Thursday, July 29, 2010
Without proper preventative measures, late blight can completely defoliate and destroy a crop within one to two weeks. The disease can be severe on tomatoes grown in the mountains of North Carolina, as well as in late plantings in the Piedmont.
The first symptoms of late blight on tomato leaves are irregularly shaped, water-soaked lesions on lower leaves. During high humidity, white cottony growth may be visible on underside of the leaf. As the disease progresses, lesions enlarge causing leaves to brown, shrivel and die. Fruit lesions appear as dark, greasy spots that eventually turn a chocolate brown color, and can enlarge to the point of encompassing the entire fruit.
Refer to this website for more details on the symptoms of this disease. The application of fungicides plays a significant role in the control of late blight. Fungicides containing copper, chlorothanonil, or mancozeb are recommended for treatment in home gardens.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Blossom-end rot is caused by a lack of calcium in the fruit. If the soil pH is too low, calcium is not available to the plant. Dry weather contributes to the problem.
You can also reduce blossom-end rot by spraying with a calcium chloride solution. Ideally, you should start spraying when the first green tomatoes are about the size of a silver dollar then spray once a week for three to four weeks.
Inconsistent watering encourages the problem of blossom-end rot. So, water as needed to maintain uniform soil moisture. Tomatoes need about 1 inch of water per week. During hot dry weather they may need more. Blossom-end rot tends to be worse on staked tomato plants and when high rates of nitrogen fertilizer have been applied.
While the tomatoes that are already affected will continue to be deformed, they are safe to eat. Simply cut out the bad portion and eat the rest.
For more information see: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/hil-28-d.html
Photo credit: Darrell Blackwelder
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tomato field day is sponsored by North Carolina State University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, NC Agricultural Research Service and NC Cooperative Extension Service, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the North Carolina Tomato Growers Association. For more information, contact Denny Thompson at 828.684.7197 or Jim Walgenbach at 828.684.3562.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Follow these guidelines to insure a safe and pleasurable gardening season.
Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which causes premature aging of the skin, wrinkles, cataracts, and skin cancer. There are no safe UV rays or safe suntans. Be especially careful in the sun if you burn easily or spend a lot of time outdoors.
Here’s how to block those harmful rays:
• Cover up. Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
• Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Be sure to follow application
directions on the bottle or tube.
• Wear a hat. A wide brim hat, not a baseball cap, works best because it protects the neck, ears, eyes, forehead, nose, and scalp.
• Wear UV-absorbent sunglasses (eye protection). Sunglasses don’t have to be expensive, but they should block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation. Before you buy sunglasses, read the product tag or label.
• Limit exposure. UV rays are most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The combination of heat and humidity can be a serious health threat during the summer months. If you work outside you may be at increased risk for heat related illness. So, take precautions.
• Drink small amounts of water frequently.
• Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable
clothing—cotton is good.
• Take frequent short breaks in cool shade.
• Eat smaller meals before work activity.
• Avoid caffeine and alcohol or large
amounts of sugar.
• Work in the shade.
• Find out from your health care provider if
your medications and heat don’t mix.