Taking Care of Business, Going Native, Avoiding Tomato Diseases

In this episode our host, Harold Johnson, reminds us about caring for our vegetables when we are away on summer holidays.The Enthusiastic Gardener, Charles Murphy, explains how to avoid some common tomato plant diseases, and Harold Johnson visits the Sarah P. Duke Garden’s Curator of the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants, Stefan Bloodworth.

What’s Happening

Many of us travel over the summer months and Harold reminds us how important it is for our vegetable gardens to have daily water during these hot months. Pests are beginning to appear so monitoring and prevention now could save us problems later in the season.

The Enthusiastic Gardener


Tomatoes at the NC Farmers Market in Raleigh

Tomatoes are big in NC.  According to NC Cooperative Extension,  NC has $33.7 million in tomato sales, produces over a million pounds of tomatoes each year, and is 7th nationally in tomato production.  While always a gardening favorite, tomato plants are subject to a variety of diseases and a number of pests. Once they get started these problems can be hard to control, so Charles Murphy will guide you through cultivation practices which can help you avoid these problems before they get started.

Expert Interview

Trilliums in the Blomquist Native Plant Garden, Duke Gardens

Trilliums in the Blomquist Native Plant Garden, Duke Gardens

Harold Johnson talks with Stefan Bloodworth who serves as the Curator of the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants at the Sarah P. Duke Garden.  Stefan explains how using native plants in your garden can help create a more sustainable landscape.

Read an article about Stefan that was recently reported in the New York Times.

Coming Next….

In next week’s episode, Harold Johnson will explain strategies for controlling pests in your garden, Charles Murphy will focus on tomato pests, and Lise Jenkins will talk with NC Cooperative Extension Specialist Rhonda Sherman, Vermicomposting expert.  You’ll also hear about upcoming gardening events in our area.  Until then, get out to your garden and Get Dirty!


What’s Happening - North Carolina State University Resources
Expert Interview
  • Vermicomposting - June 17th. 6:30-8:00 pm. Use worms to recycle organic materials. Presentation by Rhonda Sherman, Extension Master Gardener volunteer & Extension Solid Waste Specialist in the Dept. of Biological and Agricultural Engineering (NCSU). Durham Garden Forum (at Sarah P. Duke Gardens) – 420 Anderson St. ($10 fee per class or Annual Membership)  CONTACT US:[email protected]
  • Wallscaping - June 17th, 7:30-9:00 pm. Gardeners of Wake County present wallscaping at the JC Raulston Arboretum.
  • Zinnias - June 19th.  7:30-9:00 pm. Friends of the Arboretum presentation from Dr. Julia Kornegay.
  • Pollination Tour - June 21st. 10:00-11:00 am. In honor of National Pollinator Week, the North Carolina Botanical Garden is conducting a Pollination Tour of the Garden.
    There will be a free pollination-themed tour. You’ll learn about the plight of our native pollinators and the role that native plant gardening plays in pollinator conservation.
    This is a 60-minute tour of Botanical Garden’s Display Gardens.  They will highlight various plants that attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other native pollinators.
    Participants will also receive tips and resources to turn their home landscape into a pollinator garden. Free.
  • Trees in the Urban Landscape - June 22nd. 3-4:00 pm.   Trees are wonderful! They provide shade, produce oxygen, enhance our property, and refresh the spirit. Learn which ones to choose, how to plant them, and what errors to avoid. Presentation by Durham County Extension Master Gardener Gene Carlone.
  • Gardeners Fair - July 15th. 6:30-8:00 pm. Hosted by the Durham Garden Forum, This a free event and is open to all.  Here are some of the topics you can learn about and see on display at booths:  Beekeeping, Birding, Orchids, Rain Gardens, Mushroom logs, Sands and soils, Wild Birds.  The fair will be held at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Duke university Campus, Durham.

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