Pick Healthy Tomato Plants

in Plant

Each year when spring is here, my first gardening thought is for planting tomatoes. I always imagine slicing into the red juicy perfection of my very own vine ripened organically grown tomato. 

Sometimes reality just doesn't live up to my fantasy. After planting with all the care I can give them, sometimes things just go wrong. Their growth slows then stops altogether, flowers bud never open and any tomato that does show up stays small and green. 

If you have ever had this happen with your plants then you know how disappointing and disheartening it can be. After a few years of failed plants, researching online and in books, I have finally gotten it right. I want to share this information with other home gardeners.

One thing I have discovered it the importance of starting out with healthy plants. Bringing home diseased or stressed plants sets you up to fail. 

First check the leaves of any plant you are considering for purchase. The leaves should be a dark green in color, not yellow or brown. Now look more closely at the leaves. Do you see any aphids, larvae or other unwanted stowaways? Are there any signs of these pests, like chew marks, brown colored blotches or holes in the leaves? Don't choose a tomato plant with any of these warning signs. 

Secondly you want to look at the stem. You want the stem to be sturdy not limp or wilted. The height should be proportioned with leaf growth. If the plant seems particularly tall and thin it may be because it had to strain for sunlight. Look the stem over for cracks or scars. Don't purchase a plant that has them.

 Now look at the soil the tomato plant is growing in. Are there weeds? There shouldn't be. Is the soil dried out or the opposite drenched? Both of these could be signs of neglect.

Look under the pot to see if roots are emerging from it. This may mean the tomato plant is stressed out.
I hope these suggestions of what to look for will help you purchase the healthiest tomato plants available to you.

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Cheryl Wheeler has 1 articles online

For more information pertinent to gardening visit http://www.pluckygardener.com

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Pick Healthy Tomato Plants

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This article was published on 2010/03/31