Organic Gardening


Here are a couple pictures our Vice-president John Caldwell shared of his tomato harvest. 

John_Caldwells_tomato_harvest canning

John entered a "Biggest Tomato" contest at his local Calloways garden center.  He came in second with a tomato weighing 1lb 8oz.  The winner was 1lb 9oz.  Well, not a bad showing John.  You showed folks what they can produce organically.

John explains:

 In the first photo:  "The paper bags are being used to ripen the pink tomatoes and the red tomatoes are ready for sharing and canning."

In the second photo: "...shows the canned tomatoes and my 1 pound 8 oz tomato that came in #2 for ‘biggest tomato’ at Calloway’s."

John also stated, "The key to a good tomato harvest is to start a wide variety of seeds indoors in January.  Some of the varieties will produce well and some will not produce well.  Save the seeds from the winners and plant them next year.  Our tomato harvest so far is about 170 pounds."

Thanks John for sharing your secrets for a successful bounty.


Here is info on the use of Epsom salt for your tomatoes and other plants:

What is Epsom Salt

Magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) is a naturally occurring chemical compound, which is composed of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. This chemical compound is devoid of water, but in its hydrated state, magnesium sulfate is called epsom salt (MgSO4-7H2O). The name is derived from the town of Epsom in England, which is the place where this salt was discovered for the first time. Nowadays, epsom salt is commonly available in health stores and is used for a wide range of household applications.

This compound is one of the indispensable ingredients in bath salts and is also widely used for its healing properties. It is also used as a cleansing agent. You might have heard about the use of epsom salt for tomato plants, roses and peppers. So, it is also used as a garden supplement. It is said to be very much effective in growing healthy plants and for promoting production of blooms and fruits.


Mycorrhizal Fungi

Our speaker at the April meeting was quite enjoyable. Marcia presented us with a mini talk on butterfly gardening. We always learn new little tidbits of information about butterflies every time we hear someone talk about them. They are our #2 pollinator! Then Marcia showed us all the new organic garden products that are now available at the big box garden centers. That was news we could use. One specific product she was especially thrilled about is Jobe's Knock-Out Rose Food. It contains Mycorrhiza fungi which is so beneficial for healthy roots. Here is a link about this important fungi:
The Benefits of Mycorrhizal Fungi Gardening Tips This article is an introduction to beneficial mycorrhizal fungi and how to encourage their presence.