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Monday, July 31, 2017

How to Bury Mid-Season Tomato Stems to Revitalize Diseased and Battered Plants

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How to Bury Mid-Season Tomato Stems to Revitalize Diseased and Battered Plants

Indeterminate tomatoes often get beat up come mid-season from diseases, extreme weather or a combination of both. What they have going for them is a well established root system and a vine that loves to root itself.

Remove the damaged and diseased leave from you tomato plant and cut it from its stake. Let it fall naturally and bury as much as the stem that lays on the ground 4 to 6 inches deep. Don't add granular fertilizer to the planting trench. Water it in with your choice of water soluble fertilizer.

If you have a good 45-60 days worth of warm temperatures, your plants will bounce back and produce till the frost rolls in. Check out my 2 videos that fully demonstrate the process. The first video shows you the basic principle and the second video shows you how I am applying to my 1-2 pounder tomato plants.

Basic Principle for Tomato Stem Burying:
Revitalize Your Beat Up Mid-Season Tomatoes!

How to Grow Large 1-2+  Pound Tomatoes (4of5): 
Weigh In, Stem Burying, Don't Quit!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

A Garden Hose is an Essential Tool for Your Garden: A Light Weight Expandable Hose Makes Watering Easier

A Garden Hose is an Essential Tool for Your Garden: 
A Light Weight Expandable Hose Makes Watering Easier 

I want to introduce a company that I will be working with, at times, to help them develop ideas that meet the needs of gardeners. They started a company called Xquizite. The company focuses on bringing garden products to market that not only meet a need but also meet our needs without compromising on quality. Four words summarize the mission that drives their company… ‘Quality You Will Love’. We all use garden hoses and it is an essential tool. If you are looking for an expandable type hose I recommend this one.

"Xquizite is running a flash sale for limited period of 12 hours starting today (30th July 2017) starting at 9.00AM Eastern Time. We are giving a 50% discount for a limited period of time, what we have to offer is high standard stuff. Register @ to grab one for yourself!

HURRY UP.. !!! Offer is only till Stocks Last !!"

we are running a flash sale for limited period of 12 hours starting today [30th July 2017] @ 9.00AM Eastern Time. We are giving 50% discount for a limited period of time, what we have to offer is high standard stuff.. Register @ to grab one for yourself!

Xquizite Deluxe Garden Hose

Their first product launches July 1st and I want to introduce it to you. It is a *Deluxe Expandable Garden Hose that met my standards for personally representing products. I look for quality, function and respect toward the consumer. The hose will store at 16 feet and expand up to 50 feet. They are 100% committed to offering quality products and satisfying their customers. They offer a 6 month return or replacement guarantee.

Product Specifications

· Environmentally Safe CA 65 Certified Product
· 3 layer Hose (Dual Core Inner Latex Layer and Hard Polyester Outer Layer)
· Length (At storage 16 feet. Expands up to 50 feet)
· Diameter (3/4th of an Inch)
· Solid Brass Connectors to provide a leak proof experience

I am looking to replace this monstrosity of a hose that is currently in my garden as it is a bit of an eye sore and it kinks very easily. The nature of this hose is to twist and bend as I drag it around. I have to backtrack way to often to keep the water flowing by fixing kinks.

I had the opportunity to talk with them, in depth, about the design of their hose and wanted to highlight three main design points that I think are essential with any hose you choose to purchase. First, the solid brass connectors are a 100% must have for any hose, many are made of plastic that cracks or a softer metal that bends.

The second point which we often don’t realize is that many hoses we purchase have a diameter of ½ of an inch. Xquizite Deluxe Expandable Hose has a diameter of ¾ of an inch, which greatly speeds up the time it takes to water a garden.

Finally it has dual inner core and hard polyester, not vinyl, outer layer. A very sturdy, yet highly flexible hose that extremely light weight. Which I greatly appreciate as I have accidentally whipped my heavy vinyl hose into vegetable plants, causing great damage at times.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Identifying and Treating Tomato Diseases and Problems: Blossom End Rot (BER), Early Blight, Leaf Spot

Identifying and Treating Tomato Diseases and Problems:
Blossom End Rot (BER), Early Blight, Leaf Spot

Tomato diseases hit most gardens. It is something I have to deal with yearly. While there is no 100% way to rid your tomato garden of diseases, you can greatly slow them down and reduce problems. Problem reduction will increase your yield and bring you greater success.

Before you can begin to manage tomato diseases like Leaf Spot, Early Blight and Blossom End Rot, you have to know what to look for in the way of signs. These problems are fungal, bacterial or a physiological or nutritional issue. They are not viral. There is very little, if any, you can do for viral problems besides remove infected plants.

Blossom End Rot or BER is either a physiological issue, nutritional issue or both. The video gives you examples of what it looks like. If your tomato plant can't access calcium in the soil, there is no calcium or it has a damaged root system from inconsistent watering, your plants can develop BER.

The best way to address BER is to put some (not a lot) calcium in the planting area at initial planting, water evenly and consistently and if you notice signs of BER, add some calcium into the planting area again. The video outlines how to manage Blossom End Rot. You can use BER sprays which typically contain calcium nitrate. A soluble form of calcium your plants can absorb through the leaves. I sell this at my garden shop in pure form. You can make your own sprays at a fraction of the cost of store bought sprays.

