Questions « Archive

Posted on 22 October 2009 by

Reader Question: Canning Tomato Juice

tomato-juice2By Vanessa Richins

Jim says:

“In the canning process, it calls to add 2 Tbl lemon juice to quart jars, totally blew it and forgot.  They are all sealed correctly. Should it be thrown away? Can I reprocess with the lemon juice, or reboil and go through processing again?”

Hi Jim! First, we should explore why they’re asking you to add lemon juice to your tomato juice.

The main culprit you’re trying to battle when you’re canning foods is a bacteria called Clostridium botulinum, which occurs in the soil and is the cause of botulism, a paralyzing illness.

There are two basic styles of canning – boiling and pressure. The method you use is determined by what you are canning. If you are working with highly acidic (below 4.6 pH) fruits and vegetables (which includes many tomatoes), you can Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 28 September 2009 by

Reader Question: Organic Hydroponic Tomatoes

house-houseBy Vanessa Richins

Jerry writes:

“Considering hot house, organic, hydroponic tomatoes growing in Northern California. Need a lot more knowledge of subject.”

Hi Jerry! I am jealous – I’ve been wanting a greenhouse of my own.

Organic tomatoes would be a natural addition, and hydroponics is fascinating.

For general organic hothouse tomato production information, head on over to the National Sustainable Agriculture Service. This website is courtesy of the Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 14 September 2009 by

Reader Question: Freezing Tomato Sauce

freezing-tomato-sauceBy Vanessa Richins

Misty says:

“Hi, how would I freeze tomato sauce? Would you have any recipes? Thank you.”

Hello Misty! Freezing is a great way to preserve your tomato sauce for further use.

One advantage is that for me as a single girl, I can freeze individual portions so I don’t have to worry about opening a can that will take me a while to use and could go bad.

For instructions on how to freeze tomato sauce, I headed on over to Google and found Kalyn’s Kitchen. She’s a local woman here in Utah who writes about low glycemic index and carb foods. She had great instructions on how to freeze tomato sauce.

First, she says to Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 12 September 2009 by

Reader Question: White Insects on Tomato Plants

whiteflyBy Vanessa Richins

Colnel asks:

“I have started getting very small white bugs on my tomato plants. What are they? Will they hurt the plant? How do I get rid of them?”

Hi Colnel. Can you tell us more about these bugs. What do they look like? Do they have wings? Since you don’t mention any damage in your question, can I assume the plants are currently healthy?

One problem insect could be a stalk borer. These are white (or purple larvae that like to burrow into stems of tomatoes. You would Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 22 August 2009 by

Reader Questions: Tomato Blight

late-blightBy Vanessa Richins

This season, we have a lot of readers concerned about the late blight that has spread throughout the Northeastern United States. Here’s 2 reader questions about the tomatoes themselves.


“Good morning, I had many of my tomato plants infected with the fungus.Some of the cherry tomato plants that were next to the infected ones appear normal. The tomatoes are red and without white spots. Is it safe to eat these tomatoes? Thank you for your help and time. Have a nice day. P.s. Is this fungus harmful to humans if ingested?”


“Can tomatoes be eaten from plants that show blight–I pulled out all my plants but some tomatoes are still green and sitting in the sun.I would like to know if they’re safe to eat if they turn red.”

Hi! The virus itself is not harmful to humans, so they are safe to eat. It depends on if they start showing signs of blight. So far it sounds like Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 20 August 2009 by

Reader Question: Tomato Plants Dying

blight1By Vanessa Richins

Nicole writes:

” I NEED HELP!! I went out to my garden this morning everything was fine. Came home from work and my tomato plants took a turn for the worst. Almost every leaf on the plant turned yellow/brown with dark black spots. I had to cut them all off according to the internet. Some of the tomatoes had dark brown spots on them. There was also some mushrooms growing beneath the plant.

Connecticut has been having alot of rain and humidity this week. Also there is a tomato fungus in six of our counties. Does anyone know what type of fungus this is and what I can do to treat my plants? I had 9 plants that were producing beatiful tomatoes…I was so excited. I don’t think they are going to survive. : (  “

Hi Nicole. I am so sorry to hear that all of your tomatoes are having problems.

First, the fungus you are referring to is late blight (Phytophthora infestans). It’s really hit hard in the Northeast this year. Part of the problem is the weather conditions you described – rainy Read the rest of this entry »


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