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Old July 1, 2015   #1
Tracydr
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Default Even more convinced about the benefits of organic!

I've felt really bad for the last week or so because my tomatoes looked a little sad. We've had some really hot,humid weather with very little rain over the past few weeks. Temps around 100 with high heat indexes every day for well over 15 days. I also don't have running water.
I sprayed with kelp,neem,BT and serenade for the first time this weekend as I was noticing some sort of leaf disease and also a bunch of hornworm damage.
Today they look quite a bit better and I removed some dead leaves. We did have a little rain Saturday and a decent rain last night.
Went down the street to the produce stand today and saw the owner's tomato patch. All hybrids. He doesn't have irrigation,either. They are mostly dead and he's pulking everything this week.
Mine, I may lose a few, which I'll replace with some Christmas Limas and cucumbers. But,Oversll, my 75 plants look darn healthy,considering the stress they've had.
They've been fertilized with kelp,fish emulsion,bone meal,lime and a bit of tomato tone, plus a few alfalfa cubes. Sprayed once this weekend and hand picked what stink bugs and worms I can find.
I'm hoping next year, with irrigation, that I can have far more production. Plus, a year of organic inputs should really help,since I'm starting with a sandy pasture.
This summer is young and I hope to have plenty of tomatoes this year too, unless we continue to have abnormally hot/dry weather.
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Old July 2, 2015   #2
pauldavid
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It sounds like you are having a good run even without running water, bet its been a lot of work. Irrigation should help a lot. Good luck and stay optimistic!
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Old July 2, 2015   #3
ginger2778
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracydr View Post
I've felt really bad for the last week or so because my tomatoes looked a little sad. We've had some really hot,humid weather with very little rain over the past few weeks. Temps around 100 with high heat indexes every day for well over 15 days. I also don't have running water.
I sprayed with kelp,neem,BT and serenade for the first time this weekend as I was noticing some sort of leaf disease and also a bunch of hornworm damage.
Today they look quite a bit better and I removed some dead leaves. We did have a little rain Saturday and a decent rain last night.
Went down the street to the produce stand today and saw the owner's tomato patch. All hybrids. He doesn't have irrigation,either. They are mostly dead and he's pulking everything this week.
Mine, I may lose a few, which I'll replace with some Christmas Limas and cucumbers. But,Oversll, my 75 plants look darn healthy,considering the stress they've had.
They've been fertilized with kelp,fish emulsion,bone meal,lime and a bit of tomato tone, plus a few alfalfa cubes. Sprayed once this weekend and hand picked what stink bugs and worms I can find.
I'm hoping next year, with irrigation, that I can have far more production. Plus, a year of organic inputs should really help,since I'm starting with a sandy pasture.
This summer is young and I hope to have plenty of tomatoes this year too, unless we continue to have abnormally hot/dry weather.
It sounds like you know what you are doing way more than that farmer too.
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Old July 2, 2015   #4
Lee
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Tracy.... welcome to NC! For me the tomatoes seem to be coming in
2-3 weeks earlier this year due to the warmer/wetter April and now the elevated temps recently.

Of course, that mean the diseases/insects arrive earlier as well!
I've been hand picking a lot of stink bugs and worms as well. The recent rains have made it difficult to maintain a consistent covering of dipel to keep the worms away... thus the hand picking.

Did you talk to the owner of the produce stand about his results?
I wonder if any of the organic methods you used would be economically viable for him to take up.

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Old July 2, 2015   #5
Tracydr
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I did talk to him but I get the feeling he has no interest in organic methods. He uses lots of sevin dust, like most folks around here.
He's a very nice older gentleman but seems to just do things the ways he's always done them.
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Old July 2, 2015   #6
RayR
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Sometimes you can't teach an old dog new tricks I guess.
Or is that old tricks that are now new again?
His soil must be pretty lifeless from all the chemicals he's put in there over the years.
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Old July 2, 2015   #7
AlittleSalt
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Tracy, I lean heavily on organics - I think your garden will show your friend that organics are very useful.
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Old July 2, 2015   #8
Lee
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We do a lot of things in our organic gardens that are not necessarily economically viable for the farmer trying to make a living.
Perhaps he's already maximized his earnings and is working to get a second, different crop in.
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Old July 3, 2015   #9
Cole_Robbie
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Going no-till, and thus fostering a healthy worm population, has been my definition of organic this year. I have the biggest plants I have ever had.

I had a whitefly infestation, and instead of malathion, I used a bio-insecticide called Met52c. It kills bugs with a fungal spore that is harmless to people. It really worked very well, and I recommend it highly. I'm happy to be able to keep my "pesticide-free" label on my tomatoes at market, and also happy to not have to wade through poison myself just to make a few bucks.

I still use a light amount of chemical fertilizer fed through the drip irrigation, but with very healthy soil, the amount required is greatly diminished.
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