I got a little sidetracked, I (Holly) had a final exam. Let's talk tomatoes. Everyone loves to grow them and it is very satisfying to see them out there in the yard, doing what they do. What isn't satisfying is to go out there and see some fruit with a black patch on the bottom.
<cue the sad trombone>
This is called blossom end rot and it isn't a disease but rather a physiologic problem with the plant: It isn't uptaking calcium correctly.
"WHY!?" I hear you cry as you drop to your knees and shake your fists at the heavens...
There are several reasons but the most common ones for around here are cool temps in the soil and inconsistent watering.
I know that for those who aren't garden tinkerers, knowing when and how much to water is one of those things that probably kills more plants than anything else. When do you water? How much do you water? And how do you water?
First, tomatoes don't want to be stressed. Don't let them get too dry. If you can stick your finger into the soil and it's bone dry more than a 1/2" down, it probably needs water. If you can't stick your finger in the soil because it is too hard and packed... Yeah, it needs water. Leaf droop, wilted looking ... all of that means it needs water. BUT you don't want to water it too much either. Stress is stress.
If you are growing in pots, try not to fuss too much. Make sure the pot is plenty big with great soil and a tomato focused fertilizer, if you can.
Here's the kicker: provide the plant with bio-available calcium when you plant it in its spot for the summer. You can also provide this to cabbages, peppers and berry plants, too.
I have some pulverized sterilized homemade eggshell powder to give with each tomato plant sold. Not that much is actually required!
(btw: photo credit to the Missouri Botanical Garden. They are great. Their stuff is more technical and I use it for research. They have a wonderful photo database. No name credited to the specific photo so to whoever: thanks!)
Starting this April 1st we will be offering native plants for sale to everyone! Inventory is limited and will not be posted anytime soon. The plants on this list are in stock now or will be in the next month or so. Not everything may be in stock all the time; we will likely also have plants for sale that are not on this list, especially as more room for germinating seeds becomes available. If I get enough inquiries about a species we don't have, I will consider growing it or I can refer you to someone who does grow it. To buy plants email, call (up to 7p.m.), or text. We will then find a time when you can come to our home and pick out your plants! Just contact me with any questions, requests, etc. and I will try my best to meet your needs!
3 INCH POT $5
1 GALLON CONTAINER $10
3 GALLON CONTAINER $20
Come join us in the Hocking Hills for a weekend of learning and fun. I will be hosting a hands-on workshop Saturday morning May 5th demonstrating how to convert traditional turf into a productive habitat planting of native plants. I will explain different techniques for removing turf, how to analyze the site, and finally, install the habitat. All plant material will be provided by Native Landscaping and Consulting LLC.
It seems everyone loves hydrangeas. They are sold everywhere and often have huge marketing campaigns behind them. This is all understandable; there are so many different hydrangeas available that it has become overwhelming. The hydrangea in this photo is Hydrangea arborescens, usually called smooth hydrangea or wild hydrangea. From this species we get "Annabelle", a very popular variety widely available. As the photo shows, the location this particular plant is thriving in tells us much about site requirements- cool, moist, shady, acidic location with protection from the desiccating winters of central Ohio. These conditions can be hard to replicate in the typical home landscape, but this species hold up fairly well in older neighborhoods in Columbus. The mind boggling array of color-changing Hydrangeas is another ball of wax altogether. Here in Franklin County, these derivatives of Hydrangea macrophylla, an Asian species, generally don't perform very well despite their presence anywhere plants are sold. They perform much better in more acidic soil with a more mild winter. The picture below was taken in Portland, Oregon where these are in almost every yard, and the growing conditions are much more favorable. Absolutely stunning!