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Health Questions & Answers

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The best way to grow a healthy tomato with no weeds in your garden and no bugs eating the vines.

Ronald asked this
January 7, 2015 at 3:50 PM

A:

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Hi Ronald, The best advice you'll probably ever find on growing healthy tomatoes is crop rotation! Those tomato horn worms setup camp and will thrive in one location, as will many diseases that affect tomato vines. Keep in mind that tomatoes are closely related to potatoes, peppers, eggplant, and tobacco, so any time you have one of those plants growing in a location, tomatoes should not be rotated in for at least two seasons in-between.

Interplanting with things like basil and marigolds are two of my favorite ways to keep my tomato plants healthy. I grow a basil bush in the center of every four tomato plants, and a marigold plant between each plant. Using this method, I've avoiding most insect problems.

You can also purchase neem oil to use in a homemade insecticidal soap spray, you can dust with diatomaceous earth, or you could try to attract parasitic wasps to handle hormworms.

Weeds are another issue all together. Mulch is the answer. Lots of mulch. More than you think is reasonable. I put down paper or cardboard in between my plants, then keep on heaping grass clippings on all summer. I'm not going to say I have no weeds, but in the plots I do this for, the weeds are really negligible.

Hope this answers your questions!

Thanks, Seth

sprouty answered
January 12, 2015 at 3:20 PM

Thank you, very helpfull

Ronald answered
January 14, 2015 at 8:59 AM

Here’s what you do when you’re ready to transplant your tomato seedlings:rn-Remove lowers branches – Cut off all the lower branches on your seedling, leaving only the top few branches and the growth tip.rn-Dig a trench – Dig a trench larger enough to lay your tomato seedling down sideway while still giving the first stems enough room to stick out a few inches above the soil surface. By laying the plants sideways, you’ll help them develop better vertical roots. This is especially helpful if you have leggy seedlings.rn -Bury the stem and lay the plant sideways – If your soil isn’t good enough to grow tomatoes without the assistance of fertilizer (a soil test is the best way to find out for certain), add some organic, slow-release fertilizer or compost to the trench and stir it around. Synthetic nitrogen fertilizers tend to cause excessive vegetative growth that attracts aphids and other pest insects, not to mention causing a host of other soil imbalances – so don’t use them! Once your trench is ready, bury the tomato plant (and stem) up to a few inches below the first branches.rn I have some good work experience with a OOH Media software and my words are clearly based on what I felt through such processes in the past. www.platooh.comrnrn

Martin answered
November 22, 2016 at 12:17 AM
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