Monday, June 27, 2011

Tomatoes Love Calcium by Arlene Wheeler

I miss my tomato plants this year! At the apartment where I now live they are re-doing our balconies so this year I am Tomatoless!!! There is nothing like a home grown tomato, so I hope some of my gardening friends take pity on me.

Tomatoes are calcium lovers. Add calcium in the form of Bonemeal or Dolomite Lime to the soil as you are planting and then every few weeks throughout the growing season. Save your egg shells, crush them and then add them to the soil around your tomato plants. They take some time to break down but will also help keep away the cutworms. Don’t let your tomatoes dry out. The plants need sufficient moisture to uptake the calcium from the soil. The calcium and consistent watering will help prevent Blossom End Rot (the black end on the tomato). If you started your tomato plants early from seed and they have grown lanky before you have a chance to get them in the ground, remove some of the side stems and plant them deep. The seedlings can also be trenched as long as you leave about a three inch grow tip. As your plant grows, remove the suckers (the little stems that grow between the main stem and a side shoot). Once your tomato plant has set fruit, remove all the side stems underneath where it has set fruit. The plant no longer needs them and they will only take strength away from the plant and the fruit. In late August, cut the top of the tomato plant to allow all the strength to go into the plant and the fruit. You will get a much stronger plant and larger fruit! Enjoy!

Arlene
first lady tomatoe, winnipeg, jensen nursery
Posted by Tammy Jensen at 12:00 AM

1 Comments:

Lots of people kill pltnas with kindness; keeping the soil moist (rather than wet) is a good rule of thumb unless it's something like bamboo. Don't fertilize for the first 2 3 months, as most nurseries/suppliers pot their new pltnas in a soil/fertilizer mix. After that, I like to fertilize most pltnas each time I water with a quarter-strength soluble fertilizer. Light can be an issue for some pltnas. If you see leaves turning brown or getting VERY light green, they're probably getting too much sun; if they lean toward the light, they probably need to be a bit closer. Very few pltnas can take direct sunlight, particularly from a west- or south- facing window. If you must use these windows, try putting a sheer curtain on the window to cut down on the intensity of the sun. Humidity is also a factor to be considered; if the tips of the leaves get brown, or if they wilt quickly, it may be too dry. To combat this (without using a humidifier), try setting the pot on a tray or saucer filled with pebbles, into which water has been poured so that the pebbles are just sticking out. As the water evaporates, the air immediately around the plant will be more humid. If you are having pest problems, a good drench will sometimes take care of things most nurseries can point you at a good all-round product (Safer Soap is a good one). These are all very general suggestions, obviously, but hopefully they'll get you back on track with your pltnas. Good luck!
August 21, 2012 5:24 PM By Pham

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