Around the summer vegetable bed

Summer vegetables and tomato care

If the summer is hot, watch over the vegetables in the patch and take up these easy and organic habits to ensure you get a proper harvest.

In case of drought, set up a drip-irrigation system easily by burying bottles with holes drilled in them near tomato, eggplant and bell pepper plants.

If summer temperatures rise above 85°F (60°C), protect your tomato plants from the sun with an insect screen: air that is too hot tends to dry the fruit’s skin and hinders ripening of green fruits.

Set up saucers with water to avoid having thirsty birds peck at your tomatoes to drink.

Treating downy mildew in the vegetable patch

Fermented horsetail tea is a great option to fend off downy mildew infections on your tomato plants.

You can prepare it yourself:

  1. Marinate 3.5 oz (100 g) of fresh horsetail in 1 quart (1 liter) cold water for 24 hours.
  2. Boil for 20 minutes and cut the mixture in 20 quarts (20 liters) water before spraying on your plants.
  3. Silica contained in horsetail will reinforce their natural defenses.

If the weather turns wet and cool, and that fruits are still green, treat with Bordeaux mixture.

Alternatively, you can also stretch plastic film above your plantation to protect it from rain.

  • If the fungus does appear, remove infected leaves and stems immediately and burn them.
  • Cut off tips of plants to stop new fruits from appearing, or the existing fruits won’t ripen quickly enough.

Much recommended Mulch

Tomato diseasesSlits that appear on tomatoes as the harvest nears are called growth slits. They occur when rain falls after a lengthy dry season that restricted growth.

  1. To avoid this inconvenience, mulch your tomato bed with your dried grass trimmings or your vegetable waste.
  2. Good mulch protects leaves from germs held in the soil.
  3. It avoids compacting the ground and reduces water evaporation and sprouting of unwanted plants.
  4. Remember to renew it regularly, though.

M.-C. H.

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Ripe summer vegetable by Maggie McCain under © CC BY-SA 2.0
Split tomato by Christoph Zurnieden under © CC BY 2.0