Archive for the ‘Questions about Tomatoes’ Category

Tomato Plant Disease

March 11, 2013 11:26 pm
posted by Martin Boyle

Richard asks…

How do you properly prune a tomato plant?

I’ve read some but I don’t know what ‘suckers’ are and such. I would like to have a plant that produces as many average size tomatoes as possible. I am planting in a 6 gallon pot. Pictures or even videos would be a HUGE asset. Thanks!

Martin Boyle answers:

Plant Disease

The only reason to ‘prune’ a tomato is to keep the lower branches away from the soil -so as to avoid any plant disease that may reside there.

As far as suckers go, you want to pinch those back so the plants focus their energy on what YOU want – tomatoes.
The suckers are little tiny ‘mini branches’ that pop up at the ‘V’ where branches split – from each other or from the main trunk. You just pinch them as close to the V as you can. .

You may want to toss down some crushed eggshells (in the hole when planting is best), and watch out for bugs, little tiny aphids, and fat green hornworm(?) caterpillars. Keep them in the sun and don’t be afraid to fertilize.

Good luck.

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Tomato Plant Disease

November 12, 2012 11:41 pm
posted by Martin Boyle

James asks…

Tomato plant disease.?

Tomato plant disease; I am getting nodules all over my tomato plants, on the stems and the leaves, starting at the bottom of the plant and working up. Whatever it is, it is slowly killing the plants. Some of the plants have the nodules on only part of the plant (such as the bottom part, while the tops look good).

Any help would be appreciated.

Tomato plant disease elimination?

Just saw a report on the news about that. Its in southern New York and its a blight.. [tomato plant disease] that turns the branches and then the tomatoes red pink and destroys them in matter of days. They are attributing this to the excessive rain we have been having. Its a highly contagious blight that can not even be destroyed with fire since the smoke carries it. The plants can not even be recycled in the compost as this spreads the blight [tomato plant disease] too and you will have it again next year! The only way to get rid of it is to put the infected plants in a seal-able plastic garbage bag and take it to the dump!!! They are comparing the blight [tomato plant disease] to the same that caused the great famine in Ireland. Some genetic strands of tomatoes are resistant. But most succumb to it and are wiped out in matter of days. You must deal with any infected plant in an aggressive manner. Soon as a plant has the blight [tomato plant disease] on it pull it up and get rid of it because it will spread to the rest of the plant no matter what. If you don’t get rid of the plant it will kill most of your tomato plants. The blight [tomato plant disease] spores are carried by the wind. Its not harmful to humans or animals just tomatoes and I heard it may affect some types of potatoes too.

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Why Are My Tomato Plants Dry And Turning Yellow?

October 18, 2012 11:20 am
posted by Martin Boyle

Jenny asks…

Tomato plants starting to die, why?

I bought some tomato plants  and transplanted them about a week ago. They feel very dry and are starting to turn yellow. We’ve been watering them every day and it’s rained alot the past couple days.The tomato plants are in full sunlight, no shade at all. What’s wrong? Is there something missing in the soil? We live in Maine so it’s not too hot yet, only about 60-70 degrees, but we always plant out our tomatoes this time of year.

Martin Boyle answers:

Water them at night or else they will be shocked by the sudden temperature change. Break off the brown leaves because they just parasite off of the rest of the healthy plant. Yellow sounds like over-watering so pay attention to how much you water them.

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Your Questions About Tomato Growing Season

September 14, 2012 2:25 pm
posted by Martin Boyle

Daniel asks…

What season should i start growing cherry tomatoes in Victoria BC?

I live in Victoria British Columbia Canada. I am wondering when i should start sowing tomato seeds.. also, they grow very closely together if you just sprinkle them in soil and let them sprout.. how do you separate them???

Martin Boyle answers:

You start them about two months before the last frost in your area. I used to put a couple of seeds in small peat pots and only keep the strongest one. There is less transplant shock if you can just plant the whole peat pot as opposed to trying to separate the small plants.

Chris asks…

Pinching tomato plants to encourage ripening of established fruit?

I live in an area with a short growing season…my tomato plants look beautiful, lots of fruit so far, but I am afraid to let them keep fruiting because I don’t want a lot of frozen fruit when the frost hits in September (like last year). Can I take the tops out of my plants to discourage new fruiting…tomato birth control, if you will..or is that not a good idea?

Martin Boyle answers:

Keep picking until you can’t pick anymore and then pull the plants out and get the ground ready for next year I always have to throw a few small green tomatoes away. I don’t like green tomatoes but some people use green tomatoes.

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Your Questions About Tomato Growing Secrets

September 11, 2012 3:10 pm
posted by Martin Boyle

Charles asks…

Secret to growing tomatoes?

What is the secret to growing big fat juice tomatoes?

Martin Boyle answers:

To grow the largest fruit possible, then it is good to choose a giant type. Some varieties are larger than others and some have more flavor than others.

So choosing the variety makes a big difference.


-dig the holes really big and use some compost or manure (about 1/3 compost or such)

-use a big cage that can support the plant and that you can reach through and pick the tomatoes out of

-tomatoes should get lots of food but when it is time to make tomatoes, then don’t give the plants any more nitrogen, otherwise the leaves will be lots but the fruits will be few.

-tomatoes could use a little extra calcium if the ends of their fruits get rotten (blossom end rot)

-picking off some of the flowers or fruit will help the ones that you leave on there to become especially big.

-ripening the tomatoes ‘on the vine’ helps the flavor to be better; tomatoes need warm nights to ripen on the vine and also red mulch helps (but bugs can hide under plastic mulch so watch out)

Joseph asks…

Any secrets about growing tomatoes & herbs Chamomile, Lavender, Frankincense (Jesus’ special one)?

I started tomatoes they are about 2″ high but alot of stalk and just a few little leaves on top.
I didn’t plant the herb seeds yet.

and I did plant the seed of Jesus into my heart, when i repented of sins and let Jesus in to be my best friend.
Revelation 3:19&20 “I love you and knock on your heart door to come in and be your friend when you repent quickly of sin and ask me in.”

Jesus helped me as born Jewish to be my Messiah, only he is spoken of as without sin, it was needed for him to fulfill the lamb sacrifice requied to forgive sins Moses tells in Leviticus 17:11 “Without the shedding of blood there is no atonement for sins.”

Isaiah 9:6 “Unto us a child is born a son is given, and he will be mighty God, wonderful counselor, the everlasting father and the prince of peace.”

Isaiah 52:13-53:12 He will be exalted, but first marred more than any man and lay down his life to forgive our sins.”

Well do you have any help for tomatoes or herbs or spiritual seed too?

Martin Boyle answers:

My grandfather always planted tomatoes deep – used a post hole digger. Into the hole he added manure and then pelleted calcium. You only want the top part of the plant to be showing above ground when you are done. I’ve never seen so many tomatoes using his method.

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