Whatâs wrong with your tomato?
Iâve seen some sad looking tomatoes photos come through the store lately and I think itâs time we had a talk. To me, talking about the proper way to grow plants is a bit reminiscent of a lecture hall course of days past.Â I love making comparisons and using analogies, so how âbout we get weird?
Letâs pretend a planted tomato is in fact a 7 year old kiddo buried waist down in the beach. (Odds are he was told to assume such a position by an older sibling, but we can skip that small detail.) Â Itâs July, itâs hot, we would like to tuck him into his bed at night so hereâs what we need to do to keep him happy and healthy!
Hydrate! Â Water water! Â Morning water is preferred, as people tend to need to rehydrate after a long night of zzzzzs. Â Supplemental water later in the day when itâs crazy hot can help reduce stress (we call it heat stroke, in the human world). Â A properly hydrated kid(tomato) can properly process vitamins and minerals that fuel his cells and keep him healthy. Â Insufficient water can lead to mineral deficiency and weakened immune system. Too much water can lead to irreparable damages. Â Even the Guinness Book of World Records wonât let anyone compete to stay in water the longest. Â Longest Bath in the world? Â Not gonna happen.
*AND one more watering note, put the water where it can be taken in. A young boy stuck in the sand needs a cup and straw to drink, not a torturous bucket of water dumped over his head, just as a tomato needs it at it roots and soil level, not blasted at itâs leaves.
Food! Some food for energy will keep anyone from getting cranky, even a child buried in the sand from the waist down. Â If you have the water thing under control, think about giving your sweet child some food. Â Any old food will do the trick for quick energy, but maybe an ice cream treat that has Calcium will be a real WIN for your little tike.Â (Tomatoes really do need calcium, BTW, and there are fertilizers on the shelf that are loaded with Ca just for your toms.)
*In reality, a tomato needs supplemental food every 10 days or so and itâs best to do so on a sunny day when your tomato has already been happily watered with clear, fresh water. Â Too much food can lead to a host of problems too, so stick to the 10 day rule.
Tomato specific:Â Â Â Â Â Are you noticing tell tail signs of decline, yellow leaves or a mushy black spot on the bottom of a tomato on the vine? Â Itâs not too late to pick up good plant/tomato care practices. Â Pluck off rotten fruit and begin again by following the processes you learned above. Â Think of your tomato as if it were a kid buried in the sand from the waist down….one that you want to keep healthy and happy!!