Manage Tomato Garden Problems

Dry, Dark Bottoms

The end of tomatoes can sometimes get dry and turn dark. This is usually because the weather has been too hot and dry. You can keep this from happening by increasing the amount of water you give your plants. It’s also important to be consistent with the amount of water your plants receive. Don’t water your plants if it was watered by a recent rainstorm. You can also try using a shade cloth to keep them out of direct sunlight during heat waves.

Brown and Blacked Spotted Leaves

Leaves with black and brown spots are diseased. The disease is called early blight. You can save your plant from dying by removing the affected leaves as soon as you see the spots. To keep the disease from occurring, spread mulch all over the ground around the plants. You may choose to use fungicide and/or dry leaves off when they become wet.

Dark Green Spotted Leaves

These spots signify the plant has a disease called late blight. To prevent the disease from affecting the plant, remove the leaves immediately. Place mulch at the base of the plants to slow down the progression of the disease. Before the disease happens, you may choose to spray plants with fungicide and keep the leaves dry to prevent it.

Yellow Wilted Leaves

Two diseases cause leaves to yellow and wilt, verticillium and fusarium. The process of keeping these diseases from killing a plant is the same as for the last two diseases. Make sure to remove affected leaves as soon as possible. Place mulch around the plants and dry off leaves when they become wet.

Cracked Tomatoes

Tomatoes love water and fertilizer, but too much of them can cause cracks. When you see cracks, cut back on how much you water them. You should also decrease the amount of fertilizer you’re using. Your tomatoes will still grow big and flavorful with the reduced water and fertilizer and you’ll end up saving them from the dreaded cracks.


Tomato hornworms can eat your plants and tomatoes quickly. The only way to deal with them is to pick them off. Don’t throw them on the ground because they will simply crawl back up on the plants. Many tomato growers throw them in a bucket of soapy water.

Keep these common problems in mind as you’re growing your tomatoes. Water them well, fertilize them regularly (but not too much), prevent diseases, attack the ones that occur, and keep those pesky caterpillars off your plants.

Building a Slant-Roof Shed

First, learn about your local zoning laws and find out if there are any restrictions or code requirements for storage buildings. Plan the width and length of the project and decide how you want the slant roof attached to the shed. Next, select materials for its foundation. Most people prefer pressure treated skids because they are easy to use and are very durable.

Now its time to select materials for the construction. Lumber is more suitable because it’s less expensive and fairly strong. Consider tin as your sliding and roofing material since it is durable and rust resistant. Whichever material you decide to use, ensure that it matches with your existing building and is also good for the climate in your area.

Make a list of materials needed for the project. You will need lumbers cut into appropriate sizes according to the size of the roof that is needed. You will have to use 4 by 4 pressure treated pines to support the 2 by 4 boards spanning about 15 feet.

Make sure to get screws or nails to be used as fasteners. The nails have to be large enough for good penetration and proper holding of units together. Screws are usually used in this project to fasten dissimilar materials such as wood framing or metal framing.

Dig holes for the supporting posts. The distance between the walls should be properly measured. Instead of using a measurement between the posts and the building, try to use a string line since this will be a lot easier.

The next step when making a lean-to shed is to use a builder’s level or line level to mark a reference grade (a bench elevation) on each post. This line will show the bearing height appropriate for the rafters. Begin by marking the end posts and make use of a chalk line when marking the intermediary posts.

Notch the tip of the posts in such a way that the rafter supporting joist or rafter supporting nailer lies on the notch. Make use of a circular saw and cut about 4cm into the post at its base. Then use the circular saw again to cut about 4cm deep at the top of the post in the same position as you did in the first. You can also nail straight to the post but this may likely weigh too much on the rafters.

The posts need to be filled with pre-packaged concrete mix in case your area is prone to severe storms or high winds. But if your area has moderate weather condition, all you need to do is fill dirt into the holes in order to secure the posts. Don’t overlook a critical connection before moving on to the next.

The final step to take when making a lean-to shed is to add roofing. Plan out the spacing for your roofing and make sure they tally with the spacing of the posts. Make use of two nails on each rafter and nail the lath properly. Add pre-framed exterior doors and windows to complete the structure.

Qualities of an Organic Gardener

The first important quality of an organic gardener is to be knowledgeable. There is a lot of scientific knowledge that one will have to acquire when learning about organic gardening. For example, it is important to understand the dynamics of soil acidity. If the soil becomes too acidic due to factors such as rain then that can have a negative impact on the growth of the vegetables and fruits. Since an organic gardener will also avoid the use of chemicals such as pesticide, it is important to understand the dynamics of a natural ecosystem. One is more likely to face annoying pests such as caterpillars and groundhogs. Before you start a garden, it is important to have preventive measures in place to reduce the level of damage these pests and rodents have on the garden.

