Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Steep Price for Success

In the fall of 2009 I planted a few tomato plants that I felt would do relatively well over the winter. I kept them covered and they grew very well behind the plastic greenhouse I made. Unfortunately, the temperatures in the greenhouse during the daytime can get hot, and with all that vegetation and heat and humidity came disease.  

Tomatoes started in February and went through April

I am still dealing with the affects of the bountiful crop I had that next February and March even though the fruit is long gone. I have utilized proper crop rotation, soil inoculants, growing legumes, soil solarization and many other techniques to eradicate this blight (Septoria) from my garden. Alas disease - in one form or another - persists. Initially I felt this to be a tragedy. However, as time has passed my diseased bed is turning out to be a real asset. Having an enclosed diseased space helps me determine which of my Siletz tomato plants are disease resistant enough to start out in a greenhouse. Even though disease has persuaded me to refrain from growing the full lifecycle of any tomato plant in my greenhouse, I have not given up using my greenhouse for growing transplants.

Another crop of tomatoes from the greenhouse


Heat, cold, dense foliage and moisture all contributed to disease.

4 comments:

  1. Any picture of your greenhouse and compost bed? It would be nice to see and would give us ideas to new, novice gardeners.

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    1. Thanks for the response, KL. The post before this had a picture of my compost bed. A picture of my temporary greenhouse area is at: http://scientificgardener.blogspot.com/2011/12/on-temporary-greenhouses.html

      I consider myself a novice gardener too. In my very first post I mentioned that I know very little and am always learning! Most of my research comes from my own garden.

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  2. I once read an article about a gardener who kept the bottom foot or so of his tomato plants foliage free to promote air circulation. He had huge, healthy plants so it must have been helpful. I stick Tums in the planting hole of my tomatoes and it really helps. I had no calcium deficiency issues last summer for the first time. Yay!

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    1. Thank you for the advice. I attempted to do this but alas the foliage became very dense. In my summer tomato patch I usually cut and/or remove any leaves that touch the ground. I have never tried putting Tums in a planting hole. It would probably be very beneficial in an area with calcium deficiency.

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