Blossom End Rot

Container Gardening, Organic Gardening, Organic Pest & Disease Control
Blossom end rot on tomatoes Photograph by David B. Langston, University of Georgia 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…
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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_398" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Tomato Hornworm Damage"][/caption] The first clue, other than the obvious is little black "droppings" that look like mice turds on your tomato leaves. 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 things feel, pinch off the entire little branch he is munching on.  That's what I did below... these guys came…
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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.
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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…
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Update…

Our Homestead
Well, the tomatoes are getting ready to be RED! Eugene has pulled it off again this year and has supplied the compost pile with over forty five bags of grass clippings. It is making a fine mulch as well! I came by an old chipper/shredder just collecting dust in someone's barn. What a BOON! for only $125!!! Getting it running will consist of some carburetor work... and I can chip and shred to my little hearts desire. That will aide in adding some 'brown' to the mix. My neighbors already think I'm a little kooky, always asking them... "What are you going to do with that?" They proceed to look at me like I have three eyes and I say, "Then can I have it?" Hey, one man's refuse is…
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Tomato Container Gardens

Tomato Container Gardens

Container Gardening, Growing Food
Tomato container gardens are an alternative to a traditional tomato garden. Tomatoes are one of the most popular vegetables, well in this case fruits, of people around the world. They can be used in so many ways, in a salad or to make a sauce for pasta and a myriad of other ways in your culinary pursuits. Sadly in some places tomatoes are being priced at three dollars per pound or more. Fortunately, everyone can grow their own tomatoes, even people that live in apartments. The answer is to grow a tomato container garden. You can grow them on a patio or balcony or in a bright sunny room in your home. The number one essential is sun. Tomatoes require a lot of light and will not thrive without out…
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