I answer a lot of questions on gardening, and in particular about growing the things that I sell. It occurred to me that much of this information would be helpful to others as well, so here is my FAQ on gardening.
How do I prevent cracking?
Cracking is usually caused by water on the ripe fruit and/or fluctuating temperature and watering conditions. If you keep the fruit dry and provide consistent watering (e.g. through timer controlled soaker hoses), that’s about the best you can do. Don’t go from dry to waterlogged and back again, because the surge of water through the dry plant will increase pressure in the fruit and cause cracking. Some types will crack just a bit no matter what you do, though.
Do pre-emergents work to stop weeds from growing?
I have used corn gluten with good success in the past. It doesn’t work on everything, but it definitely helps. I’ve never tried the chemical pre-emergents, and I doubt I ever will. I tend to mulch a lot, though, and I remove the top layer of soil at the beginning of the season, so I have few weeds in the grow beds anyway.