Saturday, July 30, 2011
Picture Perfect Tomatoes
Last year this was whine time when the late blight wiped out all of our tomatoes. We try to learn from our mistakes. Here is a description of what changes we have made in our tomato patch. Indeterminate plants are widely spaced with broccoli or parsley inter planted. As the tomato plants grew, the stems were tied to tall stakes and all of the suckers were removed. Italian Goliath is the pictured variety. It was chosen since it has a high resistance to disease. Its five separate clusters of fruit are textbook in appearance. If trouble is avoided, this plant should continue to grow and set more fruit higher on the plant.
Straw mulch is intended to protect the tomato plants from soil splash. Rain splashed soil on tomato foliage can cause a growth that kills the tomato leaf. Sprouting oat plants is the down side of straw mulch. Some oat seed remains despite my attempts to shake it all out.
All watering done during the drought was applied with a watering can not a hose. With the watering can it was possible to direct all of the water at the base of the plant. Foliage remained dry while the water went to the base of the plant where it was needed.
Serenade brand garden disease control has been applied to the tomatoes once. It is scheduled to be reapplied after today's rain. Bacillus subtilis is the active ingredient in this product. We hope it works as this is the first time we have used this product.
Ferline is the variety shown here. It was selected since it has resistance to late blight. This first red tomato will be in today's evening meal. No word can describe the deepness of our hope that this tomato is the first of many. We will share our failure or our success whichever comes our way.