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Posted on 28 December 2010 by

Ants and Aphids a Love Story

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antsBy Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Many things can be learned through observing nature and what goes on in the tomato garden is just as interesting.

While nature is filled with a variety of plants and animals the tomato garden can be a monoculture nightmare on the surface but what goes on behind the scenes is a wonder.

Many people walk through their tomato garden and panic when the first insect is spotted.

They assume that the invasion will be biblical in proportion and will completely destroy the crop within five minutes. But tomatoes are different and with a few precautions and general garden maintenance problems can be stopped in their tracks.

The first step to reducing pest and disease problems in the tomato garden is to Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 28 November 2010 by

The Tomato Hornworm Beauty in Nature\’s Design

tomato_hornwormBy Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

This summer has been a unique one for any tomato gardener.

The cool and wet spring, dry summer temperatures and lack of rain along with insect infestations has been the norm it seems for the 2010 tomato season.

And the list does not stop there but for my dad the tomato season blues seemed to be never-ending.

First, as a seasoned tomato gardener, my dad decided to plant his tomatoes in planters. Two of these planters were near the house while the third was in the middle of the backyard. He staked his tomatoes in this third container and wrapped fishing line around the tomatoes to deter the deer.

But within a week Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 06 August 2010 by

Deer in the Garden – Deer Today Gone Tomorrow

deerBy Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Being brought up in the country I have a different viewpoint on deer damaging my garden especially my tomatoes.

My parents and I relished the times that the deer roamed freely across the yard.

And while we did loose vegetables and fruits to those beautiful deer it was a minor price to pay.

Some of my Dad’s neighbors shot the deer because they were eating into their farm profits and the law said they could do it without any repercussions but for my family the cost of loosing 1 deer over a few tomatoes was not worth it.

But as we as a society move farther into the country the encounters with deer increases. Some again will shoot the deer only to end up with a dead deer and missing produce. Some will try dogs, bullhorns Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 10 June 2008 by

Understanding Yellow Tomato Leaves

By Vanessa Richins

When I went into work today, my friend greeted me with the question:

“Why are my tomato plant’s leaves yellow?”

If only there was a simple answer to this. There are many different factors that can cause tomato plants to develop yellow leaves.

Here are some of the most common reasons:

  • Under-watering: When plants don’t get enough water, they start to wilt and lose color. Under-watered plants are also more prone to attack from diseases and pests.
Posted on 10 May 2008 by

Natural Pest Control for Organic Tomatoes

Tomato HornwormIn a society that seems bent on overmedicating every problem we have as humans (don’t get me started on that one), it should come as no surprise that we tend to overuse poisons to get rid of common pests in our tomato gardens as well.

I am one of those oddballs who would rather do things the way Laura Ingalls did them than the way mass production tomato farmers think is right.

That’s one of the things that initially drew me to organic gardening in the first place — second only to the health benefits of a pesticide-free organic garden home for my tomatoes.

I haven’t sprayed the first poison on one of my plants in years. Of course I also believe that I am to expect a certain — and hopefully small – percentage of loss of my tomato plants each year due to pests and diseases.

Natural Pest Control Tips
The most important things to remember Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 06 May 2008 by

Boost Your Tomatoes with Companion Planting! – Part 1

MarigoldsBy Vanessa Richins

Companion planting is the art of placing certain plants next to others.

These combinations offer benefits to one or both plants.

One such pairing is the herb Borage with our lovely tomatoes. Borage is an annual, edible herb with lovely blue star-shaped flowers. The leaves can be used in salads. It improves tomato plant health and even makes them taste better. Borage also repels the tomato hornworm, the bane of many a tomato grower.

Another pairing is Read the rest of this entry »


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