Search The Rusted Garden Journal: Just Enter a Key Word or Phrase

Friday, July 31, 2020

Plant Your Fall Gardens in the Heat of the Summer: Start Cool-Weather Crops in Late July/Early August

The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop

Plant Your Fall Gardens in the Heat of the Summer: 
Start Cool-Weather Crops in Late July/Early August

It is time to think about your fall gardens and cool-weather crops. Although it is hot, too hot for cool-weather crops to produce, it is time to get them in the ground.  Since we are not growing into the heat, but the coming cool temperatures, we can start transplants or direct sow and begin growing peas, lettuces, spinach, carrots, beets, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, radishes and more. The goal is to use the summer heat to get them going, and come time for harvesting, they will be thriving in the cooler weather of fall.  But timing is everything. You have to beat the prolonged freezing temperatures that may come to your areas.

The reason you start them early is to get that first round of fall crops to your table early and to beat the hard frost/ prolong freezing temperatures that comes to most of our gardens. A light frost is when temperatures drop below freezing for a brief period at night. While most cool-weather crops can take that light frost, like the cold, and thrive in cool night temperatures, you want them to be ready for harvest before the big freeze comes.  

Peas for instance take about 70 days to mature and produce. The pea plant and leaves can take a frost but the flowers and pods can't.  Find your first average frost date and count backwards by 70 or 80 days. That is when you want to get your peas into the ground. That is often late July or early August.  The same holds true for broccoli and cauliflower. You dont want the flower heads to be subjected to prolong freezing temperatures. Get some transplants started now, to plant, when your garden gives you some space as the cucumbers, zucchini and squash die out. 

It is important to use a journal and take notes on when you start your cool-weather transplants, direct sow, and generally plant your fall garden. You may find you started some plants too late or too early, notes will help you adjust. I also recommend starting earlier than you might think and direct sow some seeds. Sow them again in 1-2 weeks. And again in another 1-2 weeks. This succession planting does two things. First it stops you from planting 200 radishes at the same time. They will all mature at the same time and it might be hard to enjoy 200 radishes at once. If you plant 50 or so, every couple of weeks, you get a prolonged harvest over many weeks. It also covers all your bases when figuring out the date to direct sow your cool-weather crops during the summer.  By covering a 3-6 weeks span of time, one of them will be successful for sure, if not 2 out of 3, which a great song said, "ain't bad."

The maturity dates for your cool-weather crops might range from 25 days to 90 days based on the plant variety. These dates are general average guidelines. When you are planting in the summer, maturity can be much earlier because the soil is warm and germination is quicker, the days are warm and initial growth is quicker, and therefore you have to figure out timing for direct sowing. Guidelines are guidelines, and you have to actively plant and take notes to understand how plants grow and develop in your specific garden. 

Generally speaking, loose leaf lettuces (that mature in under 45 days), arugula and bok-choy bolt pretty quickly when started in the warm soil. You may want to start them closer to the cooling temperatures. Plants that take more than 45 days to mature, should get started earlier as they are at less risk to bolt. Radishes are exempt. They mature in 25-40 days and are worth starting earlier than you think. The radishes might fail and not bulb or be to 'spicy', as heat can do that if started too soon in the summer. But radishes may also, sometimes, do just fine in the heat and you get surprised with a nice harvest.

You have soil temperatures and the ambient or surrounding temperatures that impact plants. It is often soil temperatures that direct the growth habits of plants. Your cool-weather crops like cooler soil. You can use shade cloth to keep the sun off the soil of your germinating seeds. I use burlap as it is cheaper and effective. I discuss how to use burlap and how to direct sow some cool-weather crops now, as the first wave of crops for your fall gardens, in the videos below. I will be doing a second wave in the 2nd week of August for my fall gardens.


Subscribe to my YouTube Channel The Rusted Garden Homestead
Over 1000 Garden Videos Designed to Quickly Present Information!

Visit The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop for your Seeds, Starting Supplies, Neem Oil,
Peppermint and Other Oils, Calcium Nitrate and More.
The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop

Friday, July 24, 2020

How Do Garden Anti-Fungal Sprays Work and The Key to Spraying Success & Fungal Control

The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop

How Do Garden Anti-Fungal Sprays Work 
and The Key to Spraying Success & Fungal Control

There are many garden sprays on the market as well as many DIY garden sprays. It is not really a question of which one is the best, as most of them work. A better question to ask is how can I be successful at using anti-fungal sprays in my garden. Before I answer that, it is so important to test spray any new spray you introduce to your garden. Spray some leaves of each plant variety you want to treat and wait 48 hours. If there is no damage, spray the rest of the plant.

