Plant your stevia so that it has about 18 inches of room to call its own. In the loose, loamy, well-drained soil that the plant prefers, it will grow 1 to 3 feet in height, depending on the length of your growing season. Wait until after all danger of frost has passed before planting.
how to grow tomato, &, vegetable, farming
11 Gardening Tips
In the City of Chicago, nestled in the completely gentrified little neighborhood of Bucktown, lives me in my rental apartment. While it’s adorable here and there’s tons of trees, my immediate setting isn’t any greener than the skinny rectangular patches of Earth that line the streets, where thousands of dogs.
p. It’s totally true. I don’t have a garden of my own. In fact, I’ve never had a garden of my own, in the traditional sense of the word.
So then, wait. How have I learned everything I know about gardening? And how do I post all my pictures of gardens I plant and food I harvest if I have no yard or land whatsoever?
(Please note that affiliate links are present in this post, which means if you click on a link and buy something I’ll get like 4 cents for it. All product recommendations are genuine and my own).
I’ve taken some pretty big leaps throughout my food growing journey. A forest flower in a former life, I started really wanting a vegetable garden but not having a clue how to start one. So I offered up my free time to volunteer on urban farms in Detroit where I planted seeds and trees for the first time. That evolved into landing a job working on several non-profit urban farms, and that was when I felt my life bloom technicolor rainbows of possibility. A season later, I relocated to Chicago to work with an edible landscaping company where I designed the layouts of and helped grow over 100 backyard gardens and taught dozens of families what I knew about growing food. I even got to teach classrooms of children in school gardens! That company fired me last year (it happens), but it was perhaps the biggest blessing of all because I am still gardening – but on my own terms. And now I have this blog where I get to share everything I’ve learned with anyone who cares. It’s all so incredible to me.
Long story short, I have a lot of experience growing food – because I put myself in the way of many opportunities. I chose urban farming and immersed myself in it. And I continue to make new, creative food growing opportunities for myself despite not even having a garden of my own! This all could not be more true, I swear.
So, what do you do when all you want is to grow a garden but there’s nowhere to do it?
You get creative. You step out of your comfort zone. You talk to other people. You make new friends. I never said this wouldn’t be scary. Take my more articulate advice below.
Compost Tea is a liquid created by a process to increase the numbers of beneficial organisms as an organic fertilizer.
July 24, 2013Bitter Gourd (Bitter Melon or Karela, کریلا) is a very useful vegetable. It has Calcium(کیلشیم), Magnesium(میگنیشیم), Potassium(پوٹاشیم), Phosphorus(فاسفورس), Sodium, Zinc, Copper, Fiber, Protein, Selenium, Vitamin A and C. Bitter Gourd is useful for diabetes and lever problem. It is very useful for Skin treatment also. In this article you will find the information and some useful tips about Bitter Gourd Benefits (Karela Benifits). Bitter gourd is a cucumber like nutritional value. This vegetable if cultivate on time the farmers could get good monetary benefits.
The agronomists advised to the farmers to start early cultivation (agiti kasht، اگیتی کاشت) of the bitter gourd from 15th of February to mid of April for better harvest.
They advised to the farmers to choose early sowing(ابتدائی بوائی) variety of bitter gourd to get some bumper crop in Pakistani Punjab. Other people can consult local agriculture extension.
The farmers should choose good sprout(انکر) ratio of seeds. 3.50Kg to 3.75Kg per acre of seeds soaked with good herbicide.
The herbicide on seeds should not be exceed 2kg to 3kg per acre.
The Silt Loom Soil (myra zameen, میرا مٹی ) with the pH less than 7 i.e. basic nature is very good for bitter gourd cultivation.
The soil should also be with good water drainage qualities.
A number of tomato troubles (insect, disease, environmental) can wreak havoc on your favorite plants. We identify them here and list earth-friendly solutions for controlling them.
Home-grown tomatoes are a source of pride, a thing of beauty, and beyond-description delicious. Whether heirlooms of the sort our grandmothers knew or a tried and true northern variety that gives us success despite June and September frosts, a perfect tomato is an achievement. If that perfect tomato is organic, kept pest and disease free without the use of harmful chemicals, it’s priceless.
