Growing Organic Tomatoes

How to grow tomatoes without synthetics or chemicals.

No synthetics or chemicals! Fertilizers and pesticides must come from natural sources to be considered organic. Compost is the best soil conditioner and a great fertilizer as well—if you have it, use it! Other organic fertilizers are also easy to find. Many gardeners grow tomatoes with no pest control other than picking off tomato hornworms by hand.

Grandma’s Homemade Pest Repellant
This spray may help against whitefly, aphids, beetles, grasshoppers, slugs, and scale. It also can help deter rabbits and raccoons.

• 6 cloves garlic
• 1/2 onion
• 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper or 20 3-4 very hot peppers or 1 tablespoon of hot pepper liquid, such as Tabasco
• 1 tablespoon dishwashing liquid (biodegradable is best)
• 1 quart water

Put the first four ingredients in the blender along with a cup or two of water and blend until smooth. Pour the liquid into a large jar and add the rest of the water.

Let it steep for about 24 hours, and then strain out the solids.

Pour the liquid into a spray bottle and spray your plants—make sure to get the underside of the leaves, too. The spray keeps in the refrigerator up to two weeks.