Tomato Plant Preventative

musickep(7)July 5, 2011

So this is only my 4th year gardening (organic) and I would like to know if you all do any preventative for your tomato plants so that they do not get disease/pests? I have serenade - just want to avoid any blight etc. I haven't had any problems yet but Im so scared I'm going to (because they look so good, full and green and heavy)... I've always had some problem and I hate to assume but - just trying to be cautious and preventative - you know, nip it before it happens?

Thx for any kind words...

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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Growing good tomatoes starts with the soil. Is yours well endowed with organic matter and evenly moist but well drained? What is the soil pH? Between 6.2 and 6.8? Is the soil well mulched to prevent soil dwelling disease pathogens from splashing onto the leaves? Are the soil nutrients balanced?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 11:09AM
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musickep(7)

Yes it is good soil..........but I will have to have it tested to know for sure. All the other veggies are doing well......We add to it every year, homemade compost, organic hummus, organic black cow etc.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 2:15PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

In addition to a good reliable soil test from a good soil tesing lab these simple soil tests can help you know more about your soil.
1) Soil test for organic matter. From that soil sample put enough of the rest to make a 4 inch level in a clear 1 quart jar, with a tight fitting lid. Fill that jar with water and replace the lid, tightly. Shake the jar vigorously and then let it stand for 24 hours. Your soil will settle out according to soil particle size and weight. For example, a good loam will have about 1-3/4 inch (about 45%) of sand on the bottom. about 1 inch (about 25%) of silt next, about 1 inch (25%) of clay above that, and about 1/4 inch (about 5%) of organic matter on the top.

2) Drainage. Dig a hole 1 foot square and 1 foot deep and fill that with water. After that water drains away refill the hole with more water and time how long it takes that to drain away. Anything less than 2 hours and your soil drains� too quickly and needs more organic matter to slow that drainage down. Anything over 6 hours and the soil drains too slowly and needs lots of organic matter to speed it up.

3) Tilth. Take a handful of your slightly damp soil and squeeze it tightly. When the pressure is released the soil should hold together in that clump, but when poked with a finger that clump should fall apart.

4) Smell. What does your soil smell like? A pleasant, rich earthy odor? Putrid, offensive, repugnant odor? The more organic matter in your soil the more active the soil bacteria will be and the nicer your soil will smell.

5) Life. How many earthworms per shovel full were there? 5 or more indicates a pretty healthy soil. Fewer than 5, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, indicates a soil that is not healthy.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 6:58AM
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