To produce that perfect tomato, be alert. Keep an eye on your plant’s health, look for larvae and other insects, watch for signs of disease. And if you find them, come here for advice on what to do. Remember: part of a quick reaction is having the most efficient tools, products, and methods ready for when trouble shows its head. Be prepared.
The first task when facing an unhappy tomato plant is to diagnose the problem. Websites with pictures can be enormously helpful here. One of the best is Texas A&M’s Tomato Disorders page, which presents photographs under five headings, green fruit, ripe fruit, stems, leaves, and roots. What you can’t do on that site, though, is type in a suspected problem and call up an associated picture. One of the best sites comes out of Maine titled Common Tomato Diseases and Disorders.
If you see an insect on or near your beloved tomato plants, don’t rush for the nearest insecticide. Many insects are beneficial to the garden or at least neutral. That insect may be feeding on the very pests you’re having trouble with. Even if you’re looking at an enemy, one insect does not make an infestation. It’s best to identify the intruder and the level of damage it’s causing before implementing steps in managing insect pests in vegetable gardens (hat tip to Cornell University).
These are those dense clusters of tiny insects you may see on the stems or new growth of your tomato plants. While small numbers are not a problem — don’t be afraid to crush them with your thumb — large infestations can gradually injure or even kill plants. Pinch off foliage where aphids are densely concentrated, and throw these discarded bits into the garbage, not on the ground. If the problem then seems manageable, release beneficial insects such as ladybugs or lacewings. If it doesn’t, go for the insecticidal soap that uses natural fats and plant oils (Organic Material Review Institute listed) or natural sprays, many of which are listed for organic production.
These are the tiny grub-like caterpillars that feed on young plant stems at night, frequently felling seedlings by eating right through them at ground level. Prevent damage by placing collars around seedlings. You can make these of paper, cardboard, aluminum foil, or an aluminum pie plate about ten inches long and four high, bent to form a circle or cylinder and stapled. Sink the collars about an inch into soil around individual seedlings, letting three inches show above the ground to deter high-climbers.
A potentially devastating visitor, the flea beetle (so-named because it resembles and jumps like a flea) attacks from both sides: adults eat foliage, leaving numerous small holes, while larvae feed on roots. They’re not picky, these beetles; they’ll go for corn, cabbage, lettuce, and all members of the Solanaceae family: peppers, eggplant, potatoes, and tomatoes. Unless levels are very high, damage can be minimized and controlled by using preventative measures.
Clear away or plow under weeds and debris, in which adults over-winter.
Place yellow sticky-traps to monitor levels and capture adults.
Use row covers. Young plants are more vulnerable to damage, so cover them to keep beetles off.
Dusting plants with diatomaceous earth (a chalky stone composed of marine fossils, ground to powder) helps control adults feeding on foliage.
To attack the insect more directly, introduce beneficial nematodes into your soil to feed on the larvae and pupae.
In cases of high infestation and serious damage, botanical insecticides such as pyrethrin can be used.
These destructive caterpillars are so big — three inches long or more — that it would seem to be easy to control them just by picking them off. And so it is, sometimes. The problem is that their pale green color provides excellent camouflage, and the nymph and larval stages are far smaller and less obvious. If there are only a few, picking them off works well. (One site suggests spraying the plant with water, causing the caterpillars to, and I quote, “thrash around,” giving themselves away.) If there are more than a few, other measures may be called for. One of these is Bt, or Bacillus thuringiensis, an organic treatment that can control numerous other problems as well.
This is one of the most dreaded tomato problems. Actually, almost 20,000 different species of nematode have been identified, and billions of these usually microscopic worms occupy each acre of fertile earth, so it is fortunate that only a few cause gardening problems. Some, insect pathogenic nematodes, can actually help control other gardening pests such as fungus gnats or flea beetles. But when a gardening friend says in a voice of doom, “I’ve got nematodes,” he generally means one thing: root-knot nematodes. This particular species invades various crops, causing bumps or galls that interfere with the plant’s ability to take up nutrients and to perform photosynthesis. They’re most common in warmer areas with short winters. Unfortunately, controlling nematodes is not easy.
