GROWING ORGANIC TOMATOES
Tomatoes will protect asparagus against
the asparagus beetle. Since they are tender plants, put tomatoes in
during late spring after the early crop of asparagus spears have
been harvested. Tomatoes and all members of the Brassica family
repel each other and should be kept apart. Tomatoes protect
gooseberries against insects.
compatible with chives, onion, parsley, marigold, nasturtium and
carrot and for several years I planted garlic bulbs between my
tomato plants to protect them from red spider mites. Though not
containing fungicidal elements, tomatoes will protect roses against
The active principle
of tomato leaves is solanine, a volatile alkaloid which at one time
was used as an agricultural insecticide. To make a spray for roses:
Make a solution of tomatoes leaves in your vegetable juicer, add 4
or 5 pints of water and a tablespoon of cornstarch. Strained and
spray on roses where it is not convenient to plant tomatoes as
companions. Keep any unused spray refrigerated. Tomato juice
will neutralize the odor of butyl mercaptan, the defense spray of the skunk.
Unlike most other
vegetables, tomatoes prefer to grow in the same place year after
year, and this is all right, unless you have a disease problem, in
which case plant your tomatoes in a new area. Stinging nettle
growing nearby improves their keeping qualities and redroot pigweed,
in small quantities, is beneficial, too. Since that re heavy
feeders give them ample quantities of compost or decomposed manure.
Mulch and water in dry weather to maintain soil moisture and stave
off wilt disease and blossom end rot. But never water tomatoes from
the top. Water from below and water deeply. Tomatoes are inhibited
by the presence of kohlrabi and fennel.
Root excretions of
tomatoes have an inhibiting effect on young apricot trees and don't
plant tomatoes near corn, since the tomato fruitworm is identical
with the corn earworm. Don't plant near potatoes, either, since
tomatoes render them more susceptible to potato blight.
If you smoke, be sure
to wash your hands before you work in your garden, for tomatoes are
susceptible to diseases transmitted through tobacco.