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Fruition Garden Journal

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Identifying & Managing Tomato Disease Organically

Aug 08, 2018
 

 If you're growing tomatoes in the Northeast, you're likely growing tomato diseases, as well.

Here is how to identify the four most common tomato diseases here in the Northeast and what to do next.

Blossom-End Rot

Blossom-End Rot is an abysmal disappointment that is both manageable and preventable. Affecting paste and roma types more than other tomatoes, blossom-end rot is mostly an issue with the first set of fruit, quickly disappearing once conditions shift for the better.

Remove fruits affected by blossom-end rot as early as possible (like the fruit on the right), since the next flush will likely not be affected. 

Symptoms: black, leathery lesion at the blossom-end of the fruit, often visible when fruit is still green and quite small, becoming larger as the fruit matures.

Cause: Calcium deficiency. More accurately, it's a water deficiency. Here is how I visualize it: Calcium is a huge ion while others are small, so calcium needs more water to be absorbed...

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Fruition's Guide to Companion Planting

Apr 26, 2018

Companion Planting

Tomatoes love basil.

Kale loves dill.

Is it really that simple?

Yes and no.

Companion planting is the art of planting your garden so everything will thrive in their neighbor's company.

Here is the bottom line: diversity is essential for a healthy, gorgeous garden.

And the more the merrier: more species, more varieties, more flowers, more insects, more joy.

Our insectary mix, full of diversity delicious for countless species.

What makes a good companion plant? Here are the three characteristics I consider when pairing companion plants, followed by my four go-to companion plants for any garden.

Three Kinds of Companions

1. Height + Light

Tall plants can act as a living trellis for climbing crops. For example, pole beans grow marvelously up sunflowers and corn.

Lettuce and other leaf crops thrive in the shade of taller plants in summer.

Tall crops often create shade in your garden, as well. Limit the shade they make by planting tall crops north/south...

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5 Keys to Preventing Tomato Disease (there is no silver bullet, but #1 is close)

Jan 26, 2018

5 Keys to Preventing Tomato Disease

(there is no silver bullet, but #1 is close)

Whether you hope to harvest 10 or 10,000 tomatoes, diseases like Late Blight, Early Blight and Septoria Leaf Spot are affecting your abundance every season here in the Northeast.

Here are the 5 keys to preventing tomato disease:

1. Start with disease-resistant seeds.

Sowing seeds with natural genetic resistance to these diseases is the single greatest thing you can do to increase your success whether you are an organic or conventional grower.

Often flavorful heirlooms have little disease resistance and modern varieties with tons of disease resistance have little remarkable flavor. There are exceptions though, and here are some:

Chiapas

 

A delicious heirloom tomato that shares the classic tomato genus but belongs to a separate species, so it has some natural resistance to many diseases.

Brandywise

A brand new hybrid slicing tomato with impressive resistance to Late Blight, Septoria Leaf Spot...

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