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Tomato Plants: Frequently Asked Questions

Are catepillars harmful to tomato plants?

All you ever need to know about growing vetables and herbs is right here in our FAQ .

What is Dolomite? Is it used only for tomato plants?

Dolomite, or hydrated lime, can be used for any plant, although it is critical for healthy tomatoes. Tomato plants need a lot of calcium in order to produce healthy fruit; dolomite satisfies this requirement.
Dolomite, or hydrated lime, can be used for any plant, although it is critical for healthy tomatoes. Tomato plants need a lot of calcium in order to produce healthy fruit; dolomite satisfy this requirement.

What causes the flowers to drop off my tomato plants?

During unfavorable weather (night temperatures lower than 55 F or day temperatures above 95 F), tomatoes do not set and flowers abort. The problem usually disappears as the weather improves.

How many tomato plants should I grow?

Three well-cared for plants per person in the household will provide about one tomato a day from late july through mid-september, with a glut of tomatoes usually the second and third week of august. With 3 plants per person, you have a few to give, but you won't have any to put up for the winter. Six plants per person will give you enough to put some tomatoes away for the winter, and quite a few to give to the neighbors. With one hundred plants you can make a nice income selling at farmer's markets.
Source: www.nku.edu

When should I start my tomato plants indoors?

Plant tomatoes about May 10 after soils have warmed. Counting backward from this date, start your seeds about 10 weeks before. This calculation allows for a week of hardening off of the seedlings.
Plant tomatoes about May 10 after soils have warmed. Counting backward from this date, start your seeds about 10 weeks before. This calculation allows for a week of hardening off of the seedlings. (02/10/03)

What if I need support stakes for my tomato plants?

Tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, beans and other vine plants need support. The EarthBox now offers an optional staking system that integrates with the EarthBox container. This eliminates the need for awkward wire plant cages or trellises.
Tomatoes, aubergine, cucumbers, beans and other vine plants need support. The EarthBox offers an optional staking system that integrates with the EarthBox container. This eliminates the need for awkward wire plant cages or trellises.
Tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, beans and other vine plants need support. The EarthBox offers an optional staking system that integrates with the EarthBox container. This eliminates the need for awkward wire plant cages or trellises.
Tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, beans and other vine plants need support. The EarthBox® now offers an optional staking system that integrates with the EarthBox® container. This eliminates the need for awkward wire plants cages or trellises.

Do I need to stake my Tomato plants?

Yes, It keeps the tomato from lying on the ground and helps prevent them from getting blossom end rot.

How do I care for my Tomato plants ?

A favorite garden vegetable, tomatoes come in many types and sizes. Some vines grow 3 feet long and some can extend up to 20 feet long. Flower clusters are produced at every second leaf. The vines keep growing and producing unless stopped by frost, giving you fresh tomatos all season long. In order to get the best crop, locate the sunniest spot in your garden and prepare the soil with plenty of organic matter. Then sow seeds or plant transplants, placing a wire tomato cage over the plant. ...

Is it better to have bigger taller tomato plants or short and bushy?

For an indoor garden the shorter bushy plant would be the way to go. The taller a plant is the more energy it wastes to move waters and sugars back and forth within itself between the roots and the leaves. Tall plants often need to be staked up while the shorter plants are usually much heartier and can support their own weight. If you have a green house and can tie your plants up then the sky is the limit but for indoors go with a shorter stalker plant.

Is it correct to place only 2 tomato plants in the EarthBox?

Through years of experimentation, we have developed the optimal number and arrangement of each type of plant. Please refer to Here’s How The EarthBox Works for a complete list.

Should I do anything special for tomato plants?

Most varieties require a higher pH level of potting mix. Simply mix one cup of dolomite or hydrated lime to the top 2-3 inches of potting mix (before adding the fertilizer strip) to raise the pH. The EarthBox will do the rest.
Most varieties require a higher pH level of potting mix. Simply mix one cup of dolomite or hydrated lime to the top 50-75mm of potting mix (before adding the fertiliser strip) to raise the pH. The EarthBox will do the rest.
Most varieties require a higher pH level of potting mix. Simply mix one cup of dolomite or lime to the top 4 inches of potting mix (before adding the fertilizer strip) to raise the pH. The EarthBox® will do the rest.

