Growing Tomatoes

Does anyone know how to keep the bugs and blight at bay when growing tomatoes without using chemicals such as tomato dust? I have heard that using the 'grey water' from the last cycle of the washing machine works. Has any got any other suggestions? Thanks.
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Katrina said:

Seaweed (kelp) sprays. I use Maxicrop's dehydrated powder. The foliage stays healthy until late in the season. I don't have problems with aphids and flea beetles are a minor nuisance.
A good, clean mulch also goes a long way to cutting down on problems.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com.au (Katrina) wrote in message

Good soil makes the plant stronger against both blight and bugs. In my case, I get blight in potatoes and tomatoes in my new garden, which I have just started amending, but not in the established old garden with compost beds. Mulch also helps, by limiting soil splash, as does drip irrigation or in general avoidance of overhead watering.
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On 18 Oct 2004 21:49:41 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com.au (Katrina) wrote:

Soapy water will work to kill aphids, whitefly,and other small bugs, which is probably why gray water from the washing machine was mentioned. How safe that is would probably depend on what kind of soap used or if you used a fabric softener. I've never heard of a soap spray protecting against a blight, though. I suppose if the coating of soap on the plant was thick enough, it might act as a barrier; but the first rain would change that, and I don't imagine that much soap would be very good for the plant.
Neem oil is a natural product that will kill insects and protect against some blights, but being natural doesn't make it less of a chemical.
Penelope
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com.au writes:

Simply saying "gray water" is not sufficient as all "additives" to clean clothes are different.
An example, one detergent I used was not only very good for my rose bush on which it drained, it was like a magic wand, unbelievable growth and no bugs! I changed, very briefly, to Amway and nearly killed the plant.
That rinse water will contain much of the washing additive, be it soap or detergent. For me, I wouldn't consider using any type of "gray water" on my food plants. My philosophy is if I won't drink the water myself, I don't want it on my food plants. Maybe extreme, but far safer for the plants (and for me) as far as water is concerned.
With that said, I use laundry water for general watering quite often, lawn and misc. other plants. I'm fortunate that my laundry room is at the back making diverting it very simple.
As always, YMMV.
Glenna
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snipped-for-privacy@pmug.org (Glenna Rose) wrote in
<snip>

My guess is that you don't use a manure tea, then. ;-)
Patriarch, whose tomatoes certainly aren't wild about Diet Lemon Coke...
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In article
snipped-for-privacy@pmug.org says...

I wouldn't be inclined to eat sheep manure, or to drink water that had been soaked in it.
Perhaps I should assume that my food plants have the same attitude.
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Planting marigolds between the tomatoes keeps whitefly away, infusion o
nettle is good for greenfly and dried comfrey leaves around the base o the plant help with disease. It's always worth collecting ladybirds an moving them to your tomato plants too. If you can't do the marigolds o nettles, then soft soap in water does a pretty good job agains greenfly and other pahids
-- DJBrenton
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My tomatoes have been consistently problem free for several years. I do not spray them, but keep them watered, and the soil well fertilized before planting. The thing which may make a difference for me is that I have two raised beds. One for tomatoes, and another for the other vegetables. I alternate these locations every season, so the tomatoes are not re-planted the next season in the same place. It is possible that any tomatoe pests that take up residence do not get a chance to go into high gear for the next season. There are probably other benefits in doing this kind of crop rotation.
Sherwin Dubren
Katrina wrote:

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For Tomato Horn Worms, the best defense are Cardinals. The Cardinal's favorite food is horn worms. Their second favorate is Sun Flower Seeds. In the spring keep your bird feeder stocked with sun flower seeds to attract cardinals, and get them to stay in the area. Watching them hunt in you 'maters is fun tool
For Aphids, I use Ladybugs. You can buy them at a good garden shop or by mail order.
For other pests, as a last resort, I use a product from "Gardens Alive" called "Pyola". It's a mix of Canola Oil and pyrethrin, an extract from Chrysantemum flowers.
Rich
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