Rotation: Since they take several seasons to get established, rotating garden crops denies this pest the chance to get entrenched. It’s crucial, though, that you follow tomatoes with crops that are not vulnerable to the same problem! Members of the same family are of course taboo; this includes peppers, eggplant, and potatoes. However, less likely crops are also vulnerable; these include okra and cotton, in the south, and peas, squash, beets, and numerous others anywhere. If you suspect nematodes — if you ever pull a plant that has odd-looking lumpy growths on its roots — have your county extension agent take a look at it, and get advice about crop rotation in your area.
Soil sterilization: Completely sterilizing the soil is one option on small plots, but it’s toxic and sometimes expensive. It also means that you’ve killed off all the beneficial organisms in the soil as well as the troublesome ones, so it’s particularly important to follow such treatment with a big infusion of clean compost. It would also be best to add earthworms, and an assortment of micro-organisms as well, since doing so will restore the soil to full health and make it less vulnerable to further incursions by nematodes.
Nematodes: While eliminating nematodes is extremely difficult, it is possible to limit their damage by using resistant varieties, marked N. Doing so doesn’t kill the pests, but it does keep them and their effects under control.
These tiny flying insects feed on plant juices, leaving behind a sticky residue or ‘honeydew,’ which can become a host for sooty mold. Rustle the leaves of infested plants, and clouds of these insects will rise. If you have a serious problem, you may be tempted to reach for a conventional insecticide, but don’t bother, as whiteflies have developed resistance to many.
The best bet is a horticultural oil, which effectively smothers all stages of this insect.
To deal with lower levels, place yellow sticky traps to monitor and suppress infestations.
Hosing down plants can be surprisingly effective, especially if you use a bug-blaster, a hose attachment designed to produce an intense multi-directional spray that easily reaches the undersides of leaves.
Another tactic is to release natural predators such as ladybugs, lacewings, or whitefly parasites.
If the situation is out of control, insecticidal soaps and botanical insecticides can bring populations down to manageable levels, at which point natural predators can maintain them.
Tomatoes can be stricken by an astonishing array of diseases. If you want to see the full list, go to the How to Manage Tomato Pests page at UC Davis, which discusses some 30 diseases that can afflict tomatoes. Tomatoes can get early or late blight, either white or grey mold (or both). Then they can have problems with diseases with quirky names like curly top and corky root rot. It’s amazing that tomatoes are ever healthy. But they are, and it’s largely because the problems never get thoroughly established. After all, it’s a lot less work to nip problems in the proverbial bud.
If you’re at all susceptible to anxiety attacks, it will probably be of some comfort to know that disease is generally far less of an issue for back-yard gardeners than for commercial producers.
Here’s how you can protect your tomatoes:
- Give your plants good soil & fertilizer and regular watering; healthy plants are much more likely to resist diseases and other problems.
- Keep gardening plots free of weeds and debris where insects can breed and diseases can incubate.
- Rotate crops so that soil-borne pathogens never have more than a season to get established.
- Clean your gardening tools and equipment, especially at the end of the season, to ensure that they don’t carry over or spread a disease.
- Remove unhealthy foliage; pull unhealthy plants to cut down on the spread of problems.
- Don’t compost diseased foliage or plants unless you know it is safe to do so.
- Don’t use tobacco near tomato plants, to avoid communicating tobacco mosaic virus.
- Avoid watering the foliage of your plants, especially in humid climates, as many diseases are encouraged by damp conditions.
The last on that list may be one of the most important. Many plant diseases — verticillium and fusarium wilt, early and late blight, and various leaf spots — are all caused by fungi that prefer damp, cool conditions. Experts generally advise gardeners to water in the morning in part to avoid conditions that encourage fungal growth or molds. Using drip watering systems or soaker hoses keeps leaves dry, again reducing attractive sites for the fungus to get established. Though some of these fungi are airborne, many reside in the soil or in garden debris or weeds related to the tomato. It is important, therefore, to keep weeds and brush piles clear of garden plots. It also helps to keep tomato foliage off the ground and to avoid splashing water up from the ground onto foliage while watering. Mulches help achieve both these objectives.
