Hopefully someday I’ll be fortunate enough to have a real garden where I can spread my wings and grow 25 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, flowers like my friend Alice and black currants…but until that day comes my modest fertile crescent exists on a few cubic yards of Brooklyn sidewalk. The City has me in chains, and each spring I’m happy to throw it a few seeds and hope something grows up from its cracks.
This year I have some nice looking tomatoes. How are your tomatoes? Really? Wow. That big already huh…
OK FINE! I have a few problems – namely powdery mildew. It’s common enough. My plants look healthy with lots of blossoms and small fruits, but there’s a dusty white film in small circles on the leaves. Innocent enough looking – if left untreated the leaves will start to yellow and corrode…by the end of August the whole lot will be a crispy mess with stunted fruits. No victory in that garden.
I’ve mentioned home remedy’s for bug infestations here before – I really feel like most every plant ailment can be treated with simple concoctions of pantry items – especially if you’re growing on a smaller scale. I’m treating my mold with a homemade fungicide:
1 Tablespoon of baking soda
2 Tablespoons of canola oil
1 Teaspoon of liquid-soap like Dr. Bronners
1 Gallon of water
Hose off your infected plants first, then give a good spray. I spray the leaves and the soil. Always spray in the evening, after the sun has set so you’re treated leaves don’t “burn” in the heat of mid-day sun.
If you’re tomatoes have other ailments maybe we can sort out a good remedy for you in the comments…and also I want to mention something a bit more serious called Late Blight that seems to be affecting tomatoes in the North East. Characterized by “white, powdery spores; large olive green or brown spots on leaves; and brown or open lesions on the stems.” Read about it here.