Sir, I hve been rowing cucumbers and tomatoes in strip of my garden for over...

Asked June 11, 2014, 10:19 AM EDT

Sir, I hve been rowing cucumbers and tomatoes in strip of my garden for over 47 years. Every year I add top-soil and this psst winter I added some manure to my strip. I have planted three tomato plants and cucumber plants. the cucumbers are growing very well. However One of my tomato plants has died, one is very poor looking and the last one planted doesn't look like it's doing very well. ll the plants lwerle purchased from Home Depot. I have never seen anything like this happen in lll the previous years. All the plants we healthy and large when purchased. I have not added anything to the strip but topsoil and manure. Can you offer any sugestions or help? Thank You,

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

It is difficult to say, given the information given, what is happening with your tomatoes this year, but we do have some ideas for you.
First off, a soil test, if not done recently is in order. Here is a link to getting that done, including another link which lists the regional labs who can complete the analysis for you:
Next, stop adding topsoil to your garden. Top soil is mostly mineral and very variable. Much better is the addition of organic materials like the (hopefully aged) manure you used, compost, or Leaf-gro, which is a commercially composted leaf product made in Maryland. These add good microbes and improve soil fertility and texture.
Here is our IPM-Tomatoes publication which is great to keep handy. It covers most of the problems tomatoes can have in Maryland, and will help you:
Finally, in order to give you more assistance, we would need to have you describe the symptoms you are seeing on the plants, and, if you can, send us digital photos of the problem in your reply to this question.