna Mealey :

It depends on how many berries are... you can open up, you know even the whole side if you want to, can be opened up we usually open up maybe you know six or 10 feet at a time. Just depending on how many berries are ripening, which bushes need attention at that time.

Farmer Fred :

And I noticed, too, that you what you have in here as far as varieties go there a mix of northern and southern highbush variety. Southern highbush varieties have been the ones that have been recommended for our area for a long time. But there's more and more interesting growing Northern highbush varieties, the kinds that made Michigan and New England famous for growing blueberries. Are they special Northern highbush varieties are some sort of new hybrids.

Shenna Mealey :

There are some northern hybrid. Well, just as anything, there are going to be varieties of any type that grow better in our heat and our chill hours. The types that are available here in zone nine will grow well here and it doesn't matter. The ones that are grown often in Washington and Oregon. Probably wouldn't do well here just because they wouldn't take the summer heat that we have. The ones that grow in Canada are all lowbush they're a totally different type of growing habit. The ones that are grown in the south states are usually a rabbiteye, is another different type of growing habit. So the northern Southern highbush doesn't seem to be a big indicator to us right now as far as what will grow well here.

Farmer Fred :

Alright, let's get into some specifics about the varieties here. What are your favorites? I know it's like picking your favorite child, but the what do you look for when you go to pick blueberries? Are you looking for flavor for size?

Shenna Mealey :

That is a personal thing. I want them to taste really yummy and blueberry. My husband's favorite is to have like six different kinds and a bowl and have all those different flavors popping in his mouth at once. Some people like them to be big, my dad, The bigger the better. Some people like them to be small because they associate with that with the intense flavor of some of the low bush ones that are grown in Canada in the very northern states. So I think it's a personal preference.

Farmer Fred :

You're absolutely right. Some people prefer sweet some prefer tart. because I'm the one that picks them in the yard, I like them big because they're much easier to pick than the smaller berries and of the ones I tasted this morning, My favorite It has to be the Draper because I like sweet. And I like large and the Draper fits the bill. And I would think to that of all the varieties you've have here, they also would be available locally.

Shenna Mealey :

Yes, sometimes, they're not all always available all the time. There was one I have at my home, I had five planted. And there was one that we tried here, we did a little taste test, my husband and I have the berries from the heart center. And we really, really love the flavor of the Duke blueberry. And so for three years, I looked online, I looked at the local gardening stores, I looked everywhere to find a dupe and I couldn't find one. And one day I was at a big box store and walked by and there was one and I grabbed it. And so you really don't know when you're going to find one.

Farmer Fred :

Talk a little bit about the fertilizer you're using. I have heard people say you shouldn't use a nitrate based fertilizer on blueberries. But you know, it's personal preference really. So what fertilizers are you using here?

Shenna Mealey :

We use the soil sulfur if needed for the pH. And then we use nutra rich, which is a pelleted chicken manure, which is a 4-2-3 composition. Again, kind of a slow release. And that's pretty much what we use here. Then the other part that we take care of them by pruning and making sure that they get adequate water. And they seem to be very happy.

Farmer Fred :

Yeah, the story of nutra rich fertilizer is very interesting. It was a family that had a chicken operation down in Riverside. And they were wondering, what are we going to do with all this leftover chicken manure? and they pelletized it and sold it as nutra rich, and the rest is history.

Shenna Mealey :

And it's wonderful. We use that in a lot of places at the hort center. It's very popular here and I actually use it at home. I like it very much.

Farmer Fred :

Well, I've learned a lot here. Thanks so much for your time.

Shenna Mealey :

You're welcome.

Farmer Fred :

Garden basics comes out every Tuesday and Friday, and it's available just about anywhere podcasts are handed out, and that includes Apple podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, overcast, Spotify, stitcher, tune in, and hey Alexa, play the Garden Basics with Farmer Fred podcast, would you please? Thank you for listening, subscribing and leaving comments. We appreciate it. Once again, Debbie Flower our favorite college horticultural professor, retired. Thank you so much for your help.

Debbie Flower :

Oh, it's my pleasure. Thanks for talking to me.

Farmer Fred :

Because I'm lonely.

Debbie Flower :

It's Covid. The septic cleaning guy was just not enough socialization for me.

Farmer Fred :

Yes. In our case, it was the oven repair guy.

"Why No Tomatoes or Squash?"
Blueberry Basics