The sprays you purchase tend to work in 4 different ways, generally speaking. A spray like hydrogen peroxide, which I use often, works by contacting the fungus and fungal spores and it actually destroys/cleans them off your plant. The H202 reacts in the sun (once on the leaf), breaks down into water and oxygen when a oxygen bond is broken, and that energy cleanses the leaf of your plant. Too much H202 in your mix and the spray will damage your plant. The hydrogen peroxide mix, is a spray, that you apply and in 24 hours it is gone and it has done its work. Copper also directly impacts fungi and kills. The sprays are designed to place copper on your plant's leaves and the copper ions interact with the fungi, killing the fungi. Copper sprays stay on plant leaves for an extend period of time based on the spray contents. These type of sprays directly assault the fungi.

Baking soda spray or wettable sulfur spray, sit on the plant's leaf and they change the pH level of the leaf surface. Baking soda lowers the pH value and sulfur raises the pH value. This changes the natural pH level of the plant leaf that fungi normally find hospitable for growing on and reproducing. Again too much of either of these chemicals will damage plant leaves. These spray make the surface of the leaf inhospitable to fungi. They tend to last 5-7 days and it varies on how much rain and how hard the rain falls. 

Oil sprays work by coating the leaf surface but, more importantly, also coating the fungus and fungal spores. This impacts the fungi's ability to reproduce and thrive. Essentially the oil sticks to the fungus, keeps it from spreading, and disrupts the life-cyle. The oil sprays can last 5-10 days based on rain and the type of ingredients mixed with the oils that might help them stay on the plant leaves.These sprays keep the fungi in place until they naturally die out. 

Finally you have sprays like Daconil, milk and Seranade (works in multiple ways) that coat the leaf and fill the pours of the leaf where fungi like to attach. The fungi have to compete with these type of sprays to establish and they lose out. Two of these sprays place microbes, that don't harm your plant, in the areas fungi want to inhabit. One of them just fills the areas and becomes water proof.  They each have to be applied at different rates.

You might be asking... well which one do I use? How often do I use it? When do I use it? Can I mix them? Let's start with can I mix them. The answer is probably not. The more applications you add to plant leaves, the more risk you have to damage them.  Some applications will cancel each other out such as baking soda and sulfur. Add something acidic, like sulfur, to copper sprays can make the copper more harmful to the plant leaf. I recommend picking one or two sprays that you most feel comfortable with and sticking with them for a season, because in general they all work. I have actually used them all over the last 10 years.

What makes anti-fungal sprays the most effective, allowing you to win the battle against the bad fungi, is your spraying routine. If you don't have a routine, you might slow the progress of the fungus but, ultimately you will be defeated. The concept to understand is that all fungi have a life-cycle. They all require the right conditions which are typically temperature, moisture, and a host plant. When all three of these are in place, the fungi appear and use this window to multiply as fast as they can. The window is fairly small but devastating to our crops. This is why you dont see powdery mildew when it cooler or other fungi when there is no humidity.

Spray on a routine for the victory.This will vary garden to garden. Take notes, look up arrival times or ask nursery staff what fungi show up in your area and when do they typically arrive. Start your spraying routine early, 2-3 weeks before they typically arrive. Stick to a routine which is generally every 7-14 days depending on the spray and frequency of rain. Stick to this routine and you will have success against the bad fungi that come to your gardens. This approach also holds true to manage bacterial issues and insects. There is no one and done spray. The routine is the key.


Subscribe to my YouTube Channel The Rusted Garden Homestead
Over 1000 Garden Videos Designed to Quickly Present Information!

Visit The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop for your Seeds, Starting Supplies, Neem Oil,
Peppermint and Other Oils, Calcium Nitrate and More.
The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

My Neem Oil Recipe and How to Use it in Your Gardens: Always Use 100% Cold Pressed Neem Oil with Azadiractin

My Neem Oil Recipe and How to Use it in Your Gardens: 
Always Use 100% Cold Pressed Neem Oil with Azadiractin
By Gary Pilarchik

I have been using neem oil in my garden for nearly 10 years. It is organic and recognized as organic for your gardens. Before I talk about my recipe and how I use it... always test spray! This is the single most important thing you can do in your gardens, anytime you introduce a new spray. Spray impact varies, garden to garden, based on elevation, temperature, plant variety, ingredients (soap type), dosing and other factors. What might work in my garden, my damage leaves in your garden. Test spray each plant type. Spray some leaves and wait 48 hours.  If no damage is noted, spray your plants. I highly recommend using a garden journal and taking notes on the recipe, what you spray, when you spray and the outcome. It will help you manage pests and diseases in your gardens.

