We survived the snow storm and most of my plants did ok. However I think it’s going to be a failure year for tomatoes. As you remember I’ve already replanted them once (back a number of weeks ago when they were still seedlings) and now 7 of the 11 that I planted have rotted off at the base. I feel like an epic failure. Good think I’m writing this blog each week and everyone can know that it’s not my year for tomatoes. Last year it was peppers, this year tomatoes. Oh well.
But as promised we are going to talk briefly about pest control. Many people are not aware that you don’t have to use chemicals to control pests in your garden. I like to be as natural as possible and the fewer chemicals I have to expose myself or my family to the better.
Marigolds are actually good plants to plant near tomatoes to help with pests. Marigolds deter white flies which lay eggs on the tomatoes and then the worms destroy the tomatoes. Now one source that I’ve read said that marigolds are most effective if you plant 300 plants in a 100 square foot area. I think if that was true, I’m not sure you would have any room to plant any other plants. I make it easy, I pick up a few 6 packs of marigolds and plant them throughout my garden. Also at the end of the season when they get tilled in, they help prevent soil nematodes so you help your garden for the next year.
As far as aphids both lady bugs and praying mantis are good bugs to buy. Many flower stores sell bags of 1,800 or so lady bugs that you can buy and then just dump all around your rose bush. The praying mantis comes as an egg. Each egg states that it comes with around 3,000 baby praying mantis. So note to self, do not leave the praying mantis egg accidently in your car or some place that you don’t want 3,000 praying mantis to take over. Often the baby praying mantis are very small and you won’t see them, but between them and the lady bugs you hopefully won’t have any aphids.
I have some flowers blooming and my plants seem to be growing which has been super exciting despite my tomato failures. Have a good week and happy gardening!