garden soil - killing my tomatoes? - Knowledgebase Question

Chicago, Il
Question by seawagorda
May 13, 2009
last weekend, i planted raised beds with a mix of garden soil (organic matter, fertilizer, peat) mixed with mushroom compost and top soil. the tomatoes are very unhappy. other veggies are still adjusting. i planted one tomato plant in regular potting soil and its doing great! please help - what kind of soil do tomatoes like? could the garden soil mix be killing them?


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Answer from NGA
May 13, 2009

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The garden soil sounds like a good mix, but if you added a lot of organic matter in relation to the amount of garden soil and top soil, it may be a little warmer than normal because of the natural decomposition process of the organic matter. This additional warmth should not adversely affect your tomato plants because they like warm soils, but you never know. The fact that a duplicate plant is growing well in potting soil can simply be attributed to it being in a single container above ground instead of in the garden where heat can collect. I'm not convinced the soil is making that much of a difference, but you never know! New transplants can take a few weeks to adjust to their new growing spots so just be patient with your tomatoes. I would leave the tomatoes in the garden and continue to water them deeply when the top of the soil dries out. Since you've already incorporated fertilizer, don't feed them for another 4-6 weeks.

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