Tomato Plants
Q.

Tomato Plants

Zone So California | ekrinsky added on July 17, 2012 | Answered

My tomato plants are growing to astounding heights--appx 6-7 feet. I have not fertilized the ground this year---as I had the same problem last year. I know high nitrogen will cause this symptom but again, no fertilizer was given. The tomato yield is low; however, those we harvested are perfect in shape and color. Any idea what the problem is?

A.
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Heather
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on July 25, 2012

You may not have given the plants fertilizer, but that does not mean that it did not get some fertilizer from runoff. How close is the lawn to you garden and are any nearby lawns fertilized? Lawn fertilizer if very high in nitrogen.

It does sound like the plants have too much nitrogen, regardless. Adding bonemeal to the soil will help offset the nitrogen imbalance by adding phosphorous.

Next year, I would recommend planting a squash there. Squash are heavy nitrogen feeders and they can help "clean up" excess nitrogen. Also, if a nearby lawn is being fertilized, try to not do so near where the vegetable beds are.

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