RE: [tomato] Advice on starting my nxt crop of Tomatoes

Richard Dillon (
Wed, 2 Jun 1999 18:45:40 -0500

Thanks so much, Doreen, for your response.  Would you be so kind as to
expand on your statement ".  So institute a preventative program of a weekly
spray with a fungicide and pesticide" - weekly starting now, or after I put
out my new tomato plants in August?  What pesticide do you use in an organic
garden?  I have heard that Rotenone is acceptable;  is this what you use?
Do you mix it with water and the Fruit, Nut and Vegetable Defense as well?
Can I mix the fungicide and pesticide with a foliar fertilizer such as fish
emulsion?  Any help and advice for a newbie gardener down here in hot, hot,
hot Houston, is greatly appreciated.  Also, I was wondering, what do you do
to prevent the squash vine borer from eating your squash vines?  I had about
1 dozxen great looking squash and pumpkin vines going, and the squash vine
borer hit and killed them all.  I replanted this weekend, and found some
Dipel which contains bacillus thuringensis, and if the new seeds germinate
and start growing, I'm going to be out there dusting them with the Dipel.
Do you have any other ideas?  Also (please be patient, I am so new to
gardening and a lot of the advice I hear doesn't really pertain to our
climate) I was wondering what I can plant this time of year that will
survive the summer heat.  I recently planted some yard long beans, but is
there something else that will grow well this summer?  Thanks so much in
advance for all your help advice, Richard

-----Original Message-----
From: []
On Behalf Of Doreen Howard
Sent:	Wednesday, June 02, 1999 11:57 AM
Subject:	Re: [tomato] Advice on starting my nxt crop of Tomatoes

Having lived south of Houston in zone 9b for 8 years, I feel qualified to
comment on Richard Dillon's questions.

Yes, your current tomatoes are goners!  The heat precludes any more set, and
disease will preclude any plant carryover.  Pull up all plants after you
harvest the last fruit.  Destroy the plants (don't compost them, because
you'll carry disease back into your soil) and clean up the ground of any
plant litter.

You can direct seed tomatoes in a starting bed or into flats set in an area
that receives morning sun only.  They like hot soil in which to germinate.
The biggest problem you'll have with second crop tomatoes (or fall tomatoes
as they are referred to in the Houston area) is disease.  The second problem
will be rampant insect infestations.  So institute a preventative program of
a weekly spray with a fungicide and pesticide.  I'm organic and always used
neem seed oil for the spray, and it worked great.  You can find it in stores
under the name Fruit, Nut and Vegetable Defense, by Green Light.  I'm not
trying to discourage you, but you need to be prepared for lower yields and
poorer quality in this second crop.  If the weather is perfect (which is
hardly ever), you will have great tomatoes.

Set out transplants during the first week of August.  Shade them for a week
to acclimate them to the intense sun.  Counting back, you should be starting
your seeds at the end of June.  It will take about 5 weeks to produce a
hearty transplant.

The goal of fall tomatoes is to keep the plants healthy enough so that they
make it into October and start setting fruit.  Then, you can harvest fresh
tomatoes for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Some years, when there were no
freezes, I was still picking in January.  About then, you need to yank the
plants and clear the ground for spring planting, which takes place on March
Doreen Howard
Zone 5b--Central Illinois