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Community Garden: Let’s talk tomatoes

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This is column number 100!  It is hard to believe I have been boring you this long and this many times.  It’s your fault, not mine! 

Mark SpradlinSo here we go starting on the next 100 articles.  I have been down at the garden tilling the production beds and mixing in some wood shavings.  I have a few bags of leaf mulch and that will be spread in there and tilled in as well.  We have to cool down that compost that was used and wasn’t decomposed enough.  We will make it happen.  This might even make a good fall and winter garden this year.  I will try some bets and some cabbage and hope they handle the cold as well as advertised.  But that is still a month or more away so I won’t bore you with that until then. 

Let’s talk tomatoes.  Have you been getting spots and blemishes all over your larger tomatoes?  It looks a lot like blossom end rot but that is not what it is.  It is a bacterial problem that is mostly caused when it rains and then the rain bounces back up on the fruits and vegetables.  When the water hits the soil around the plants it kicks up dirt and whatever is in it and it causes a bacterial infection on the skin of the tomato.  That is a simple way of looking at it and explaining it.  I don’t think there is any cure unless you can keep the water from bouncing up from the ground.  If you had some red plastic under the tomato plants this would only allow the water to bounce and none of the soil and the stuff in it.  The red plastic is suppose to increase your of tomatoes by about twenty per cent is all things are equal and it will also regulate the soil temperature and possibly help regulate moisture and control pests. 

This is just one of those things for you to consider if you like to try new stuff in your garden.  When the temperature heats up again you may find your plants doing well for a while and then they may turn off for a while and then start up again when the temperature starts cooling off.  This is the time that if you want to use some Miracle Grow on them that they will put on another growth spurt and get really big and produce some really good vegetables. 

Remember that the Logan County Free Fair is almost here and you need to take a look at the different categories and see if you can submit something from your garden or something that you may have canned.  They have a pie and cake contest if you want to give that a try.  They sell booth space if your organization wants to advertise what it is that you do.  Think about it!  All you can eat pie and cake when the judging is over.  There is some pretty good stuff there.

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