It is both a rewarding and humbling experience when something you have planted, tended, and watched over takes on a robust form and begins coming to fruition.
A way of providing good clean nourishment and a bonding agent for those involved whether family, friends, or communities.
Tomatoes are easy to grow and contain a host of vitamins and nutrients – that’s true of most vegetables.
There are also a variety of insects that consider them a buffet, but there are ways to address that without poisoning the plant or those who consume them.
Tomato leaves contain natural toxins and I’m little amazed that in itself isn’t a deterrent – yet aphids, slugs, cutworms, whiteworms, and a few species of beetles among others are attracted to tomatoes.
Not only will these pests devour an entire garden if left to their own devices but also can carry and spread various plant diseases.
Lady bugs and praying mantis are effective “pesticides”, though not a good idea to introduce both.
Another excellent remedy is cayenne pepper mixed with water and sprayed on the plant – or if you’re really serious you can mix peppers, garlic, and onions into a potent spray by first adding a little water and mashing them together into a pulp, then transfer the pulp to a gallon milk container or other suitable container, add hot water and allow to stand for a day or so then pour into a spray bottle and mist any plant infestations.
It will also work as a preventative if done on a regular basis and once your “crop” is harvested and washed there will be no lingering taste.
There are a variety of plants and flowers if planted in proximity to certain vegetables that will also serve as a deterrent to a degree – and a nice way to add a palette of color, but that’s for a later blog.
Gardeners should be proactive in their approach, paying attention to any weeds that appear and remove them by uprooting in lieu of merely chopping and leaving the roots in the soil to grow again.
They should inspect plants regularly and turn the leaves over to view the underside where some insects will take up residence. In addition all gardens should be Monsanto free.
A garden is a metaphor of life in some ways life, it requires a personal investment and you shouldn’t go about it haphazardly.