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Question by Kayla V: Tomato planting this weekend, tips?
My father and I planted out first tomato garden last spring. Though the outcome was more than I had ever expected, the pains of maintaining my sixteen plants and the stress that troubles caused lead me to feel a bit wary about planting again this year. I have a couple of questions that I would *love* some tips and experience on!
1. Our fertilizer (10-10-10) was sparingly sprinkled into our pots and mixed thoroughly. Three of our original plants ended up dying because it burnt right through the roots. Are there any tomato fertilizers besides this one which are gentle enough for the plants?
2. The only spot around the house where we can place our pots happen to be one of the sunniest areas. Because of the heat, I end up watering the plants a lot more then most people. It brings hordes of misquotes, and they took to nesting IN our plants last year. What can kill the misquotes without harming the plants, or making my family sick?
3. The area I live is has always been notorious for blight. The weeds in the neighborhood are out of control, and even though I try to remove them around the fenced area my tomatoes are planted in, the blight still managed to severely attack my plants last year. I know I was lucky to avoid a more harmful fungus, though. Does anyone have suggestions or tips on how to prevent the catch of these sicknesses; or stop them from spreading once one of the plants get them? Five blight leaves last year, in fourteen hours, had spread to seven of my sixteen plants. It was not very pretty. :O
4. Rabbits, the ninja killer. They’re all over my yard. My grandmother built this house thirty-odd years ago, and the rabbits had fostered in the yard ever since. They’ve taken to birthing their babies behind my pots so the dogs cannot reach them (the pots are against a wall), and they massacred my peppers and my Pink Lady’s last year. I cannot keep the dogs out all the time, it gets too hot for them. The little buggers have figured out how to get past my tomato cages. Any help that can be offered for fending them off?
5. Any general tips or advice that you guys may want to add will help me a lot! Thank you ahead of time for your support!
TO DODICO: I can’t remember too exactly, but I am almost positive the blight stuck during the middle of the summer. We rarely see rain, but I suppose it’s possible. Does the wetness in the air make a difference?
Answer by D’Artagnan Pluck
The only thing that stops rabbits are fences and shotguns. Not much else I can tell you. Maybe try “Liquid Fence” and spray it around your stuff.
I use 13-13-13 and put it right in the planting holes and have never had a problem. I usually add a little super phosphate too.
I think your biggest issue is watering. Depending on how many you have, it may be worth your time to rig up a slow drip or soaker hose contraption that you can set on a cheap timer every morning. Anything in pots will need about 1 inch of water a day just to keep alive.
To counter blight, choose varities that have the VFFNT designation.
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!
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