The Q&A Archives: Tomatoes

Question: All of my tomatoes are dying after putting on the first crop of tomatoes. I have never had this problem before. I have a black walnut tree about 20 feet from tomatoes, that has grown to about 25 ft. tall that is loaded with nuts. Was told this was what's causing my tomatoes to die, if so how far from tree can I safely grow tomatoes? They have full sunshine.

Answer: Most of the toxicity from walnut trees comes from the juglone released from the roots, and small amounts contained in the leaves, buds and nuts that are leached by rains. Tomatoes and peppers are among the plants most sensitive to juglone, so keep your veggies as far away from the roots and canopy of the tree as possible.
Tree roots can grow quite a distance from the trunk of the tree, so plant your juglone-sensitive plants at least as far away as one and one-half times the diameter of the canopy of the walnut tree.

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