FEATURE: Fall Garden Clean Up, Part 1: Clear Out Tomato Plants
Image: Tomato Dirt
You have to face the hard fact: the inevitable (winter) is coming.
But you can get a head start on next season now. Take just a few simple steps at season’s end and you can save a lot of time in the spring and help ensure a healthier tomato crop next year!
Make sure your growing season is over. Know your local frost date and follow the weather to know when your tomato plants are done producing.
Mark rows. Use a stake, post, rock or other marker to notate your tomato plants’ home in the garden this year. By marking your tomato growing spots, you will avoid planting them in the same row or area next
Pick up fallen fruit. Dropped, “mummified,” or rotten tomatoes on the ground can breed tomato diseases. Prevent that by collecting them and destroying them.
Remove tomato plants. Pull up spent tomato plants, including roots (as well as bean, squash, pea, cucumber, pepper, other vegetable plants, and weeds that surround tomatoes) that are finished producing or have been killed by frost.If they’re disease-free, compost them. If any are diseased, either burn them or discard them separately.
Two horticulturalists combine forces to give you advice about the right way to prune, fertilize, water and stake tomatoes. You’ll be able to diagnose pest and disease problems using step by step priceless information, illustrated with 260 full color photos.