Growing Organic Tomatoes
Can you grow tomatoes organically without pesticides or artificial fertilizers?
Yes, you can! This is how my mom and granny always did it. They never used anything artificial and to have organic produce was the main goal of the whole thing.
3 focus areas for growing organic tomatoes
If you want to grow organic tomatoes, you need to focus on these three ares:
- pest control
- weed control
How to grow organic tomatoes
The first principal of growing organic tomatoes is not to use any artificial fertilizers, pesticides or weed killers
If you want to grow organic tomatoes, it’s more about what not to do rather than what to do. Organic means natural, so it’s all about not adding anything artificial. But what about pest and weed control when you want to grow organic tomatoes? Here are a few things you can do for your organic tomato care.
Tips to Grow Organic Tomatoes
Feeding tomatoes organically
How do you feed tomato plants organically?
These the ways in which you can feed your organic tomato plants:
- Home made compost. This is the best way to feed your tomatoes organically.
- Grow your own green manures to improve the soil.
- Use natural animal fertilizers. You can feed tomatoes with well-rotted cow manure (as well as manure from some other animals).
- Dig into the ground nettles, comfrey or other leaves.
Organic pest and insect control
Thankfully tomato plants don’t attract a lot of pests and insects, but there are a few which you will need to fend off.
- Turn the soil every year, after the season.
This will expose the eggs to frost and harsher weather conditions, so there will be fewer insects around your tomato plants the following year.
Pick off the worms and insects by hand.
Well, I know it’s not fun, but this is the cost of growing tomatoes organically…
Use Bt (bacillus thuringiensis) for hornworm infestation.
Bt is a natural pesticide. It’s a bacteria found in soil, which is poisonous for hornworms.
- Don’t remove cobwebs.
Spiders should be welcome guests in your garden, as they will eat the insects which are harmful to your plants.
- Encourage birds.
Birds are natural predators of worms and insects. They feed on them and can help to keep your tomato plants clean and healthy.
Organic Weed control
Weeds can be managed without chemicals. The natural ways to control weeds include:
- Removing weeds mechanically by hand or hoeing
- Turning the soil
Growing organic tomatoes does require a bit more effort, but it’s definitely worth it!