Caused by any of several viruses, damping off disease is a tomato problem that affects young, seemingly healthy seedlings that suddenly develop a dark lesion at the soil line, then quickly wilt and die. Cool, damp soil, overwatering, and overcrowding all increase probability of infection. Use clean potting soil and germination trays and tools to reduce incidence, avoid crowded seed beds, and monitor watering carefully during the first two weeks after sprouting.
Caused by a soil-borne fungus that targets Solanaceous plants (tomato, pepper, potato, eggplant), fusarium wilt often causes no symptoms until plants are mature and green fruit begins to reach its full size. At that point foliage, sometimes on only one side of the plant, turns yellow, and a sliced stem will show brownish, discolored tissue. Control includes crop rotation, so that the wilt organisms, deprived of a host, will die down in affected soils where it winters. Since cool, damp conditions favor infection, avoid spraying leaves, especially in cool weather. Use resistant varieties.
There are actually several closely related viruses (the tobamoviruses) that cause the wilted, mottled, and underdeveloped fern-like leaves characteristic of the tobacco mosaic virus. All are spread by what are termed mechanical means: something or something that’s been in contact with the virus touches an uninfected plant, and voila — you’ve got an infected plant. Sanitation is therefore of the utmost importance, starting with never smoking near tomato plants, as tobacco can carry the virus. Infected plants should be destroyed. Back-yard plants purchased from a reliable nursery or grown from certified disease-free seed and handled in a tobacco-free environment by only one or two people, are unlikely to develop this disease.
Like fusarium, verticillium is caused by a fungus that, once established in soil, is virtually impossible to remove. Symptoms are almost identical to those caused by fusarium wilt, but are less lethal. The edges of large, older leaves turn yellow, then brown and crumbly, and stems show vascular damage. Unlike fusarium, verticillium wilt affects a wide variety of crops, but lowers yield without killing plants. Again, avoid spreading infected soil and watering foliage, and again, use resistant varieties.
Blossom End Rot
If your ripening fruits develop a dark spot at the lower end, a spot that gradually widens and deepens, you’re looking at blossom-end rot. It’s an environmental problem most often caused by uneven watering or by calcium deficiency. (These can be related; uneven watering can interfere with the uptake of calcium.) The simplest treatment is therefore pre-treatment: make sure soil is rich in all necessary nutrients, including liquid calcium, and water regularly. Mulches also help maintain even moisture levels.
Catfaced tomato plants are deformed to a greater or lesser extent, having deep grooves or indentations running from the blossom end all the way around to the stem. The condition results from cool weather or insect damage while the plant is in blossom. Tomato varieties with large fruit are most susceptible and tomatoes are often rendered inedible — although considered safe to it. To avoid the problem select resistant varieties whenever possible.
Several things can cause cracking in tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes, especially small ones, frequently split at the stem end, sometimes all the way to the blossom end, and it does not indicate any sort of disease or problem. The skin of a tomato becomes less resilient as it matures, so the fruit often outgrows the skin. Pick cherry tomatoes just before full ripeness to avoid this.
Circular splitting at the stem end, (concentric cracking) or cracks running towards the stem (radial cracking) usually result from a sudden increase in moisture after a dry spell. Once again, the tomato fruit expands beyond the skin’s ability to adapt. Keep soil evenly moist to avoid this phenomenon.
The tomato’s skin will look bruised or leathery, the skin sunken and puckered. It is essentially what it sounds like, a sun-burn, tomato style, and it occurs when fruit is too exposed during hot weather. This problem primarily affects staked and trellised tomatoes, which are more aggressively pruned than are caged or free tomatoes. To prevent this problem, be sure to leave adequate foliage on plants when pruning. Reusable shade cloth can also be used to protect tender vegetable plants. Once sun scald has occurred, you cannot do anything for affected fruit, but you can provide shade for the unaffected ones.
Some renewal pruning is necessary to keep a nice shape.Duranta propagation is fairly easy using a piece of the woody limb (hardwood cutting) taken in the summer. Dip the end of 6-inch piece of limb into rooting compound and plant. Roots will establish fairly quickly.
Good grief! December again and I, for one, am wondering where the year flew away to — the seasons didn’t merely stroll by this year, they raced at record breaking speed and it’s time for us to take a look at what to do in the garden during this month of out with the old and, when it ends, in with the new.
