The Q&A Archives: Poor Tomato Production

Question: I'm a first-time gardener, and my tomatoes (1 'Roma' and 1 'Better Boy') aren't as dark green or bushy as the ones other people are growing in the community garden. I spaded in some sand, compost, and chicken manure before transplanting the tomatoes in. Could I be over-watering, or have used too much fertilizer?

Answer: Overwatering could cause yellowish lanky plants. If you're not allowing the soil surface to dry a little bit between waterings, you may be overdoing it. Too much fertilizer? Hard to say, since I don't know how much or what kind of chicken manure you used. But overfertilizing (especially with something such as chicken manure) almost always leads to extra green plants and, in extreme cases, burnt areas at the edges and tips of leaves. If you didn't overdo it with the chicken stuff, you may just have to wait for this organic fertilizer, like all organic fertilzers, to kick into gear.

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