Midday Fix: Tomato garden tips from Purple Cow Organics VIDEO

WGN channel 9 in Chicago

Ryan Hartberg visited Chicago’s WGN channel 9 news station and while the cameras were rolling, talked about planting tomatoes and increasing the health of soils. Watch the segment here.


Tips for growing from Purple Cow Organics

There are some considerations to begin with, when you’re planting the perfect tomato. Do you want to start from seed? Do you prefer to start with a plant? What kind of variety do I like to eat? Because it’s been a cold, wet spring, it’s not too late to start from seed. And because tomatoes are warm-weather plants, it’s optimal to start tomato plants when it’s no longer cold and rainy in the day and down into the 40s at night. It’s about being an observational grower – you don’t want to be the first one to plant tomatoes just to be first. Wait until the timing is right outside, and be patient.

You can have the best plant in the world, but if it’s grown in bad soil, it won’t be a good plant – or tomato. The good news is that gardening organically is easier than you might think – instead of loading soil with chemical fertilizers, you can replace them with organic matter, nutrients and microbes. Adding a couple of inches of compost brings nutrients back into the soil, and also makes your tomato plants require less attention, because it’s grown in a living, breathing, self-regulating ecosystem. Perfect tomatoes start with good microbiology. A single handful of healthy soil actually contains more microbes than there are people on earth.

organic fertilizer

You can look for organic tomato plants, which will have an organic tag on them. But if you have good, healthy soil, it doesn’t mean that a non-organic tomato plant won’t do well – it still well. Generally speaking, if you’re buying a tomato plant, look for plants that aren’t too tall and leggy – the “squattier” the better. I’d rather have a plant that’s shorter than a tall plant. look for thicker, larger leaves that are greener, versus smaller leaves or yellow leaves.  With seeds, you can buy organic seeds or heirloom tomato seeds.

Tomatoes are heavy feeders, so you have to be sure there is enough fertility in the soil.  If you use bad soil, then the plant is more susceptible to disease and blight, because the plant is defending itself against that, instead of using the energy for strong, healthy growth.  After tilling the soil, you can apply fertilizer, like compost tea, which is good because you can make a batch and add it to plants quickly. Basically, you coat the leaves with a small coating – I’ve gone out in my garden with a spray bottle to spray it on a plant. A good two-inch layer on op will do.

Screen Shot 2017-06-01 at 12.23.04 PMIf you have clay or dense soil, you can incorporate compost to escalate the microbiological elements for a better tomato that is not just healthy but nutrient-rich. Alternately, you can use a liquid biological.

People get excited in the early spring, because they’re doing all the work and are glad when the plants are in the bed or container. But later, when you get later into the season, you might get tired of weeding, or it’s hot outside or there’s a lot of mosquitoes. Still, if you want great tomatoes at harvest time, check to see how your plants are growing regularly – are they flowering? Are they distressed?

For watering plants like tomatoes, you want to water less often, but water more.  If you can go every third or fourth day with a good dousing, that’s better for the tomato plant.

Link: http://wgntv.com/2017/05/30/midday-fix-tomato-garden-tips-from-purple-cow-organics/

Purple Cow Organics CX-1 – Maximize Crop Residue (Stover)

Harvest and the joys (and pressure) it brings are right around the corner. Harvest marks an end in some ways; all the planning, tending and worries are over.

Time to reap.

If we look to nature, time never stops. It marches on, and is always looking to the next action. In nature, the next action is to be ready for the opportunity to capture energy and utilize it in a million different ways.

For the farmer, this has been poetically referred to as “setting the table.” How you tend to your field this fall will directly impact next year’s crop. Right now, regardless of the health of your soil, the peak of the season (what you and I see) is also the peak of biological activity in your soil.

The plant-soil relationship favors bacteria during the growing season to cycle nutrients (mostly Nitrogen) to your plants. You push your systems to maximize yields and the resulting crop harvested.

Crop residue is oftentimes hard to digest because the soil requires high populations of fungi to do this job. Now is the time to push your system to maximize the crop you don’t see.

