Tomato Growing Tips

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Brent S

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I know a lot of you, including me, are still waiting for your tomatoes to finish growing and bear fruit. I found this link on my Facebook page from Montana Homesteader and thought it would be good to share:

http://imaginacres.com/tomato-growing-tips/
Thanks for the info. I'm just now starting to get tomatoes now, but my plants are looking rough. I'll read thru that ASAP.
 

Brent S

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Just finished, good to know about rotating, had never heard that before. I wasn't aware of calcium either. I'm still a rookie and need all the help I can get!
 

QuietH3art

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Me too, Brent! I put my first tomato plants in 3 months ago and they've only given me a couple of small tomatoes that split before they turned red. And I actually am good about watering at the same time every day, but I water the whole plant and I never knew about pruning out the suckers. I did recently read that you should prune off the first four branches from the bottom and any leaves that touch the ground. Hopefully the tomatoes I planted 6 weeks ago will do better than my first bunch, although they all look deformed. I don't think I planted the seeds deep enough. The first 2 to 3 inches of the stalk runs horizontal to the ground, then the rest of the plant shoots straight up.
 

Danil54grl

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Great tips on this site. Tomatoes like a soil pH level of 6.0 - 6.8 slightly on the acid side. (By the way, that's the pH range at which most vegetables grow best.) If your pH is too low (too acid), you'll need to add lime to the soil to bring the pH back into the right range or if it is too high (alkaline, like mine) you need to add sulfur. This is best done in the fall so it has time to take effect for the spring plantin since it can be slow releasing. I always add in leaves, compost, grass clippings and the manure from my chickens and donkeys at that time too.

Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, known as "primary nutrients," or the big three are the main ingredients in most fertilizers and are vital to tomatoes The "secondary nutrients,"calcium, magnesium and sulfur. Calcium improves cell health, protecting against diseases and bruises. A deficiency in magnesium and sulfur harms growth and causes yellow leaves.

When rotating, avoid following any nightshade family (tomato, potato, peppers, eggplant). You can plant near asparagus, basil, bush beans, any of the cabbage family, carrots, celery, cucumbers, garlic, lettuce, marigold, mint, nasturtium, and onions. Do not plant by potatoes, pole beans, dill or fennel. Keep a rotation going and do not plant the same thing in the same spot for the next three years
 

QuietH3art

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Does that mean I can't plant anything where the tomatoes and peppers are? Or just that I can't put tomatoes where they are?
I don't have any idea what the pH of my soil is nor any idea how to find out. Of course, I guess the condition of my plants this year will give me some idea what to do for next if I'm still here. My tomato leaves do look a little yellowish. Can I just put some Epsom salt on the soil around them do you think?
 

Danil54grl

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Does that mean I can't plant anything where the tomatoes and peppers are? Or just that I can't put tomatoes where they are?
I don't have any idea what the pH of my soil is nor any idea how to find out. Of course, I guess the condition of my plants this year will give me some idea what to do for next if I'm still here. My tomato leaves do look a little yellowish. Can I just put some Epsom salt on the soil around them do you think?
You can plant other things, just not in the nightshade family (tomato, potato, peppers, eggplant).. You can get your soil tested by the agriculture department, but you can also buy a kit from your local hardware store, like Lowes, Sutherlands, or Home Depot . . . not sure what you may have in your location. It is very simple to do actually.
 

Danil54grl

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Sorry, I have heard of people using Epsom salt with their tomatoes, but I hadn't tried that myself
 

Brent S

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Does that mean I can't plant anything where the tomatoes and peppers are? Or just that I can't put tomatoes where they are?
I don't have any idea what the pH of my soil is nor any idea how to find out. Of course, I guess the condition of my plants this year will give me some idea what to do for next if I'm still here. My tomato leaves do look a little yellowish. Can I just put some Epsom salt on the soil around them do you think?
I bought a soil tester at lowes for about 9 bucks. It's a probe you just stick in the ground and it measures ph, moisture, and light. I'm going to start using the eggshells around the toms. now, but will probably be more effective next year. chicken manure has the nitrogeon covered, I need to find out what can add some magnesium naturally. I could just buy stuff but am trying to learn to be sustainable with stuff I have if possible.
 

Danil54grl

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I bought a soil tester at lowes for about 9 bucks. It's a probe you just stick in the ground and it measures ph, moisture, and light. I'm going to start using the eggshells around the toms. now, but will probably be more effective next year. chicken manure has the nitrogeon covered, I need to find out what can add some magnesium naturally. I could just buy stuff but am trying to learn to be sustainable with stuff I have if possible.
Looked up Epsom salt. . . it is made up of 10% magnesium and 13% sulfur so looks like it would cover both of these deficiencies

http://www.tomatodirt.com/epsom-salts.html nice info on it

"When planting tomatoes: add 1 tablespoon to planting hole and work into the soil before planting tomato seedlings.

Early to mid-season: using a tank sprayer, combine salts in a gallon of water. Use 2 tablespoons salts per gallon when applying once a month; 1 tablespoon per gallon if you apply more than once a month. Early and mid-season applications encourage plant growth and prevent blossom end rot.

Late in the season: apply as a spray to increase fruit yield and keep plants green and healthy.

As a side dressing: work in 1 tablespoon per 1 foot of plant height into the soil around the base of the plant every six weeks. Granular application impacts the plant more slowly than foliar application, but produces the same benefits. Be advised that as much as 49% of granular applications have been recorded to leach out of the soil before they’re absorbed by the plant."
 

Brent S

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Looked up Epsom salt. . . it is made up of 10% magnesium and 13% sulfur so looks like it would cover both of these deficiencies

http://www.tomatodirt.com/epsom-salts.html nice info on it

"When planting tomatoes: add 1 tablespoon to planting hole and work into the soil before planting tomato seedlings.

Early to mid-season: using a tank sprayer, combine salts in a gallon of water. Use 2 tablespoons salts per gallon when applying once a month; 1 tablespoon per gallon if you apply more than once a month. Early and mid-season applications encourage plant growth and prevent blossom end rot.

Late in the season: apply as a spray to increase fruit yield and keep plants green and healthy.

As a side dressing: work in 1 tablespoon per 1 foot of plant height into the soil around the base of the plant every six weeks. Granular application impacts the plant more slowly than foliar application, but produces the same benefits. Be advised that as much as 49% of granular applications have been recorded to leach out of the soil before they’re absorbed by the plant."
Thanks for the link, I'm buying some Epsom salt tomorrow. Most of the plants in the greenhouse are yellowish, but the garden is looking a little better. All my eggshells are getting used for tomatoes from now on as well.
 

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