5 things you should know about your tomato plants

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Successful Gardener Karen Neill visited FOX8 this morning and shared 5 tips for getting the most out of your tomato plants:

1. When temperatures get into the 90s, flower production on tomatoes can slow down. Continuous exposure to high temperatures can markedly reduce the number of pollen grains per flower and decreased viability. Be sure you’re watering your plants on hot days!

2. Don’t over fertilize! If you put out too much plant food or fertilizer, some plants will over produce leaves and under produce on flowers. If this happens, give the plant time to balance out and start producing flowers.

3. A lot of people are seeing early blight on their tomato plants this year. The brown spots enlarge to over 1/2 inch in diameter and develop a grayish-white center with a darker border. As the spots enlarge, they develop concentric, target-like rings. Spots may also develop on fruit and stems. Stem spots may enlarge to girdle the plant. When you see early blight, you can pull off the brown leaves to prevent it from spreading. You can also purchase an organic fungicide at your local home improvement store.

4. Insect populations increase in the summer. Mexican bean beetles are one of the biggest pests for your gardens. Many people will use Seven Bug Killer, but the spray will also kill bees necessary for pollination. Karen recommends using an organic insecticide.

5. It’s not too late to plant! You can still plant tomatoes (if you can find them). Zucchini, squash and other vegetables can also still be planted.

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