The second important quality of an organic gardener is to be attentive. It won’t do a lot of good for the plants if you only maintain them once every few days. Organic plants need to be taken care of everyday. You need to make sure the plants are receiving the right amount of water. You are also need to make sure there are enough nutrients in the ground. If you anticipate bad weather then you also need to make preparations to ensure the plants do not incur any major damages. You need to make sure you have enough time to maintain the garden. Depending on the size, you may be spending anywhere between half an hour to over two hours to maintain the organic garden.

The third and last important quality is to be physically fit. Gardening takes a lot of work. It can also put a lot of strain on your back as you will be spending a lot of time with you back bent. A lot of the strain can be reduced by using ergonomically-designed gardening tools. A lot of gardeners actually comment on how they burn a lot of calories when they work on their gardens on a regular basis. Before you start gardening, it is important to do basic stretching exercises. Make sure your muscles are loosened up so you do not cause any unnecessary injuries on your body.

Grow Vegetables at Home

On the off chance that you ask how troublesome this framework to put in practice is, the answer is amazingly straightforward. Not just will you have the capacity to collect everything without anyone else’s input, without the assistance of your family or neighbors, however you can likewise put it wherever you need. In the event that you move starting with one house then onto the next, then you just dismantle the framework and bring it with you! What can be simpler than that?

The real process in aquaponics is air circulation. In the event that the water is legitimately circulated air through, then your fish will be glad and your plants will develop regularly. Then again, if the water is not legitimately oxygenated, then there are not very many risks that your homestead will get by for more than a few days.

The reasons why air circulation is so paramount are very basic and straightforward for everyone. Most importantly, the broke down oxygen is essential for the fish to relax. Despite the fact that the fish live submerged regardless they have to inhale and much the same as if there should arise an occurrence of different creatures, they require oxygen to survive. When they need oxygen they bite the dust, subsequently the equalization from your aquaponic framework is lost and in a matter of days your plants will begin to get yellowish and in the end cease to exist.

As this was insufficient, the fish fecal matter are deteriorated and changed from poisonous alkali into valuable nitrates in the vicinity of oxygen. In this way, if the water is not legitimately circulated air through the fish crap won’t be changed, the plants will have nothing to consume, while the fish will kick the bucket inebriated with alkali. This is not an extremely charming point of view, isn’t it? This is the reason you will need to screen the nature of your water every single day and have a go down arrangement on the off chance that the force gets off and the pneumatic machines will never again have the capacity to capacity. This is the main path through which you can spare your aquaponic framework and make it work for a long time of time. Your plants and your fish will thank you for that!

Types of Chrysanthemum Flowers

Incurved and Pompon

There are three main incurved chrysanthemum classifications: regular, irregular and intermediate. These are further divided into early and late bloomers. The main characteristics of incurved chrysanthemums are their distinctive, globe-shaped blossoms and upward and inward curving petals. Regular incurved varieties have tight, densely packed petals on blossoms up to 6 inches in size. Irregular and intermediate types have much larger blossoms of up to 8 inches. Irregular varieties have densely packed petals at the top of the flower and slightly looser petals around the base and sides. Intermediate types have even, moderately densely packed petals all over. Pompon chrysanthemums tend to have much smaller blooms, averaging between 1 and 3 inches. Pompons are another globular type but the flowers tend to have a combination of upward and slightly downward curving petals.

Reflex, Decorative and Indeterminate

Reflex blooms have loose, downward curving petals, and the wide, 6-inch blooms have a flat top with a hidden center. Decorative types are among the most common varieties grown as houseplants or in containers. The blooms are around 5 to 6 inches, loose and fairly open with either loosely upward or downward arcing leaves. Due to the variety of possible petal formations, decorative chrysanthemums are often classed in the indeterminate category. Indeterminate varieties are those that do not fit correctly into any other classification, having irregular blooms or bizarre petal and foliage shapes, and those flowers that possess characteristics of multiple classifications.

Spider, Quills and Thistles

Spiders do not have the traditional petal associated with chrysanthemums but have long, drooping, tubular florets with a curl at the ends. The florets radiate out and downward from a large, flat center. Quill types have many short, straight tubular florets with a closed center. Thistle varieties also have tubular florets but have a wild, ragged, unkempt appearance. The florets appear randomly placed and vary considerably in length.

