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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Plant first aid

By Jennifer


Earlier this month squirrels (at least I think it was them!) toppled a jalapeno pepper plant in my garden.

I was not content to see it die. They say necessity is the mother of invention, right? And I needed a porous type of tape to bend and mend my little plant. Porous tape? Do gardening stores even carry such a thing?

That wasn't the point. I realized I had just what I needed in my first aid cabinet. A bandage!

I bandaged it back in place and staked it to keep it upright. Three weeks later the plant has more than tripled in size and is producing blossoms.

Now, this method doesn't always work; this was actually my third attempt. Earlier in the season I tried it when snow damaged one of my tomato seedlings. The plant seemed OK for a while but succumbed when temperatures rose rapidly. A second time I tried to rescue another pepper plant but to no avail. I think what made the difference is the doomed pepper plant's leaves were already drying out when I found it, whereas my jalapeno plant was still pretty springy (if you didn't over-evaluate its ripped stem!) Its stem was also wider, and more fully formed than the other plants, suggesting it had other channels to deliver water upward while the rest of the plant healed.

Still, when a plant has been injured, I say you have nothing to lose by whipping out the old first aid kit. You just might enable a full recovery.



commoncents said...

Just wanted to drop a note saying I really like your blog!

Common Cents

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

My new puppy broke my squash stem nearly clean in two. Somehow it's still alive and producing. Go figure.