We call this the “Life in the Soil.”

Nutrient sequestration and availability for your next crop begins at the harvest of this year’s crop. High amounts of nutrients are tied up in crop residue. Cycling these nutrients to your soil and next crop helps ensures that they will not be lost or unavailable.

However, this requires a whole set of different organisms than the ones you have been promoting since planting. That’s where we can help.

Purple Cow CX-1 residue program uses dozens of different beneficial fungi that immediately begin to digest crop residue, to help your soil be in prime condition to physically manage next year.

More importantly, this helps get the nutrients they contain back to the soil and in the best position to be available for future crops.

Contact us here for more information on how CX-1 can benefit you or download the full PDF file describing CX-1 and its benefits.

A Purple Cow Customer Testimonial – Sherry McAnly

From the Independent Garden Center Show 2016 at Navy Pier in Chicago. A video testimonial from happy Purple Cow Organics customers Sherry and Tom McAnly from Jung Seed Co.

Video transcript –

I’m here with Tom and Sherry McAnly from Jung Seed Co. – but more importantly – they are customers in their own residence.

Sherry’s going to tell us a little story:

Last year, we put in four grafted tomato plants in a raised bed garden and, of course, we used Purple Cow.

One of the plants died; it was a grafted tomato. So, we were down to three. All summer long, I gave away – every picking – was at least a half bushel (if not more), and we were picking every other day.

And on top of that, I canned 48 quarts off of three plants. That’s a lot to be said for Purple Cow.

The moral story is: use Purple Cow. But also, buy your grafted tomatoes from Jung’s.

A Purple Cow Customer Testimonial – Dave Moyer

From the WNLA Summerfield day 2016 in Summerfield, Wisconsin with Dave Moyer from Moyer’s Landscape Services and Hometown Nurseries in Stoughton, Wisconsin.

Video transcript –

We’re here today at the Wisconsin Nursery Landscape Association (WNLA) show just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and I’m happy to be standing next to the President of the Association – Dave Moyer.

Dave’s got a great little place called Moyer’s Landscape Services and Hometown Nurseries in Stoughton, Wisconsin – nursery, landscape, retail, wholesale…a little bit of everything. It’s worth it’s worth making the trip out to Stoughton.

You told me something yesterday and you said you’d come down here and tell me again…so you started using our Purple Cow Classic and please share with me what you saw.

Okay, well…this occurred about three years ago and we tested it out in a small scale. We implemented Purple Cow compost into our our potting mix that we had. It was a potting mix that my daughter going to Cornell University (The Cornell Mix) implemented to include Purple Cow Compost to it.

We’ve got good enough results that we said, “You know what? We need to try it on a bigger scale.”

The following year we implemented a complete overhaul and complete – using Purple Cow with all the products – we experienced a better than expected growth rate especially late summer coming into fall, than we had with products that we source out.

It’s been extremely pleasing for us, it’s allowed us to to take our container-growing operation with perennials, shrubs, some of the woody ornamentals, and some small trees to a better level and a quicker level, and a better visual and healthy product.

We have implemented that – not only with our mix – but we also have implemented a commercial mix and added that product to it.

Purple Cow has been very, very good in the development of our retail/wholesale nursery, as well as the quality of material coming out of our place. We’re happy – quality is everything.

You told me yesterday that you had some nine barks that went from 2 inches to 6 inches in one year…

No no no! I have nine barks that went from less than two feet, 18 inches to – within two and a half months – five feet!

And you were also complaining because upsize a couple of containers three times in one year because of the summertime growth. [Laughter] Complaining with a smile on my face because we upsize the price becomes better for us…the margin gets better as we go.

So, yeah we’ve been a 100% percent pleased with the Purple Cow aspect of implementing into our program, and we’re going to stick that way.

Well I think it’s amazing what growers can accomplish with just bringing a little life in the soil, and I got to tell you you are a wonderful partner, and I have enjoyed having the pleasure working with you.

Thank you, Steve. I appreciate it.