Flowers turning brown

(Question)

Hi, I live in Woodbridge , Vaughn. I have planted bell peppers and banana hot peppers . There flowers are turning brown on their sides of petals, what should I do?
Also the lower leaves of my eggplant plant are turning slightly yellow, so what should I do?
One last question, my dad’s green pumpkin’s flowers are falling, is he watering it too much, he lives in extreme climate with long summer with temp upto 40 c + . So what should be done

(Answer)

It is such a pleasure to grow a vegetable garden, but there certainly are challenges that come with doing so.

So starting with the peppers, it sounds like perhaps it had something to do with the recent cold weather and the cold may have stressed the plant. This is the most common cause for lack of flowering or bud drop in peppers. Make sure to plant when days are typically over 25 degrees. Could you be over or under watering them? Ensure the soil is well draining and not soggy, and that they are regularly irrigated. Nutrients are also critical for successful fruiting so I hope that you are feeding them with compost and/or a 5-10-10 fertilizer, giving them the extra phosphorus and potassium needed for flower and fruit production. Sometimes too much nitrogen can affect the blooms.  Finally poor pollination can be the issue so ensure that you have  brightly coloured flowers nearby to attract bees and butterflies.

The eggplant issue sounds like a insect problem. Check the underside of the leaves for aphids, whiteflies or spider mites. If you find them, try blasting them with your garden hose or using an insecticidal soap on the plant. It could also be a fungi. Perhaps Fusarium wilt or Verticillium wilt, which are common diseases for solanaceous crops (eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes and peppers). The virus lives in the soil and is taken up by the crop. Once in the crop it can’t be cured. This is why crop rotation is critical. Ensure that you move various plant families around your garden each year.

Pumpkin (Cucurbita spp.) flowers dropping in your Dad’s garden could be the same issue you have with your peppers. It could be lack of pollination. They are monecious, meaning they have separate male and female flowers on the same plant, and need them cross pollinated for fruit to occur. (Once the pollination occurs the male flowers do drop, but without fertilization the females may drop as well.) It may need to add things to attract pollinators or try hand pollinating the flowers himself..

Here are some good vegetable gardening sites they may provide further information:

http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/freepubs/pdfs/agrs115.pdf

http://www.canadiangardening.com/gardens/fruit-and-vegetable-gardening

Good luck and enjoy your vegetables