Saturday, August 3, 2013

Trip to the Nursery, VFN tomatoes, Marigolds, and Compost

After the bad news of my infestation, I wanted to know more about VFN varieties.  Interestingly, the Territorial Seed Company seed catalog that I had at home did not seem to comment on VFN status.  I wonder if I missed it or if the info really isn't there.

Friday afternoon, we went to the nursery.  There we found only a few hybrid seed packets labeled with VFN information in small italic, light font.  The tags on actually plants weren't very helpful either - the most informative said "disease resistant" but didn't specify which diseases.  The customer service desk did have some helpful printouts regarding VFN status of some varieties they carried.

To test the theory that my tomatoes' big issues at home are the wilt and nematodes, I bought a 6 pack of Champion hybrid tomatoes.

Reading more on the root knot nematodes online, I saw information about using marigolds to help control them.  So, I bought 24 French Marigolds to plant at home.

I also read that using compost may help, as it may up the beneficials populations such that they can prey upon the parasitic nematodes.  I need to also read further about whether it is worthwhile to purchase predatory nematodes.

Saturday, I put our entire supply of finished compost into the North and West beds, which gave several inches of new compost to each.  I removed dead plants, cut diseased ones, planted the new tomatoes and the 20 or the 24 marigolds.  (The other 4 I'm saving for the community garden bed.)

Here are the beds as I'm cleaning them out and adding compost:

And here they are when I was done:

I also supported the tomatoes in the front bed with an approximation of a Florida weave.  Despite the fact that all of those plants are heirlooms, some of them are doing okay.  I haven't grown any vegetables in that soil before.  It isn't the best soil, but it also isn't too infested apparently.

Here is the weave in progress:
Here is the finished photo:

Lastly, here are some of my garden helpers.  They supervised some of the gardening from up in the Carrotwood tree:

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