Make sure you DO NOT by 'clarified hydrophobic extract of neem'. It will be stated on the label. Why this can be sold as neem oil is beyond me. It is no better than using olive oil as it is refined and all the beneficial compounds, specifically azadiractin, are removed. Sure the product says 'miticide, insecticide and fungicide' but all oils do that. We call them a smothering oil spray as they coat and smother or suffocate soft bodied insects. Any oil does this. You want 100% cold pressed neem oil with all the natural compounds intact. The azadiractin is described below but it essentially coats the leaf, insect that chew the leaves digest it and it stops them from feeding. Typically they die off in a few days. That is the short version.

My Recipe for Neem Oil Spray

1-2 Tablespoons per gallon of water or
15-30 Millilitres per 4 litres of water

1 Tablespoon/15 millilitres of the pure Castile type soap per gallon/4 litres of water

Soap is needed to disperse the oil through the water when shaken. This disperses the oil evenly on plant leaves when sprayed. Without soap the oil would float. Shake the mixture every 30 second or so when spraying as the oil will settle back to the top. You can add a little more soap if needed, if the oil settles back to the top too quickly

1 Teaspoon/5 millilitres of other soaps per gallon/4 litres of water

Castile is pure soap with no detergents and that is why you can use more. That is the soap I recommend. If you are using other soaps that may contain degreasers, perfumes and other chemicals, start with 1 teaspoon and shake mixture. If the oil stays dispersed for a good 30 seconds, it is good to go. Many soaps are concentrates, so you want to start with a teaspoon. If needed, add a second teaspoon.

Soap type and quantity is the main cause of leaf damage.

I recommend starting with 1 tablespoon of neem oil for initial spraying. If needed increase it by 1 tablespoon. Insects will take several days to die but should stop feeding sooner.

When to Use Neem Oil Spray?

In general, neem oil lasts about 5 days on the plant leaf before the chemical compounds breakdown. You will realistically need to spray every 7-14 days depending on the insect and on the insect's life cycle. Eggs hatch at different rates and regular spraying will take care of newly hatched (caterpillars) or newly arrived insects (grasshoppers). The key to neem oil is that it has to be ingested. This works best for chewing insects like caterpillars.  Once sprayed and dried, it is reported it does little harm to pollinators. I have not noticed any issue with it. It is best to spray in the early morning or later evening for 2 reasons. You can spray around the pollinators and out of direct sunlight. 

I recommend keeping a garden journal to track when pests arrive. You want to start prevention spraying 2 weeks before they arrive and not when you notice chew holes. The later is fine, but you can prevent the damage. Preventative spraying, on a schedule, is best practice. 

Do not spray every plant variety in the garden. Very often, it is the brassica family of plants that are devastated by chewing caterpillars. Like kale, collards, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and more. It can be used on other plants but only use it if there is a problem. Again, a journal helps you track issues from plant to plant.

What is Azadiractin?

Initially found to be active as a feeding inhibitor towards the desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria),[3] it is now known to affect over 200 species of insects, by acting mainly as an antifeedant and growth disruptor. It was recently found that azadirachitin possesses considerable toxicity towards African cotton leafworm (Spodoptera littoralis), which are resistant to a commonly used biological pesticide, Bacillus thuringiensis. Azadirachtin fulfills many of the criteria needed for a good insecticide. Azadirachtin is biodegradable (it degrades within 100 hours when exposed to light and water) and shows very low toxicity to mammals (the LD50 in rats is > 3,540 mg/kg making it practically non-toxic).

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azadirachtin

The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel The Rusted Garden Homestead
Nearly 500,000 Subscribers and Over 1250 Garden Videos Designed to Quickly Present Information!

Visit The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop for your Seeds, Starting Supplies, 
 Fabric Pots, Neem Oil,
Peppermint and Other Oils, Calcium Nitrate and More.
The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop

Monday, July 20, 2020

How to Start A Mid-Summer Container Garden or Plant Seeds for Cucumbers, Squash & Tomatoes: All the Steps!

The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop

How to Start A Mid-Summer Container Garden or Plant Seeds
for Cucumbers, Squash & Tomatoes: All the Steps!


Cucumber, squash and zucchini plants can be ready it as little as 45 days. It most areas we can replant them in the middle of July and enjoy harvesting them toward the end of summer and early fall.

