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Reducing Number of Plants - more room between plants?

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Reducing Number of Plants - more room between plants? Empty Reducing Number of Plants - more room between plants?

Post  OhioGardener on 10/26/2019, 9:36 am

This year's production of peppers and tomatoes has me thinking about reducing the number of plants I put in next year, but wondering if at the same time that I reduce the number of plants if I should increase the distance between the ones I do plant.

This year, as in past years, I planted 36 pepper plants - 6 each of Bell, Banana, and Jalapeno - with each plant in a one foot square. With the fertility of the soil, and the drip irrigation system, the pepper plants grew to slightly over 4' tall, and produced more peppers than us and the neighbors combined could use. So, next year I am thinking of reducing the number of plants to 4 each instead of 6. But, since the plants got so huge this year, I wonder if I should give each plant a little more than the one sq ft of soil - maybe put the 4 plants in the same six square feet that the 6 plants used?  If the plants are spaced further apart, I wonder if they would require staking or caging to prevent them from breaking over - with the plants close together they support each other without any problem.

This year we had two of each variety of tomatoes, and had far more tomatoes than we and the neighbors could use as well. So, next year I may reduce some of the varieties to one plant, while keeping two plants of the favorites such as Brandywine & Golden Jubilee.  Since the tomatoes are in 20" Texas Tomato Cages, the spacing won't change, but less garden space will be used for tomatoes.

Meanwhile, the double-cropping of bush beans was a huge success, and allowed us to freeze 20 quarts of green beans for this winter.  I planted 24ft2 of Blue Lake Bush Beans, which produced heavily with multiple pickings.  By mid-August the plants were finished, so I cut off the plants at the soil level and composted them. Then I refreshed the compost in the bed and replanted with more Blue Lake beans. That second planting of beans produced 4 pickings, right up until frost killed them in mid-October. I plan to re-do that double-cropping of beans again next year in a different bed to see if I can replicate the success.

I love the end of the season when we can look at the year's successes & failures, and start planning for what next year will look like.  Very Happy

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Post  countrynaturals on 10/26/2019, 10:38 am

Charlie Brown and the football -- just wait til next year! Razz I'm doing the same thing. Tomatoes, cukes, and beans were a huge success. Everything else needs work and I'm already planning my strategies. thinking
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Post  OhioGardener on 10/26/2019, 11:00 am

@countrynaturals wrote:Charlie Brown and the football -- just wait til next year! Razz I'm doing the same thing. Tomatoes, cukes, and beans were a huge success. Everything else needs work and I'm already planning my strategies. thinking

My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view.   ~ H. Fred Ale

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Post  yolos on 10/26/2019, 1:18 pm

Ohio Gardener - I did something similar a couple years ago.  Here in Georgia, the diseases and bugs are none stop.  It helps to space things farther apart so I can catch bugs or diseases before they become real problems.  This is the first year I have had successful peppers.  I planted them at 1 per square and that was way too close.  Almost impossible to find the peppers.  They are producing wonderfully but I can't find the peppers.  Also, with Southern Peas, the aphids attack them every year.  If they are planted too close together, I don't see the aphids early enough.  I also did a double planting of beans for the first time this year.  Rattlesnake pole beans.  It is much more pleasant harvesting the beans in this cooler weather and also no Japanese Beetles at this time of year.  They are still attacked by spider mites but I am used to just dealing with them by doing nothing.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 10/26/2019, 2:42 pm

I plant by the book in my 4x4, but I have old re-used window planters that are actually 1 1/2 feet deep (by various lengths) shortest is 5 1/2 feet and longest is 8 feet long.  I treat them like they are 1 foot deep, so by default they are spaced wider.  I have great results there especially for tomatoes.
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