Tomato plants - Knowledgebase Question

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Question by AAIELGIN
April 7, 1998
I tried growing tomato plants last season. Five feet from the vegetable bed I have adult evergreens. The stems of my tomato plants were lumpy and diseased. The tomatoes had a strange oblong shape. What caused this?

Answer from NGA
April 7, 1998
It's hard to say exactly what happened to your tomatoes. If other plants in your vegetable garden grew well, and just the tomatoes were affected, I would suspect an insect or disease problem. If all the plants in the garden did poorly, I would suspect environmental factors. Did the trees shade the garden? Tomatoes require full sun--at least 6 hours per day but preferably more. How is your soil? Poor soil that is low in nutrients and/or too acid or alkaline will affect plant growth. Drought and/or excessive water can also lead to stunted plants.

I would try growing disease-resistant varieties, be sure they get plenty of sun and adequate, consistant water, and mulch them with straw. If you haven't done so, I suggest you have a soil test done to determine your soil's nutrient levels and pH. Your county Cooperative Extension office should offer soil test kits at a reasonable price.

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