The benefit to doing this is, obviously, more production from your garden but these mid-summer plants tend to miss the insects, diseases and heat that are typically taking these plants from you garden come mid-season. 

Don't spend time trying to save a plant that is beat up and done... replant. This is how you can get them started by seeds or transplants as shown in the videos. I also start seeds in pint containers and get some transplant growing as backup plants. If you have a good 60 days before frost, you can start many warm-weather crops in you garden in the middle of the summer season. 

Good Luck,

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel The Rusted Garden Homestead
Nearly 500,000 Subscribers and Over 1250 Garden Videos Designed to Quickly Present Information!

Visit The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop for your Seeds, Starting Supplies, 
 Fabric Pots, Neem Oil, Peppermint and Other Oils, Calcium Nitrate and More

The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop

15 Tomato Tips for a Successful Tomato Garden & Video

The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop

15 Tomato Tips for a Successful Tomato Garden: 
From Container Mix to Epsom Salt and A Bonus Tip

Tip One: Stagger the Planting Time of Your Tomato Plants

I start tomatoes indoors to get a 6-8 week jump on the planting season. These are the tomato plants that typically produce first and go out as transplant, around the end of April.  I recommended staggered plantings (for tomatoes but also other crops) so you get a continuous flow of tomatoes over the season. You can start more seeds in cups, when you plant your first transplants. Or start some determinate tomato plants 2 months later, for late season tomatoes. Staggering your plants not only helps manage production but also helps you manage problems. You continually have some plants ready for the garden if perhaps disease, pests or other problems damage your active tomato crop.

Tip Two: Two Types of Tomato Plants - Indeterminate and Determinate

There are two types of tomato plants. A tomato plant is either a determinate plant or indeterminate plant. A determinate tomato grows to a set height, flowers and growing slows. All the fruits mature relatively close in time and the plant dies/greatly weakens shortly after the final fruits mature. This determinate type of tomato is great for getting the first round of tomatoes from your garden (as they mature quickly) and they do well in containers. You might be able to plant two rounds of determinate tomatoes in your gardening zone. You can often plant them in April/May and again in July in my Zone. You can actually cut back a determinate tomato plant after harvest and will often begin to send out new production stems. It is like planting a new transplant.

The indeterminate tomato continues to grow and grow until frost. It sets fruit throughout the season. Only frost or disease will stop an indeterminate tomato from producing. Think of it this way, a determinate tomato grows to a predetermined size. Indeterminate tomatoes often need to be staked and pruned. Determinate tomatoes need little to no pruning.

15 Tomato Tips - The Rusted Garden

Tip Three: Container Size Matters

You really want to grow tomato plants in a 5 gallon container as the minimum. This is a great size for determinate variety tomatoes. Indeterminate tomatoes can be grown in 5 gallon containers, as I have done it for years but a 7-10 gallon container, for them, makes it easier. The problems arise when the tomato plants get large and the heat of the summer arrives. It is possible to have to water container tomatoes two times a day during this period. A larger container helps with both feeding and watering frequency.  

Tip Four: Bottom Pruning the Tomato Plant Leaves

Tomato plants needs to have air circulating through and around the plant to reduce the potential  for disease. If you don't have disease issues in your garden, you don't need to do this.  As your plant grows, you should pinch off the leaves nearest to the ground. I try and get to 12 inches of space between the ground and the the first leaves (sometimes more) as the plant approaches 4 feet. Now you can't do this all at once but as the plant grows taller, you should prune the bottom leaves to about 12 inches from the ground, slowly over time.  Never remove more than 25% of the totals leaves on the plant at a pruning. Slow and steady pruning. This will allow air to circulate below the plant and make it harder for disease/spores to splash up on the plant from the soil.  This is a space barrier. Air circulation helps keep humid air from sitting around the plant and it helps to dry the plant leaves after watering or a good rain. In the end it really helps prevent diseases.

15 Tomato Tips - The Rusted Garden

Tip Five: Mulch Your Garden Bed and Containers

Mulching will conserve water and keep your garden beds and containers moist for prolonged periods. Two thing can happen when soil dries out. If your plant gets stressed from too little water and then you soak it, it can develop cracked fruit which is physiological issue.  The plant responds by taking in large quantity of water in a short period. The tomato  plumps, the skin stretches and often cracks. You see this more often with cherry tomatoes. If you continually let the ground dry and then over water the plant and let it dry and over water, you'll increase the chances of blossom end rot. Basically, the root system is damaged and the plant can get a calcium deficiency and you end up with blossom end rot. Mulching will also create a barrier between you plant's leaves and the soil. This reduces soil born problems. Soil splashing is reduced.

