So you've planted your crop and they've grown up big and strong...what could possibly go wrong?
As every experienced farmer knows, growing veggies is not always easy. There are plenty of pests and diseases that can plague your poor plants and minimize your harvest.
Never fear, Green Acres Nursery & Supply is here to walk you through some common problems and give you the tools and the know-how to fix them.
Not sure what troubles your tomatoes? Just take a picture and/or sample into your nearest Green Acres Garden Solutions department, and we'd be happy to help you.
Problem: Blossoms falling off and not producing fruit. There are several reasons flowers will drop:
- Insufficient Pollination: If the flowers are not visited by pollinating insects, they may fail to produce fruit.
- Solution: Planting flowers around your vegetables can help attract beneficial insects to your garden. You can also hand-pollinate them gently with a small paintbrush.
- Inconsistent Temperatures: When temperatures reach extremes, it can cause stress to the plant and make pollination difficult.
- Solution: Mulching can help ease this stress, and will help conserve moisture in the soil. Creating windbreaks around your tomato garden can also help regulate temperatures.
- Improper Nutrition: When tomatoes are fertilized with high nitrogen fertilizers, they will push a lot of leafy growth and will not put energy into producing fruit.
- Solution: Be sure to fertilize your veggie garden with an organic food specifically formulated for them, such as E.B. Stone Tomato & Vegetable Food.
- Infestations & Fungi: If your tomato is suffering from pests, it will likely be too stressed to produce a good yield.
- Solution: Bring a sample and/or picture into your nearest Green Acres for help identifying and eliminating pest problems.
Problem: Tomato horn worms (pictured) are chewing the leaves of your plant.
Solution: B.T. is a bacteria-derived pesticide which kills the worms, and is safe to use on edibles even up to the day of harvest.
Problem: Tomatoes crack leaving unattractive scarring on the fruit
Solution: Cracking fruit is usually the result of inconsistent watering. To fix this, mulch around the tomato plant, leaving 4-6" around the base of the plant, open for air circulation, and consider installing a drip system which will regulate water levels.
Problem: Brown, mushy spots on the bottom of tomatoes known as Blossom End Rot. Blossom End Rot can be caused by two main things: calcium deficiency and uneven watering.
Solution: Mulching around your tomatoes will help keep the soil evenly moist.
Solution: Bonide Rot-Stop® is a great tool for helping combat calcium deficiency of tomatoes, peppers and melons.*
*It is always a good idea to test the soil first before adding amendments.
Want to learn more about growing tomatoes?