Spoon, Anemone, Single and Semi-Double

Spoon, anemone, single and semi-double varieties all share a number of characteristics, all appearing similar to the daisy. Spoons are wide, loose, flat flowers with long, thin petals radiating out and arcing slightly downward from a small yellow center. The petals have small, rounded dips at the ends, making them appear somewhat spoonlike. Single varieties have a single layer of tapered petals surrounding a bright yellow center, much like a large daisy. Semi-doubles are similar to singles but have multiple petal layers. Anemones have the outward radiating, tapered petals but also have a large, raised center covered in small, tightly layered florets.


The Hydrangeas that bloom on old wood are from the macrophylla family. These include Nikko Blue, Endless Summer and many other pinks and blues. When I say they bloom on old wood I mean that they are busy right now setting buds for next summer. So next year when they take off growing in the spring, the flower shoots will actually emerge from the older wood, the wood that was produced this year.

The hydrangeas that bloom on new wood are typically the white hydrangeas like Annabelle and Paniculata Grandiflora (PG). They put on new growth in the spring and then later in the summer the new blooms are actually produced right at the end of that new growth. That’s why the Annabelle and PG are such prolific bloomers. They set flower buds and almost immediately those buds produce big, beautiful, abundant flowers. Almost nothing can go wrong with their blooming sequence.

But with the Blue and Pink Hydrangeas (macrophyllas) all kinds of things can go wrong with the flower buds. Since the flower buds are produced in August and September they have to make it through the harsh winter before they can bloom. The flower buds can be damaged by extreme cold.

Pruning? You should prune macrophylla hydrangeas right after they bloom, before they have a chance to start making new flower buds. Annabelle and PG hydrangea and other hydrangeas that flower on new wood can be pruned during the late fall, winter or early spring. Once they start growing in the spring, do not do any pruning until after they bloom.

One of the most popular new varieties on the market is “Endless Summer Hydrangea” and it is known to bloom more than once in a season. It’s in the macrophylla family and sets flower buds on old wood, but it is also known to set more buds and produce flowers during the growing season. It should still be treated as a hydrangea that blooms on old wood.

So… with all of that said, if your hydrangea did not bloom then the flower buds might have gotten pruned off, or more likely the buds were damaged over the winter.

Plants for a Small Garden

All plants have specific needs for sun, shade, water etc. but small gardens, because of the restricted design of their layout, will exacerbate these needs. If you place the wrong plant in the wrong environment or simply buy a plant without doing your homework, you are setting yourself up for a lot of unnecessary heartache.

When I think of some examples of small gardens, I envision the front and rear yards in a Townhouse community. Planting are usually crammed together in very small beds, the back yard is usually enclosed by a fence allowing for a small lawn, and the soil is usually very poor and void of organic matter, because it was pulled from below ground during construction.

Since the houses are also crammed together, the roof drains, along with every neighbors roof drain, empties directly into the yard. With each yard having a fence or a neighbors fence and so on, airflow into these areas is extremely limited, allowing for the moisture to persist and cause not only major problems for the plants but also the siding on the home. Sound familiar?

Because of the potential problems mentioned above, it is imperative that you take some time to observe your garden at different times of the day and read up on the plants you like.

It’s important to know;

  • when your plants will be in the sun or shade during the day; morning sun is a cooler sun and a great spot for partial shade to shade loving plants; afternoon sun is a hot sun and plants here must be able to withstand intense heat
  • what your soil is made of- clay, loam (good organic mix) or sand – Clay soil stays wet longer and requires much less watering. Clay soil is the main culprit in the sickly, yellow leafed plantings that you see in the many commercial landscapes, the plants are simply drowning – Loam or Sandy soils, drain quicker and require more water and weekly monitoring
  • if you have wet areas or any drainage issues- where do your roof gutters drain; shady areas will remain wet longer and require less watering
  • if you have large trees shading beds, they will block rain from reaching the ground; plants here will need more water.
  • plants installed under a tree, in the root zone, will need more water and fertilizer as the tree will absorb most of it.
  • if you have wind issues… fences can decrease or increase wind and possibly dry out plants

Once you understand the different situations your garden may present over time, you can begin choosing the plants that will flourish with you over the years. Strive for a low maintenance gardening experience by installing plants that mature slow and fill in over time.

