Companion Plants like these ward off insects
Upgrade tomato cages
When tomatoes outgrow their first tomato cage, stack another one on top of the first one. Then tie tall branches to the new cage to keep the plant growing upward. While you're at it, thin tomatoes by pruning away smaller branches close to the inside of plant. Also prune any branches that are touching the ground.
Create a tepee for climbing beans
Pine, cedar and bamboo are excellent materials to create a support that is both sturdy and fun. Let the kids paint or decorate the tepee poles for extra interest.
Check plants for insects and disease
Here are some common problems with their tell-tale symptoms:
Flea beetle infestations show up with lacy, torn leaves. Remove and dispose of the infested leaves.
Early Blight, Leaf Spot and Rust have characteristic brown or black spots on the leaves, which will then turn yellow. Remove damaged leaves still on plants and any leaves on the ground.
Blossom End Rot is recognizable by black spots or lesions on the bottom of tomatoes. Remove and dispose of the infected tomatoes. Typically, end rot only shows up on the first crop of tomatoes and not on the ones that follow.
Since end rot develops from inconsistent watering, adding straw or grass clippings as mulch around the plants will help hold moisture and create a more stable environment. Fertilizing with calcium also helps.
Avoid insect damage with proactive planting
Companion plants such as nasturtium, basil and onions strategically placed in the garden will attract and trap insects such as aphids that you don't want on tomatoes or other veggies. Nasturtium is even more effective than marigolds as a pest deterrent, and maybe, even prettier. And did we mention they are also edible?
Since most fungus and bacteria problems are the result of too much or inconsistent watering, follow these watering tips for best results:
Water early in the morning; avoid watering in the hot part of the day.
Use drip irrigation or soak the soil with a hose when watering as over spraying with a sprinkler can promote bacteria growth.
Make a note of where you planted your veggies this year and rotate them to another location next year. Rotating crops each year so that the same plants aren't grown repeatedly in one spot, helps deter fungus and bacteria growth.
Tip of the Week reprinted courtesy of Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC) of which Foothills Landscape Maintenance, LLC is a member. ALCC is the only only professional organization for Colorado's landscape contracting industry statewide. Tip of the Week is copyrighted by Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado and may be forwarded or copied by its members provided proper credit is given to ALCC