December 18, 2009
It was a dawn operation. Everyone slept as I removed my spent tomato plants. I didn't shake soil from their roots as normal. Instead I carefully gathered the lot, sealed them in a plastic bag, and quietly slipped it into the garbage bin. For a fortnight my tomato leaves had been thinning and yellowing. On sunny days they wilted despite the soil being moist. When I lifted them, their roots had rubbery, tumour-like growths. My tomatoes had root knot nematode. The plants cropped well, because I routinely foliar feed with seaweed, so nutrients entered mainly through their foliage and stems, not their roots.