I use shredded hard wood or grass clippings. You can but down 1 to 2 inches of shredded hardwood and be done for the season. When using grass clippings,  I put down two inches of chemical free clippings and let it dry out. Never use clippings with sprays on them. The following week, I put down 1 or 2 more inches and let the clipping dry up and turn brown. I continue this throughout the summer. It is important to let grass clipping dry out before adding more. If you don't, you run the risk of developing smelly grass clippings which creates a bad smelling garden. 

Tip Six: Keep a Tomato Disease Journal and Spray for Prevention

The same fungal diseases tend to come regularly to a garden, year after year. Keep a journal and track when and what diseases come to your tomato plants and other vegetables.  Maintaining a journal is a great way to know when to start preventative spraying on your tomato plants. The best way to stop a disease is to prevent it from getting established. Start spraying your plants 2-4 weeks before the diseases tend to arrive to your garden. You will be amazed at how well this works for fungal type diseases.

Tip Seven: Always, Always, Always Test New Tomato Sprays

This is on you. I have learned through experience not to spray all my tomato plants with a new spray. I've greatly damaged all my plants. Anytime you make a new spray or buy a new spray for your garden, test spray. That means trying the spray on a few leaves of the plants you want cover and waiting a full 24 to 48 hours for signs of damage.  You also want to test spray when temperatures change significantly. Think spring spraying and summer spraying. A spray that did not damage when the temperatures were 70-80 degrees can damage when it is regularly 90 degrees out. The reason being is that plants often respond differently to periods of high heat. For example, you often see plant leaves wilt during these high heat periods. This is a physiological response to heat. A wilting leaf is more susceptible to spray damage.

Tip Eight: Stake Your Plants to Manage Their Growth

Tomatoes are vines. If you let them sprawl on the ground you will see them root from the vine that touches the ground. You will see additional vines growing all over the place and end up with a mess, if you have limited space. This often leads to more disease and pest problems. A 6-8 foot stake is the best way to train your tomatoes to grow upwards and stay off the ground. It helps you manage the plant's size and prevent diseases. You can use tomato cages or even fencing posts and string.

Tip Nine:  How to Use Epsom Salt in Your Tomato Garden

Epsom Salt is magnesium sulfate. It supplies the micro-nutrients, magnesium and sulfur, to your tomato plants. It is OVER used now-a-days. I was guilty of this years back. It is best used as 1-2 tablespoon in one gallon of water.  Water your tomato transplants when planted. Soak the leaves and the ground. A single gallon is enough for 8-12 transplants. I use the same Epsom Salt mix at mid growth when tomatoes have started to form and/or plants are over 3 feet tall.  A single gallon should treat 4-8 mid season tomatoes that are 3-4 tall.  I don't recommend using Epsom Salts more than this. It just isn't needed.  One gallon should cover many plants.

Tip Ten: The Difference Between Soluble and Insoluble Fertilizers 

Generally speaking, plant roots absorb nutrients that are dissolved in water.  Soluble fertilizers are typically the fertilizers you mix in a gallon of water. The nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium are in a soluble form that readily mixes with water. When you pour this onto to the plant's leaves and roots, the nutrients are immediately ready for absorption by the plant. They are fast acting fertilizers because the are readily available for immediate use. Leaves can absorbs some soluble nutrients. You can see results in a few days.

Insoluble fertilizers are fertilizers that have plant nutrients that generally can't be immediately absorb by the plant. They don't readily mix with water. Soil life/biology must break the insoluble fertilizer down into (water) soluble components. This can take weeks or months. This is a slow acting fertilizer. Nutrients are slowly released over time. I typically use insoluble fertilizers in my raised beds as it it loaded with soil life. I use soluble fertilizers on my container plants as it has a limited eco-system of soil life. Basically you take bone meal (insoluble organic) and put it in your garden. The phosphorous in the bone meal is in a form the plant can't use. Soil microbes eat the bone meal and digest it. They break it down and release phosphorous that is now in a water soluble form and can be absorb by the plant. This process takes time.

