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Keyword Search Results for:
Tomato

9 Found

Question: 267-5201
Are tomatoes is the fruit of a herb, a vegetable or a fruit? Chick, AOL

Mort's Answer:
Tomato is the fruit of a herb, Lycopersicum esculentum. We classify due to use. Trees, vines and shrubs produce fruits or nuts from the flowers. Many are edible. Many gardeners will include all remnants of a flower whether it be a woody plant, perennial, annual or herb as fruits. That is a technical stretch. A grocer would probably call a tomato a vegetable and a watermelon a fruit. Consumers would classify a tomato as a vegetable and be satisfied with this Love Apple.

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Question: 272-5201
My tomato plants started yellowing at the bottom this year and my asters turned brown before the end of the year. What could be my problem? I did fertilize with manure. Cheryl, Winmdenton, MA

Mort's Answer:
You should rotate your vegetable plants each year. Fusarium and verticillum wilt will winter over in the soil and come back with a vengeance. You can buy F and V resistant tomatoes but I would still rotate the plants. Your astershad too much nitrogen. They will probably come back. I do not like to put any fertilizer in a hole with a new plant. Concentrate on starting roots without risking fertilizer burn.

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Question: 273-5201
I've got black spot at the bottom of my tomato plants. What causes this? Dwayne, Dalton, GA

Mort's Answer:
Your ph is too low. Excess manure and high nitrogen fertilizers will cause bottom rot. You can raise the ph by adding limestone twice a year. Another solution is to plant in another area next year that has a ph closer to 6.5. Blossom end rot, which is characterized by indented black holes is caused by uneven watering, can be remedied by mulching the tomatoes.

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Question: 274-5201
My tomato plants have a lot of leaves but no flowers. Should I stake them? Marilyn, New London, CT

Mort's Answer:
Tomatoes are vines and should be staked. Recent heat waves have hurled heavy leaf growth. Pollination of the flowers, when they eventually will show, can also be delayed by abrupt temperature changes. Be patient and your tomatoes will bear fruition for your stake in them.

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Question: 428-3410
I get black rot on the bottom of the tomato each year. I have moved them around. All my other vegetables have huge leaves and fruit. What could be the problem? Howard, Brunswick, GA

Mort's Answer:
You are using enough fertilizer for the other vegetables but too much for the tomatoes. I would suggest that you add sand to the soil, when planting your tomatoes. This will help empty the reservoir of nutrient in your enriched soil. Stop adding any additional fertilizer to the individual plants.

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Question: 450-3510
We have noticed that through the years, our tomatoes have acquired a different taste. Could the steel plants be affecting the taste? Veronica, IN

Mort's Answer:
Grapes are very much affected by the mineral content in the soils from year to year. If the minerals are leached out because of extra rainfall, this would influence the taste of the grape and the wine. Onions that have a great deal of sulphur are the sweetest. Vedalia, Georgia has a reputation for such sweetness. There is no doubt that the build up of sulphur from the coal would result in a variance in the amount in the soil. There are many plants like the spider plant, black locust and ailanthus that thrive on such pollutants. There is not enough evidence to support an argument as to wether this is beneficial or harmful. We all know iron is good for you.

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Question: 463-3610
This season I had wasp worms on my tomato plants and was told to apply the Sevin-5 powder on them , we did see the worm and after putting on the powder the problem did stop. What can I do at the start of next year to prevent this from happening again? Wayne

Mort's Answer:
You should not use pesticides as a preventive, especially on vegetables. Sevin works because it lasts a day. Rotating your crops is beneficial to both soil and plant.

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Question: 497-1011
Why are the tomato plants in the stores much greener than the ones I grow each year? I am doing something wrong? Bill, Tulsa, OK

Mort's Answer:
Professional greenhouse growers time the production of their plants to the day. Besides using the exact amount of light, and fertilizer, they have the degree days measured for heat. You could add liquid fertilizer to the water regimen each day after they have established themselves in the peat pots. You are best served to err on the side of caution and not use too much fertilizer. If your plants are less green, it better than having brown tips caused by excessive fertilizer. When they are planted outdoors, they can absorb more granular fertilizer without harming their growth.

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Question: 595-3311
Can you recommend a good tasting tomato? I am thinking of growing my own next year. Robert, Taylorville, IL

Mort's Answer:
How do you chose among your children? Tomatoes are the most popular vegetable grown in backyards by far. They come in all colors and shapes from small cherry and grape size to super size. It is personal choice. Usually early grape and cherry tomatoes are quite sweet and excellent for salads. One of my favorites is the plum tomato, Roma, which I use for paste and salads. It is sweet and less juicy then most. Late tomatoes are usually rather large and need about 90 days to mature. Beefsteak tomatoes weigh about a pound. Some of the hybrid Beefsteaks can weigh two pounds each like Beefmaster VFN. Letters after the name refer to their resistance. V is for virus, F is for fusarium wilt and N is for nematodes. If you are looking for variety in color for salads, try Great White, Goldie, Tangerine and Yellow Pear or Black Plum, Purple Brandy and Green Grape. I like Homestead for its disease resistance, taste, and medium size.

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