Adding shrubs like a Butterfly Bush, Spirea or Knock Out Rose not only increase seasonal color but also help keep your landscape manageable because you cut back or rejuvenate these shrubs every spring, reducing their size. Many perennials and ornamental grasses will have the same effect

By choosing plants that are low maintenance (slow growers, require less water and fertilizer, little to no disease or insect problems, rejuvenate or cut back every year), 95% of your yearly gardening is completed during your spring cleanup.

With that thought in mind, I recommend shrubs and perennials not to exceed 4-5 feet tall/ 3-4 feet wide and trees no taller than 15 feet. I also like to avoid any quick growing plants that involve maintenance pruning during the season.

The plantings below are mostly insect and disease free, require very little moisture once established and need very little maintenance during the year. All will bring years of enjoyment to you and your garden when placed in the environment mentioned.

Sessile Oak Tree

Identifying a Sessile Oak Tree

It is a huge deciduous tree and can grow up to a height of 40m. Unlike English and pedunculate oak, the acorns are stalkless. The trunk sits more upright and the branches are also straighter with longer leaf stalks than those of the English oak.

As oak’s age they form a wide crown that spreads right around and develops thick branches on the lower parts of the trunk. Since the tree has a light or open canopy, it allows wild flowers such as primroses and bluebells to grow on the woodland floor below. Before they mature the bark is very smooth with a greyish brown colour, once matured it becomes rough with deep fissures.

They have a monoecious reproductive system, meaning both male and female parts are located on the same tree. The green male flowers are catkins, while the female flowers (bracts) are red buds and hang in bunches. Once pollinated by wind, the red female buds turn into a large glistening seed with a wooden shell at the base. A young acorn is green but turns brown before falling.

The reason it is called sessile oak is because the acorns are not produced on stalks like English and pedunculate oak (peduncles), and instead grow on the outer twigs (sessile).

Significance to Wildlife

It does not particularly matter which oak animals and insects inhabit as they all support an abundance of wildlife. More than 280 insects inhabit the tree which also attracts many of their predators such as birds. You will often find lichens, mosses and liverworts growing on the bark of the tree and deadwood cracks provide a perfect habit for roosting bats and nesting birds. Small mammals such as red squirrels, badgers and jays also eat the acorns.

As the fallen leaves decompose during autumn, they develop into a thick mould on the woodland floor and in turn provide a good habitat for beetles and fungi.

How We Use Oak

One the toughest and most hard-wearing timbers known to man, it was used for many years, primarily for ship building until the mid-19 century and still remains a great choice for structural beams. Historically, all the main elements (leaves, acorns and bark) of the tree were thought to cure lots of medical problems such as inflammation, kidney stones and diarrhoea. Today we use it for things like wine barrels, firewood and flooring.

A long time ago, acorns were collected by humans and turned into flour to make bread. It is a technique that died out 10,000 years ago, mainly because of domestic wheat production. Now we just leave the acorns for mammals and birds.

Threats, Pests and Diseases

There are a high number of oak trees in Britain and they are protected from over harvest. However, there are still numerous pests and diseases that are affecting them. The foliage can be severely damaged by the oak Processionary moth which increases the changes of infection from yet more diseases. The moth is also a hazard to human health and can cause problems with breathing as well as itchy skin from the tiny hairs on its body.

Other diseases affecting the tree include chronic oak decline and acute oak decline. These conditions are serious threats to the trees health and can be caused by a number of factors. It was first brought to attention back in the 1920s that a large number of mature oaks were declining. The most affected are today are central and southern parts of England. You can usually spot this by a thin canopy and broken branches as well bleeding cankers on the trunk.

Grow a Bonsai From Seed

Purchasing the seeds

When purchasing a seed that you intend to train for bonsai, it is important to note the name of the seeds. Many sellers attempt to sell special bonsai tree seeds for a significantly higher than normal price. Don’t fall for this trick; remember that bonsai are grown from normal seeds that should not cost more than usual. We buy our seeds from, where they are listed as bonsai tree seeds but are not overpriced.

Get ready to plant

While you are waiting to receive your seeds, you can gather your seed starting materials. These materials can vary greatly depending on how many seeds you intend to grow, and what your expectations are.


The first thing you will need is the most important ingredient to grow a plant: dirt. This can be obtained by going out behind your house with a shovel. If you are looking for better results, picking up some seed starting soil from your local gardening store will increase success. Seeds are susceptible to diseases that are found regularly in outdoor soil. Seed starting soil has been baked at a high temperature to become a sterile soil, without the added bacteria. If you are growing a small amount of seeds, backyard dirt is fine. A few of the seeds are likely to survive regardless of what soil you use.


