As most are aware, this is a recertification year if you use restricted-use pesticides.
There will be a recertification class offered Monday evening, May 1 at 6 p.m. Cost is $25 and make checks payable to Warren County Extension. The class will last approximately 45 minutes.
Please note this class is only for those who currently have a valid restricted-use private applicator card. If you have never been certified or if your card is currently expired, please call us at the Extension Office, and we will be glad to set up an appointment for you to go through the initial certification. Please remember all cards expire Oct. 21, 2017. If you are unable to attend the re-certification class, there will be more opportunities before the deadline.
Changes in Tennessee Agriculture Enhancement Program
Many of you were aware of the changes of the program that took place last year. This year will find another minor change to the program.
The application period for 2017-18 is Oct. 1-16, 2017 instead of the entire month of October, which was the case last year. It is anticipated the new applications will arrive in August to be distributed throughout the county.
Timely Gardening Tips
At the Farmers Market, I noticed there are already some vine-ripe tomatoes for sale. Tomatoes are a very hot topic around the Extension office during the spring and summer months, so I thought I would offer some tips that will have us enjoying one of the true joys of life all summer long:
Plants: Good yields are possible only when you begin with high-quality plants. Plants should be short and stocky with well-developed root systems. Check veins on the underside of the leaves for a “twinge” of purple, this means the plants have been sufficiently “hardened off” and are ready to transplant.
Varieties: If possible, choose varieties with the letters VFN after their name. This means they are resistant to verticillium and fusarium wilt and to nematodes.
Location: It is best not to plant tomatoes in the same place in the garden two years in a row. If possible, rotate locations where they are not planted in the same space more than once every three or four years.
Mulch: Organic mulch such as straw, leaves, or compost can be applied 4-6 inches thick after plants have been set out. Mulches helps prevent weeds and many of our soil borne diseases. Black plastic can also be used to maintain weed and moisture control.
Water: Make sure plants get ½ to ¾ inches of water twice a week. Also, please give the plants enough time to dry off before nightfall as many diseases are much more prone to appear when the plant stays wet.
Remember that once disease appears, fungicides and other products can only help prevent its spread.
As always, please make certain to read and follow all label directions on all products. If you have any questions, please feel free to give UT-TSU Extension Warren County a call at 473-8484, firstname.lastname@example.org.