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Totally Tomato! – From Seed to Harvest

Have You Seen This Criminal?

 Totally Tomatoes Part 6 – Recognizing Tomato Problems                                                                                                                                                                                            
What’s wrong with my plants? Trying to figure that out can be challenging. Here are a few common problems you might run into and be able to correct.

The Tobacco Horn Worm (above) and Tomato Horn Worm (below) are fairly common.  They are often mistaken for each other and both love to munch on tomato plants.  Most often you will not see him until you see the damage he has done to some of the leaves on your plant.  Once you see the damage – go on the hunt.  As awful as it may seem, look for his poop – he will be on the leaves directly above.  Remove him and feed him to the birds or frogs (a favorite of both).

If he has these white Q-tip looking cocoons hanging off his body, he’s no longer a threat to your plant.

Those are the cocoons of a tiny Braconid wasp (a good guy), and this caterpillar is now the host food for those immature wasps.  If you allow the wasps to finish their life cycle, they will help control any future horn worms in your garden and they don’t sting people.

 Why do my plants look like they are dying when it’s still summer. Late in the […]

By |July 3rd, 2014|Garden Fresh, Totally Tomato! - From Seed to Harvest|Comments Off on Have You Seen This Criminal?

Totally Tomatoes Part 5

Care as the season progresses – Water, Prune, Feed                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Sky is Falling                                                                                                                                                Mother Nature provides rain, so your tomatoes don’t need to be watered every day.  If nature doesn’t provide 1-2 inches of rain each week, then you’ll have to drag out the hose.  Water deep and consistent, not a ‘sprinkle a day’  (easy to say when thunder storms are predicted).  Put a rain gauge in the garden; it will help determine what your plants might need.  (more…)

By |May 7th, 2014|Garden Fresh, Totally Tomato! - From Seed to Harvest|Comments Off on Totally Tomatoes Part 5

Totally Tomatoes Part 4 – Transplanting, Harding off and Transplanting Again

I’m Too Big for My Britches!
In most cases, your plants will need to be transplanted into larger pots weeks before they can be planted into the garden.  A pot bound plant will stunt and take longer to recover once outside.  (more…)

By |April 25th, 2014|Garden Fresh, Totally Tomato! - From Seed to Harvest|Comments Off on Totally Tomatoes Part 4 – Transplanting, Harding off and Transplanting Again

Totally Tomatoes Part 3 – Planting Time

It’s finally time!  You’ve chosen the varieties, made the space and have all your supplies on hand.  Plant! (more…)

By |April 10th, 2014|Garden Fresh, Totally Tomato! - From Seed to Harvest|Comments Off on Totally Tomatoes Part 3 – Planting Time

Totally Tomatoes Part 2 Preparing for Germination

On to the germination station! Preparation is the key.
Plan on starting your seeds 5-8 weeks before you can plant them outside.  Count back from your average last frost date to figure the date to start your seeds (For central Connecticut – May 20th or the last full moon in May, whichever is later) .  Tomato seeds need the ‘right’ conditions to germinate and grow inside so preparation is the key. (more…)

By |April 2nd, 2014|Garden Fresh, Totally Tomato! - From Seed to Harvest|Comments Off on Totally Tomatoes Part 2 Preparing for Germination

Totally Tomatoes Part 1 – History and How to Choose

The Starting Point – History
With a history dating back centuries, the tomato is still the sunshine of today’s vegetable garden.  Tomatoes are believed to have originated in the Andes region of South America, traveled to Central America and brought to Europe in the 16th century.  These early tomato plants most likely produced small yellow/orange fruit and were believed by many to be poisonous because they belong to the deadly nightshade family.  (more…)

By |April 1st, 2014|Garden Fresh, Totally Tomato! - From Seed to Harvest|Comments Off on Totally Tomatoes Part 1 – History and How to Choose