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[Question] Opinion in the room on Pop-up/Non-Permanent Greenhouses?
  • Nethouses are used in commercial production in many areas. They use netting with a very fine holes (aphid/thrip proof). Generally this gives around a 25% shade with significant humidity increases.

    The classic way to prevent sunscald on peppers is to strip off the first fruit that set. Next fertilize the plants heavily to encourage vegetative growth. Once the plants are larger let them set fruit. The shade from the leaves protects the fruit. This method also greatly increases the total production of the plant over the growing season by sacrificing early fruit set.

  • Found this fat fellow having himself a nice nibble
  • Putting out the assassin bugs with the predatory mites is not a good idea. They are indescriminate hunters. They also tend to fly away. They do a better job on aphids and whiteflies in my experience.

    The G. occidentalis usually only works in cooler temps below 90F. Above that their populations crash. They are awesome in a temperature controlled greenhouse.

    N. californicus can take the heat but need high levels. This is why they work in corn. Apply them at tasselling and they reproduce on the corn pollen rapidly. They then can suppress spider mites for the rest of the season. Otherwise you are left releasing every 2 weeks for the rest of the season. It works but it's expensive.

  • Does anyone know what this is or how to treat
  • With any scale insect make sure that ants are not actively tending them. It's a mutually beneficial arrangement like ants and aphids. Often controlling the ants will let the natural predators clear them out.

    You can also release many options for predatory insects/wasps that will clear them out. Using a native species is usually best. They tend to stick around for years and get rid of the problem long term.

  • Please hold
  • I personally just start a long monologue of swearing at whatever dumbfuck thought it was a good idea to make an AI answer the phone.

    Then I am extremely pleasant to the human when they pick-up.

    They generally record and log every call, so I give the human reviewer something to enjoy.

  • Mint is absolutely killing it
  • Mint gets quite a few fungal root pathogens. Once those set in it will wipe it out in a few years.

    I don't recommend being near the field when they swath it. Clears your sinuses and burns your eyes.

  • Question about hybrid vegetables
  • Lol no I only doing a little breeding as a hobby now (Halloween pumpkins).

    Last count I had 14 different suppliers from local to internationals.

    I have dealerships, distributorships, as well as open market suppliers. I do both wholesale and retail.

    Basically, I don't go fishing enough.

  • Question about hybrid vegetables
  • Just about anything except vegetable seeds.

    Field corn, alfalfa, cereals, hay grasses, forage crops, turfgrass, covercrops, native grasses, flower seed etc. I never quite know what I will be moving next.

  • Question about hybrid vegetables
  • I got out of vegetable seeds about a decade ago. My tendency to make the brown-nosers look absolutely stupid became a liability once I hit upper management. Imagine a plant breeder with a talent for computers, logistics, marketing and sales. I asked all the "wrong" questions.

    Currently running my own seed dealership/research activities for row crops.

  • Question about hybrid vegetables
  • You've underestimated it by a bit. It takes 2-3 generations to increase the inbred seed quantities after selfing. So figure 20 years. Plus the female line takes 5 generations to create so another 10 years (onion hybrid seed production requires 3 lines: Male, maintainer & female - the female has cytoplasmic male sterility). All together it used to take 30 years to create a new female line.

    Today onions are self-pollinated traditionally for 2 generations, then double-haploids are produced. It takes another 2-3 generations to create the female line with marker-assisted back-crossing. It takes 2-3 generations to create enough parent seed to produce commercial hybrids. So say 12-16 years now for a female line. 10 years for the male and maintainer.

  • Question about hybrid vegetables
  • Seeds of many species, when stored correctly, can still germinate for decades. I have used seed that was 30+ years old several times before.

    Breeders produce inbred parental lines by self-pollinating for 5-8 generations (or double-haploid creation).

    They then do a small initial seed increase by bulking a generation. Bulking refers to combining the seeds from several plants (I used nethouse with 24 cantaloupe plants and a small young queen honeybee hive inside to produce 0.5-1kg of seed).

    This is called basic or breeder seed. This lot is tested for genetic uniformity and seedborne diseases. It's also used for small hybrid seed productions to test out the inbred.

    Breeder seed is increased again and bulked to make foundation seed (around 50kg for cantaloupes) This is used to make the first commercial production of the hybrid. It is then increased yet again to produce stock seed (500kg)

    Stock seed is what the commercial hybrid is produced from for the rest of its life. Foundation seed is used to produce more stock seed as needed.

    The breeder seed and foundation seed are stored carefully to prolong it's life. The stock seed is in the general warehouse with the hybrid seed.

    As long as they maintain quality control during the inbred increase process, the resulting hybrid will always be essentially the same.

  • Do you ever have a tomato plant that dies for seemingly no reason?
  • At first I thought it was one of the "wilts". These are soil-borne pathogens that attack the plants roots. The causitive organism could be verticillium, fusarium, or phytophera. In small plants pythium or rhyzoctonia can kill them. There is also bacterial wilt that causes the rapid decline of the plants.

    Then I zoomed in and took a closer look at the plant. I suspect it's nitrogen deficiency. It could be caused by over-watering (denitrification and leaching nitrate out of the soil profile). However I suspect you didn't have enough to start with.

    The tomato tone looks to be a 3-4-6 fertilizer. To put it simply, it's a stupid fertilizer blend. Plants need nutrients with a ratio of around 3:1:2. So you need 3x+ more nitrogen in that blend.

    Once the plant sets fruit, it starts to dedicate nitrogen into the fruit/seeds. In a shortage situation it moves them from the lower leaves (they turn yellow and die).

  • Powdery mildew on squash leaves?
  • It's referred to as leaf silvering. It's a genetically controlled trait common in the Cucurbita genus. That being said those are a bit extreme.

    Take a look at the underside of the leaves. Silverleaf whiteflies could also be the cause.

  • [BUG] When scrolling a long list eventually the app freezes and crashes.

    Happens on both my Nokia G50 and S23. Scrolling past a hundred plus post it becomes sluggish then crashes the app.

    Perhaps something to do with memory management?