Organic food has become more and more popular in supermarkets all over the country, as an increasing number of consumers realize the health benefits of eating organic food. In the past, many people chose organic foods simply to make a statement or adopt a particular lifestyle, rather than for the taste or for the health benefits.
Organic vegetables and fruits
Vegetables and fruits are one area where the benefits of organic gardening can be clearly seen, and tomatoes are a good example of this. The cultivation methods of organic growing mean that tomatoes are often larger, redder and fresher in appearance than those that have grown the more traditional way. Striking a balance between the plant and the health of the actual environment is the key to successful organic gardening.
Always make sure that your tomato plants are as healthy as possible when practicing organic gardening, as diseases and pests are both repelled more effectively with healthier plants. In many cases, local varieties of fruits and vegetables are more immune to the diseases and pests which are common, and buying seeds or plants locally is just one way that you can ensure healthier plants.
Types of tomatoes
Tomatoes are of two types – determinates and indeterminates. So-called determinate tomatoes will stop growing when they have reached a certain height, while indeterminates will simply keep on growing indefinitely. If you are growing indeterminate tomatoes, you will need to give the plants plenty of support and space to grow, and this type of tomato is not recommended if you have limited growing space.
Soils that contain plenty of bacteria and fungi are a healthy option for tomatoes and whenever possible, you should use this type of soil for growing. The nutrients that tomato plants regularly need in order to thrive and grow are not usually found in the ordinary soil in your backyard.
Many gardeners who use poor quality soil for growing tomatoes try to compensate for that by using pesticides or chemical fertilizers, which goes against the true nature of organic gardening. You can make sure that your tomato plants have plenty of the important nutrients they need by adding compost to your soil.
Dealing with pests
Tomato hornworms are large pests found in gardens all over the northern US and are one of the most damaging pests when it comes to tomato plants. However, if you are growing potatoes, pepper or eggplants, these pests can cause significant damage too.
You should immediately deal with the problem as soon as you see any of these potentially harmful hornworms on your tomato plants. Simply removing the creatures from the leaves of your plants is one of the easiest and most effective ways to deal with these pests.
Tomato hornworms do not like certain other pests such as lacewings and lady beetles, and releasing some of these pests in the vicinity of your tomato plants is also an effective solution to the problem. It is the eggs of the hornworms that can cause the most damage to your plants, and because these other insects will attack the eggs, the threat is removed.
Organic gardening can be healthy and fun, although it does require some extra attention on your part to make sure that your fruit and vegetables are healthy. If you are new to organic gardening, a good place to start is by studying a basic guide or pamphlet, outlining the basics and offering some important tips for success.