What kind of mulch is best to use around tomato plants?

Any kind of mulch will help maintain consistent moisture in the soil, which is crucial for tomato fruit growth. But you can actually get earlier and bigger fruit by using a red plastic mulch in your tomato bed. Apparently, the wavelengths of light reflected from the mulch onto the foliage trick the plant into perceiving that it's being crowded by other plants. In response, the plant initiates a growth spurt.

Will I need to cage or stake my tomato plants?

The plants should be caged or staked. Plants should be spaced about 18"-24" apart. Staking and caging should be done when the plant is first set in the ground.If caged, leaves should be trained in (about twice weekly) until the plant surpasess the cage. Choose a cage that is at least 42" tall. Suckering is not necesserary if you cage tomatoes. Caging results in a plant that is quite productive but bears tomatoes on the smaller size.
Source: www.nku.edu

My tomato plants are not producing any tomatoes. Why?

Usually tomatoes that are deficient in calcium suffer from blossom rot. No blossoms, no tomatoes. Enrich the soil with some pelletized lime or use Chesapeake Blue, a soil additive made from crab shells which contains lots of calcium. We are told that the tomatoes produced by plants that have been planted with Chesapeake Blue are delicious! TIP: Do not water the leaves on tomatoes as this too causes the rot.

Can new growth taken from tomato plants be rooted to make new plants?

Yes, if growth is not too watery. Cuttings should be firm and not too old and made in early July.

What can I do about my tomato plants which seem to be outgrowing their wire cages?

Prune tomato plants to keep them in bounds. Remove as little foliage as possible to avoid exposing the ripening fruit to the sun. At this time of year, exposed fruit tends to split when wet and to sunburn. (07/28/03)
Prune tomato plants to keep them in bounds. Remove as little foliage as possible to avoid exposing the ripening fruit to the sun. At this time of year, exposed fruit tends to split when wet

How often do I need to feed and water my tomato plants?

Tomatoes are very thirsty plants and they do need a fair amount of attention. You should really be checking your plants every day and giving them a thorough soaking whenever they need it - never let the compost dry out. As for feeding, once a week should be about right. You’ll know if more regular feeding is required because the leaves towards the bottom of your plants will start to yellow. ...

How many tomato plants is the optimum for a 10 m x 30 m tunnel?

0 plants, i.e. 3 plants per sqm. If more plants are placed, the total production per plant will be less. There will be too much competition.

Is there anything special which can be done at planting if the tomato plants are tall and lanky?

Yes, just plant the transplants deeper. Tomatoes have the ability to form new roots along any part of the stem which is buried. Just be sure to remove leaves from stems which will be covered with soil. Planting Vegetables

Why do the tomato plants get tall & leggy when started in the home?

The major problem is lack of good light. Even if the plants are kept in a south window, they only get light from one direction when the sun is shinning and much less light when cloudy or overcast. Using artificial light generally will produce good sturdy plants. Working the Garden

Q. Should tomato plants be staked, caged or left unsupported?

Tomatoes should be supported. Whether you cage or stake them is personal preference. Regardless of the method, plants with foliage and fruit supported off the ground will produce more than unsupported plants. Caging has several advantages. It involves less work than staking. Once the cage is placed over the plant there is no further manipulation of the plant - - no pruning, no tying. The fruit are simply harvested as they ripen. ...

What should I do about the brown, twisting "roads" that are appearing on the leaves of all my tomato plants?

R.P., Orlando, FL A. "Those are leaf miner tunnels. A tiny fly-like insect lays an egg in the leaf. The egg hatches into a tiny larva that feeds between the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf making those squiggly lines you are seeing. Then the larva drops to the soil to pupate and return as an adult. Insecticide sprays won't affect the larvae, since they are hidden inside the leaf. So the only "control" is to repeatedly spray the foliage to try to kill the adults. ...
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