Ask a Question forum: Dismal tomatoes the last 2 years

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St. Louis, MO
heathanddonna
Apr 14, 2018 8:57 AM CST

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I have a small garden that I primarily plant bell peppers and tomatoes. For the last 2 years, the tomato plants do not produce and they do not get green and lush. The plants only grow enough to end up looking sick, like yellow sticks with a few sad leaves on them. Barely any tomatoes come from them. My simple vinegar and baking soda tests don't either produce any bubbles, so I am not sure what to add to my soil.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Apr 14, 2018 8:25 PM CST
Welcome!

When you plant tomatoes or peppers (or any other vegetable) in the same spot year after year, all the nutrients are depleted from the soil. Its time for a compete overhaul. Dig in some compost, manure, garden soil and a well balanced ferilizer in copious amounts. Hopefully, this will be a better summer.
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Apr 14, 2018 8:42 PM CST
heathanddonna said:... I am not sure what to add to my soil.


You can get your soil tested at the local county cooperative extension; it only costs a few bucks. They will tell you what your soil needs.

I would add compost, composted manure, compost, and um, more compost.

Are you using some kind of fertilizer? Fertilizer can sometimes be a bad thing if the plants are stressed.

Have you taken any photos? That might help us to see what you are dealing with.

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Apr 15, 2018 2:41 AM CST
Also diseases to particular plants can accumulate in the soil. It is best to change what you plant in one spot year by year. I have 6 raised beds and rotate where I plant my tomatoes and peppers each year. Which naturally makes me change where I grow my cole crops and beans each year as well. I learned that if I move the tomatoes, it makes all the others crops move too.

This may sound really simpe, but each Fall, I put the tomato cages on the bed I grew them in that year. So I know not to plant them there. And I generally shift them clockwise around the 6 beds.

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