Growing Tomatoes

Growing Tomatoes

Growing Food
This is a series of articles with information on how to grow tomatoes; from sowing seeds through to how to use up all the fruit you can't eat fresh at the end of the season.... it's all here! Starting Tomatoes from Seed What could be more delicious than fresh tomatoes straight from the garden? If you agree, read this article on sowing and planting tomatoes. Tomato Diseases Although growing tomatoes is relatively straightforward, they can be attacked by a number of pests and diseases. Find out how to identify these and how to treat them. How to Grow Tomatoes Once your tomatoes have germinated and been planted, then comes the good part! How to Choose Tomato Plants Choosing a good tomato plant is determined most by what you like to…
Read More

Blossom End Rot

Organic Gardening, Organic Pest & Disease Control
Tomatoes grown in containers and indeterminate (vining) heirloom tomatoes can be more susceptible to Blossom End Rot (BER) that is caused by an inability to adequately uptake calcium from the soil. This condition is more likely caused by fluctuating moisture levels rather than a deficiency of calcium in the soil. But, it can also be caused by an excess of nitrogen, a pH out of range of 6.5 (ideal for calcium uptake), or water logged roots that don't have proper drainage. If your fruit begins to get the telltale tan to brownish spots on the bottom, pick off and discard the affected tomatoes. Then make sure the plants are well mulched with dried grass clippings, straw, black or red plastic, or an extra layer of finished compost to reduce moisture…
Read More

Tomato Diseases

Growing Food, Organic Gardening, Organic Pest & Disease Control
Fusarium Wilt: Over winters in the soil. Lower leaves turn yellow, wilt and drop off. Blight (Late): A disease that strikes tomatoes and potatoes, can quickly ruin an entire crop — and provide a source of infection for other plants. It is critical that gardeners understand that late blight is not like other tomato and potato diseases. Many other diseases affect these crops in home gardeners, but most of them only affect leaves or cause limited damage to fruit, and while they may reduce the harvest, they generally don't cause a total loss. Furthermore, because most pathogens are not readily dispersed by wind, their effects are localized. Late blight, on the other hand, kills plants outright, and it is highly contagious. Its occurrence in your garden can affect other gardens…
Read More
Tomatoes – Pests and Disease

Tomatoes – Pests and Disease

Growing Food
Although tomatoes are relatively easy to grow, there can be problems with a variety of tomato pests and disease. The most common tomato pests and disease Aphids - I wouldn't use pesticides when there is such an easy way to kill them. An organic way of dealing with them is to spray with soapy water. Greenhouse whitefly - use the same methods as for aphids. Potato cyst eelworm - rotate planting so tomatoes (and potatoes) are not planted in the same place every year. Tomato Mosaic Virus - symptons are mottled yellow curled leaves sometimes with brown steaks on the stems. The only thing to do is to destroy the entire plant including roots and fruit. Don't put it in the compost, it is better to burn it. Pototo Blight…
Read More
How to Choose Tomato Plants

How to Choose Tomato Plants

Growing Food
Zeroing in on the Tastiest Varieties From North to South, and coast to coast, tomatoes are consistently the most popular vegetable in American gardens. But for most gardeners, just any old tomato won't do. How do you choose tomato plants? Some like them red, some like them yellow, orange or even purple! Some prefer tomatoes as tiny as a dime and some want them as big as a melon. Some like them juicy, some like them dense and pulpy. Fortunately, there are almost 700 different tomato varieties in cultivation today. Plenty of choices for everyone! If you've been gardening for many years, you probably already have a few favorite tomato varieties that you plant every year. In my own garden, I've tried at least two dozen different varieties over the…
Read More
Starting Tomatoes from Seed

Starting Tomatoes from Seed

Growing Food
There are many advantages seed planting your own tomatoes Starting tomatoes from seed is a very rewarding experience. Watching them grow from a tiny (and tomato seed ARE tiny!) seed into a towering plant full of the most delicious taste experience ever is tremendously fun! It may have a few days of hard work involved, depending on how many tomato plants you decide to grow, but still, fun! You can eat them within minutes of picking them so they are as fresh as possible. You can grow them without using chemical pesticides or fertilizers. Even if you do resort to chemicals, you know what you have used and you can ensure you don't use them when the fruit is on the plants. You can grow tastier and better varieties than…
Read More
Cutting Tomato Horn Worm Damage

Cutting Tomato Horn Worm Damage

Organic Pest & Disease Control
Ever wake up one morning to this? One day your tomatoes are looking better than you've ever seen them and WHAMMO! Without warning, without notice, they are decimated overnight. [caption id="attachment_5444" align="aligncenter" width="640"] whammo! Overnight! Hornworm damage, er, decimation[/caption] The first clue beside the obvious disappearance of leaves is little black "droppings" that look like mice turds on your tomato leaves or on the ground around your plants. [caption id="attachment_5447" align="aligncenter" width="640"] hornworm poop, er, castings[/caption] First course of action in the organic garden is to understand Integrated Pest Management. Good soil and good planting practices... this, however, won't do much to deter this little critter. And the best way to get rid of them is to simply pick them off. If you can't stand the way to the creepy…
Read More
Heirloom Tomatoes and Disease Resistance

Heirloom Tomatoes and Disease Resistance

Growing Food, Organic Gardening
Unlike hybrid tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes have not been tested and bred for disease resistance. For this reason, they may or may not have some natural resistance to various diseases. However, it is beneficial to remember that these unique varieties would not have been saved if they were not both productive and tasty. You can give your heirloom tomato plants the greatest odds for good health and keep them producing well by incorporating basic organic methods to make sure your plants have good air circulation (a few feet between them), good soil drainage, and full sun.
Read More

Beat High Prices by Growing Your Own Tomatoes

Growing Food, Organic Gardening
It's easy,very inexpensive and they taste better too so lets get started! STEP 1: Which tomatoes should I grow? If you have a long growing season then you would want to go with an indeterminate variety which grows all summer long. If your growing season is short then you would go with a determinate variety which produces its fruit quickly (in as little as 85 days or less) and ripens all at once. Step 2: Now that I have bought my seeds what do I do with them? Six to eight weeks for the end of winter I line up little paper cups filled with peat moss and put one seed in each cup. I then place them in a sunny window sill and water almost daily as peat tends…
Read More