For those of you who read my column last week, you know I recently got a new pet — my tomato plant, Teddy.
Teddy is doing well; however, we recently spotted some leaves that had turned yellow and appeared to have been munched on.
My husband noticed some small grubby worms crawling in Teddy's soil. Fearing the worst, he called up the Boyle County Extension Office for advice.
They told him there was no need for fear, Teddy would be fine with a few treatments found easily at many local stores.
The extension office said the yellowing leaves were likely caused by a fungus that lives in the soil around here and splashes up onto the leaves when it rains. Apparently, once the fungus has splashed onto the lower leaves, it can then splash from there onto higher branches when it rains again.
To solve this, we cut off the affected branches and threw them away. The extension office also recommended a fungicide, Daconil, which we applied to the soil and the plant, to prevent this from happening again.
To stave off any critters who think Teddy looks like a delicious meal, the extension office recommended an insecticide, Malathion.
As an extra remedy for Teddy's illnesses, we added a layer of mulch to prevent weeds from popping up and aid in the fight against the fungi.
So far, these remedies seem to be working — Teddy has at least nine little green tomatoes and more blooms than I¿care to count.
I think the extension office is a great tool people often don't think to use. They were extremely helpful in aiding Teddy’s recovery and can probably help you with your plant problems, too.
As Teddy continues to recover and produce more tomatoes, I will keep everyone updated.
Editor’s note: Amanda Wheeler is a Danville resident who has worked as an educator at the Cincinnati Zoo. She is currently pursuing her master’s in zoology.