Tip Eleven: All Fertilizers are Chemicals 

All things on the planet are chemicals. Organic fertilizers are chemical compounds that typically need to be be broken down by soil life to be ready for your plants. Fish emulsion is organic and it is rotted emulsified, in blender, fish puree. Microbes that are responsible for 'rotting' break it down for you to use as a water soluble fertilizer.  In a sense it is processed.  Bone meal is steamed crushed and pulverized cattle bones. In a sense it is processed. The organic fertilizers feed the soil life and your plant. That is important. The synthesized or processed water soluble fertilizers often mistakenly called chemical fertilizer are not poisonous to you or you plants. They are processed by people. In fact they are great for container plants and garden emergencies. They feed your plant but don't feed you soil life. Extreme out of control use of these fertilizers can harm soil life. But it has to be ridiculous use. You can use both fertilizer categories, in a well balanced and planned garden. The bottom line is compost is better than all the above. It is Nature taking chemical compounds and breaking them down into pure water soluble elements for you plants to thrive on. 

15 Tomato Tips - The Rusted Garden

Tip Twelve: What is a 3-4-6 Fertilizer - Understanding N-P-K

Any type of fertilizer you buy will have a number on it. It might say 3-4-6 or 5-5-5 or 24-12-24. That is the ratio of (N)itrogen (P)hosporous and Potassium (K). These elements are your macro-nutrients and the most needed for healthy plant growth. It tells you how much N-P-K your plants are getting as a percentage of the whole when applied as directed.  The numbers vary greatly. I recommend trying to stay around (as close as you can get) a 5-5-5 nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium ratio when just starting to garden. That works perfectly well for all plants.You can reduce higher fertilizers number like 24-12-24 by cutting the recommended mixing dose down by 1/2 and this will lower the N, P, K ratings to 12-6-12. Ultimately we don't need to use as much fertilizer as we do in our gardens. 

Tip Thirteen: You Don't Need Space for Tomatoes if You Grow Dwarf Varieties

There are tomato plants that will only grow 8-12 inches tall, like the 'Tiny Tim'. There are so many varieties that will grow 1-2 feet tall and be highly productive. They can be grown in flower boxes and hanging baskets. These are basically really small determinate variety tomatoes. Simply search dwarf tomato varieties. You don't need a lot of space.

Tip Fourteen: Container Mixes Need to Hold Water

The key to your container mix is its ability to hold moisture and not just let the water run out the drainage holes. You want your mixes to have at least 50% peat moss or 50% coco coir or a combination of both. If you want productive tomato plants, the container mix has to hold water.  If your container mix completely drys out for just a single day, the tomato plants is greatly damaged and production is slowed and fruits are stressed.  Peat and coir are made to hold water.

Tip Fifteen:  The Difference Between Heirloom and Hybrid Tomato Plants - Seed Saving

Heirloom tomatoes are basically plant varieties that have been around for 50 plus years. They are stable in a sense, that if you take the seeds of an heirloom tomato and plant them, you will get the exact same plant 100% of the time. Hybrids are made from crossing two tomato plants. When you do this, you don't yet have a stable plant, generally speaking. The seeds will not, 100% of the time, produce the same plant  The hybridization process takes many many generations of crossing to get to a stable cultivar. 

15 Tomato Tips - The Rusted Garden

The easiest way to save tomato seeds is to squeeze the seeds out into a jar and put a lid on them. Let them ferment in there for 5 days or so. This dissolve the gel that is around the seeds which inhibits germination. Rinse the seeds in a fine colander and let them dry several days on a paper towel.  Once they are dry, save them in zip lock bag and they are good to go for next year. 

Tip Sixteen: Do Not Over Love You Plants - Bonus Tip

We tend to want to over love our plants with organic fertilizers, soluble feedings, rock dust, green sand, manure teas, enzymes, microbes, Epsom Salt, sprays, dusts and love them on a weekly basis with all this stuff. Well more damage comes from excess fertilizing and loving than ignoring them. 'Too much' often causes issues that look like malnutrition. When that happens, we panic, and love them more with more of the above and we kill them. Keep a feeding schedule. Don't over feed. Don't over use products. Make sure you realize filling container soil with 'so much love' will damage your tomato plant. Slow and steady wins the race and shows your plants that you love them. 

Good Luck in Your Gardens
Gary (The Rusted Garden)

15 Tomato Tips - The Rusted Garden

Please Help Support My Channel: The Rusted Garden Homestead - Thanks!

The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel The Rusted Garden Homestead
Nearly 500,000 Subscribers and Over 1250 Garden Videos Designed to Quickly Present Information!

Visit The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop for your Seeds, Starting Supplies, Fabric Pots, Neem Oil, Peppermint and Other Oils, Calcium Nitrate and More.
The Rusted Garden Seed and Garden Shop