Let’s take a look at the ‘outs’ first: Top of the list is something that many of you consider to be a labour of love and which I view as being criminally insane. Here … I’m having yet another ‘go’ at those abominations known as ‘lush green lawns’ which, in the face of escalating malnutrition — something like 60 per cent of our population is struggling to exist and feed themselves way below the poverty line and, needless to say, they aren’t managing very well at all — along with ever escalating inflation, surely it is wrong to lavish time, inputs, labour, water — water is another mote point — and money on something which could, and should, be put to productive use. Lawns are a luxury that the world, especially Pakistan where climate change is hitting hard, can no longer afford; so do something about them — please!
I accept that some of you, perhaps all, will find this ‘suggestion’ repugnant but take a look, a long hard look, at the faces you pass by in the streets and, if you look hard enough, you will see that there is hunger everywhere and that to party — if you do — on a ridiculously expensive lawn, solves nothing but further exacerbates the dreadful situation.
You do not have to rip out every single blade of grass — although I would much prefer it if you did — but do, at the very least, plant fruit trees here and there and, out of sight of your drawing room window if you must, then create a vegetable and herb garden. If you don’t want to eat the produce yourself or have too much of something all at once, instead of dishing it out to friends and relatives who do not really need it, hand it out to the poor, donate it to an orphanage or simply haul it off to the nearest ‘squatter camp’ and donate it there.
Now, having got that little lecture off my shoulders, let’s move on to other gardening matters be these edible or not but, naturally, we will begin with edible varieties.
This is the perfect time for planting fruit trees of all kinds, including the ‘bare-rooted ones which will be available in nurseries any day now and, mostly, at a reasonably low cost: Please keep in mind that dwarf or naturally small-sized fruiting trees and bushes, Chinese lemons and falsa being good examples, are perfectly at home in large clay pots or other containers which can be placed here and there in the garden, on terraces, on balconies and on rooftops where, if given adequate protection from wind and burning sun, they will thrive.
If you haven’t done so already, and even if you have, then think ahead to ‘follow on’ crops; sow seeds for cabbages, cauliflower, spinach, leaf beet/Swiss chard, spring onions, potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, beetroot, carrots, etc. There is still time to put in some last minute peas, beans, lots of Chinese and Japanese salad greens and plenty of annual herbs many of which, especially the latter, thrive in pots.
If you have seedlings ready for transplanting into their final growing position then get this done as soon as possible; this will give them time to get very well established before there is a hint of ‘heat’ in the air during early spring. After transplanting according to variety, give them a nice, gentle watering in — in the evening not during the day when the sun is up even if the temperatures are cool. Evening watering is the best method all year round and a good habit to form.
Keep on top of weeding — although weeds are slower to make a takeover bid in the cooler weather. As long as the weeds, these are nothing more than out of place plants and many of them are perfectly edible (check with an expert before putting them anywhere near your mouth please), have not yet formed seed and are free of disease then you can put into the compost bin or, failing that, use them in mulch.
In the flower garden, or pots/containers, then you can still sow nasturtiums — although these are really herbs — and lots of them as they add a wonderful blaze of lasting colour to the drabbest of surroundings. You can also sow things such as larkspur, Virginia stock, cosmos and other fast growing annuals, plus, this is the perfect weather for spending an afternoon — or six — browsing through all of your local nurseries to see what they have in stock and, I guarantee, you will return home with far more than you bargained for!
This month is also the right time to prune back and generally tidy up your grape vines, passion flowers and other climbers, ramblers and creepers. Myself I am tackling the thick growth of variegated ivy which annually threatens to completely take over the front of the house: I do allow it to half cover a bedroom window for the summer so that only cool, greenish, filtered light comes through rather than blazing sunshine but, in the winter cold sun — as much as possible — is preferred. A point for you to ponder here: Growing climbers over your windows for the summer months in, for example Karachi, will reduce room temperature and lessen your electricity bills. Think of it!
Also, remember to keep on composting, mulching and brewing up organic plant food of all kinds as soil health is the backbone of every single garden on the planet.
Please continue sending your gardening queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to include your location. The writer will not respond directly by e-mail. E-mails with attachments will not be opened.