Early Blight, Leaf Spots and other fungal or bacterial issues are best managed by preventative leaf spraying. There are many products you can choose. The sprays essentially compete for leaf space with the diseases and prevent them from taking hold. I focus on leaf spot in this video so you can identify it. Once you notice these diseases select a spray and begin regular spraying and remove infected leaves.

Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Introduction to Worm Castings & Worm Casting Tea for Your Vegetable Garden

Introduction to Worm Castings and Worm Casting Tea 
for Your Vegetable Garden

I have been using worm castings and worm casting tea in my garden this year. I like to see how new products work with my vegetable plants before I talk about them. I am greatly impressed so far. The products I am using are from VermisTerra and I plan to work with them over the year. Not all worm castings and teas are the same. Their products are certified organic and they manage their products from worms to packaging. Their products are 100% theirs and they love what they do. Two qualities I look for when I work with companies. The third, a great product.

Aging Worm Castings to Ensure Composting is Complete

Worm castings are literally the end product of worm composting. Worms, as they have been doing for millions of years, eat and digest organic matter. Their castings are the perfect organic fertilizer that acts, as both, a slow release and immediate release fertilizer. They add so much more to your soil than just the big three, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. The video and pictures are from my garden as of today. Look at the difference with the tomato's leaves, color and resistance to the disease issue that is going on. As mentioned, I am impressed.

Problematic Chemically Fertilized Tomato Plant

Worm casting and teas are packed full on beneficial bacteria and microbes that Nature meant to be in your garden soil. Worm castings are odorless and it will not attract cats or wild animals to your garden like other organic fertilizers. Other organic fertilizers contain fish, bone and blood meals and other ingredients in raw form. These ingredients have not been broken down into a usable form of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium that your plants can use immediately. They have to be broken down by soil life to become available to your plants. This takes time. Worm castings have already gone through that process.

Deeper Green, Healthier Worm Casting and Worm Tea Fertilized Tomato Plant

Many organic fertilizer often give off odors, as they are broken down, that can attract unwanted visitors. Animals smell a potential meal. There is a good chance your fish emulsion, bone meals and blood meals attract animals to your garden, They also feed bad fungi and bacteria that can contribute to plant diseases and they attract insects. VermisTerra worm castings are fully composted. Their worm castings sit and age for 7 to 10 years to ensure the process is completed. There is no 'food' left for the unwanted and castings don’t have an odor but for the sweet light smell of forest soil. 

I just wanted provide some introductory information about Worm Castings and Worm Tea. I will be doing several videos and blog posts on the products and how I use them in my garden. If you want to try them in your garden, I recommend buying them from VermisTerra. You can enter this coupon code: therustedgarden and save 10% on your purchase. A little of their products go a very long way. They also offer free shipping for purchase over $55. This video summarizes the initial benefits I am seeing. I compare both tomato plants. 

Here are some of the benefits of using worm casting and worm teas (*not to be confused with compost teas)

Improving Soil Structure and Soil Fertility

Beneficial bacteria and microbes create soil space for plant roots, improve water retention and provide oxygen for more vigorous biological activity.

Adding Beneficial Bacteria and Microbes

Castings contain micro-organisms that are added to the casting during digestion. Nature adds what is needed to create a healthy living soil. The digested organic matter is deodorized during digest too, leaving an odorless product.

Helping Regulate Soil Plant Nutrients

Worm casting contain humic acid that help make nutrients immediately available to your plants. The casting also release slowly over time providing a steady source of nutrients to your garden. Worm tea provides bacteria that breakdown organic components in the soil and make them available to your plant.

Support in Fighting Pests and Diseases

A steady flow of nutrient, microbes, healthy soil provide plants the essential needs to stay strong and fight off pests and disease. Worm tea helps add and multiply beneficial micro-organism. In addition, when it is applied to plant leaves, these micro-organisms, populate the surface to the plant leaves and crowd out the unwanted microbes.

This is how VermisTerra’s worm tea differs from compost tea. Understanding the aerobic properties of compost tea is important. The information below is from their website.

Unlike standard compost teas, VermisTerra Earthworm Casting Tea does not have a limited shelf life of a few days. Since the necessary micro-organisms require oxygen to live, compost tea begins to lose it’s effectiveness right after aeration is cut off. As a result, harmful pathogens such as E. coli and Salmonella causes a concern as they feed on the bacteria that die off in the compost tea. VermisTerra Earthworm Casting Tea breaks down to even smaller forms of bacteria and contains a higher concentration of nutrients than compost tea, so it can be stored for later use.

Our worm tea is a microbial solution prepared by a proprietary technique. It is an excellent fertilizer that help increase the ecological diversity and vitality of the soil. As a byproduct of vermicompost, it contains all the benefits of earthworm castings and more. Viable plant health and production rely on their relationship with beneficial microbes the tea provides. Applying our high-quality Earthworm Casting Tea will make your plants more vigorous and more capable of withstanding diseases and pests.

Good Luck with Your Garden,
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

Visit My Vegetable Garden Shop:The Rusted Garden Vegetable Seed and  Product Shop

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