Next, you will need somewhere to put that soil. Depending on the amount of seeds you intend to grow, you can use anything from a generic plastic cup with holes poked in the bottom to a divided seed tray. Anything that will hold the soil in place and allow excess water to escape will do the trick. Use of a humidity dome is recommended if you use a seedling tray; this will help the seedlings absorb water, since their root systems have not fully developed.


After you have the supplies ready, you will need to pick a good location to plant your seeds. Whether you are growing an indoor or outdoor tree, we recommend that you plant the seeds indoors. This will let you fully control the environment while the trees are still developing. Make sure this location gets a good amount of sunlight.

Planting the seeds

Once you have your soil in a tray or pot, you can plant your seeds in the soil. Plant your seeds at the recommended depth on the package. Each tree variety does best if grown at a different depth, so ensure that you pay attention to the package. After you have placed the seeds in the dirt and covered them up, water the seeds and place them in the location your choice.

Water and wait…

Keep an eye on your seeds to ensure that the soil does not dry out. When you see the top of the soil start to look dry, it’s time to water. Depending on the species you chose, it could take days or weeks for the seeds to sprout. After they sprout, keep watering as normal until you see the first set of true leaves. The first leaves that seedlings produce are not “true leaves.” These are just leaves that are in the shape of the seed that held nutrients for the tree to begin its life. The true leaves will be the first set of leaves that are the correct shape for the species. After you see these, transplant the plant into a pot or cup if they are not already in one. Continue to water the trees and fertilize in accordance with species recommendations until winter.

First winter (if outside)

Your seedlings should be overwintered for the first winter. Overwintering is the process of protecting the tree from its first winter. This will give it a better chance to survive without any issues. Bury your pot into the soil, with mulch up to the first branch. This will give your tree the best chance of survival by keeping the roots warm. You should never leave your bonsai tree outdoors during the winter without the bottom of the pot in the ground, as this will allow the roots to freeze and kill the tree. If possible, protect the tree from the cold wind as well. Another possibility is to keep your tree in an unheated shed or garage.

Rearranging Garden

First, take a look at a plan of your yard. This plan should incorporate the current look of the garden and the future look of the garden. In your scale plan you should leave some space for the notes, abrupt ideas, plants’ names, and a lot of more. Do not forget to note how the light shifts in your area. Light is dramatically important for the plants and the need of the light for individual plants differ considerably. Later, decide where do you want to build your garden buildings. These buildings can be built in a sunny or shady area.

Moreover, carefully select the plants for your garden. And remember that not every plant in your yard must be moved or removed. You definitely have some great and beautiful plants. Let them grow in your yard. Gardeners think of the plants and trees throughout the year. Do not forget to pick the plants which will grow well in your climate. If you are not sure that your selected plants will grow well in your climate, you can always ask nurseries, country agriculture extension agents, and other institutions. They will recommend you suitable plants by climate zone. Pick proper trees, bushes and fences in order to form the structure for your yard.

You should think about the vertical landscape. It is recommended to choose tall plants and flowing vines in the garden because these plants can hide the walls and fences. What is more, these plants create a great atmosphere. Include big trees, plants, and walls as a background in your yard’s plan. Outline the items you want to add on tracing paper and lay the sketch over main drawings to see how the items look together. If you decided to try gardening, you may think about an area in your garden with as much sun as possible, because fruits and vegetables will not grow in a heavy shade. Be sure to grow recommended varieties of vegetables for your area. You can ask for help at the local garden store for varieties available. Usually it is better to buy high quality seeds and plant them not too deep.

If you want to have more space for unused garden tools and other equipment, it is important to decide which garden building you need in your garden area. There are several options for garden buildings. You can build a log cabin, wooden gazebo, garden shed, wooden garage or other building. Keeping gardening tools somewhere in a corner of your garage is not bad, but a lot of people want something more than this. For example, a beautiful garden shed or a log cabin where the garden tools, mower and other equipment have their place.

Of course, most of the gardeners can do a lot of work without an expensive garden shed, but when the gardener’s garage is full of gardening tools, a great garden shed no longer seems a ridiculous idea. It is said that a garden shed for the gardener is like a kitchen for a cook.

If you want to have a small garden and grow vegetables for your family, you need a place to keep all your gardening tools and equipment. There are different garden buildings because everybody has different needs. There are a lot of advantages of owning a garden building. Some garden sheds are used as gardeners’ offices with the space for tools, and a desk for writing gardening notes.