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Tomatoes - Controlling Common Problems Organically Newsletter




Controlling the Common Problems Organically


Among my most common questions are the ones related to heading off the disease that eventually hits all tomato plants. Here’s an updated portion of the tomato Library entry that covers the dreaded early blight disease and other common issues.

TROUBLES AND SOLUTIONS:  Early blight, often confused with another fungal disease called southern blight, is the most common tomato affliction. It can be limited with weekly sprayings of Garrett Juice plus any of the organic disease controls: garlic, potassium bicarbonate, hydrogen peroxide, cornmeal tea, or a commercial disease control product. Starting early in the season is better than waiting until the disease starts moving up the plant. Prevention of all diseases is also greatly helped by mixing whole ground cornmeal into the beds around the transplants at about 2 lbs. per 100 sq. ft. or 20 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.

Use lots of compost and mulch to prevent tomato pinworm. Eliminate blossom-end rot with even soil moisture and calcium supplements: soft rock phosphate and alfalfa products in alkaline soils, high-calcium lime in acid, sandy soils. Epsom salt applications can also help. Red Christmas tree ornaments hung on plants before the fruit starts to ripen will repel birds. Aphids, spider mites and flea hoppers are controlled with Garrett Juice and essential oil sprays. Hand remove hornworms but you probably won’t have them if trichogramma wasps have been released earlier.

There is a lot of helpful information in my book, Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening, but don't be fooled by the name, it is useful border to border and coast to coast.

Here are some other useful resources from

To discuss this newsletter or any other topic, tune in each Sunday 8am - 11am central time to the Dirt Doctor Radio Show. The call-in phone number is 1-866-444-3478. Listen on the internet or click here to find a station in your area.

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Naturally yours,

Howard Garrett


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