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March 12, 2011

I’m slightly devastated. My tomato plants that we’re going to sell at the Jr Master Gardener Plant Sale on April 19th have spots on their leaves. They don’t look like attractive, healthy plants right now. So I went to Cecil at Old Thyme Feed, plant in hand.
After several questions we determined that the plant was most likely outside in weather that was too cold. I had the plants in my house for several days last week during a chill and put them out the day of the big storms, which was warmish. The following nights the temperatures were not to go below 40; mostly they were mid 40’s. I heard from both a Master Gardener and some literature I found that under 40 degrees was not really good for tomatoes. Most of my tomatoes with initial leaves are ok; the ones with secondary leaves are the spotted ones. No other vegetable was affected.
Cecil suggested that since the plant sale is not until April that we repot the plants with the soil higher on the stem, to prevent them from being really leggy, and also so that when further leaves grow we can prune off the spotted leaves and the plants will look healthy. Tomatoes (as I remember from the gardening classes I’ve been to) like the soil up to the bottom leaves. You’re going to remove leaves as the plant grows, in order to thin it out and provide more air space for the fruit.
I’m taking Cecil’s advice. Meanwhile, I will also talk to my plants. Since plants take in the carbon dioxide that we expel (remember we use the oxygen they provide), we should talk to them, closely, more often.

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