Click “>here to “Ask Bryan” your gardening questions.

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Q: The leaves on my tomato plants are folded, but the plant appears healthy and is producing blooms and fruit.  Also, some of the blooms break off. My questions are why are the leaves folding and why are some of the blooms breaking off.

A: The leaves might be folding and the blooms breaking off because the temps are getting extra hot. You might have to increase your water a little bit or provide some shade with at least 30% shade cloth. One other possibility is a lack of trace mineral in your soil. Are you using MegaSea by chance? If not, you might want to get some as it will offset any deficiencies, and it also helps provide your plants with some drought and heat tolerance abilities.

In terms of your blooms falling off, most varieties of tomatoes have trouble setting fruit about 91 degrees, so it might be because of extreme temps. One trick that will help extend it a little bit though is this: take one teaspoon MegaSea and add it to one gallon of water in a spray bottle. Mix it well, then to that mixture add one teaspoon baking soda.

Then, very early in the morning when the pollen is most potent and the sun and temps aren’t as strong, spray the mixture into your blooms on your tomato plants (you only have to do it one time per bloom). Whenever you notice new blooms, do the same thing. This will help set the fruit at higher temps so it will help extend your season a little.

Hope this info helps!
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Q: We have planted Vidalia onions in our garden.  The instructions call for a 10-10-10 fertilizer.  While I use your products for vegetables, I do not know it there is an additional product that would meet my needs.  Or perhaps a combination of products?

A: You definitely don’t need to use an additional 10-10-10 fertilizer. That is a chemical fertilizer, and I’m assuming if you are already using MegaVeggie or VeganVeggie then you are growing your vegetables organically and care about whether you add chemicals to your soil or not. Are you using MegaVeggie, along with MegaSea and MegaFish? If so, then you have all you need to produce a great, sweet onion crop.

If you are only using MegaVeggie currently, then you might consider getting MegaSea and MegaFish as well. Onions don’t compete very well with other plants because they have a really shallow root system, so the MegaSea seaweed product will help by promoting strong root development. And with your MegaFish and MegaVeggie in combination the onions will also have all the phosphorus, nitrogen and other trace minerals necessary for really sweet onions.

If you want larger bulbs, see this blog post for more info.

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Q: Hey Bryan, how does someone know the seeds they buy will produce viable seeds for perpetural generations? Thanks, Keith

A: Basically, if you buy heirloom/open-pollinated varieties of seed then theoretically they should produce viable seeds for perpetual generations, at a minimum regulated requirement of an 80% germination rate, as long as they are stored properly. If you have any other questions, let me know!  Thanks, Bryan ___________________________________________________________________

Q: I thought I had spaced my beet seeds so I wouldn’t need to thin, and I have ended up with so many more beets than I know I planted. I put manure on my beets, but then somebody said that you shouldn’t use manure on root crops because then you will end up with too many roots. Could that be what happened?  – Gary

A: If you look at beet seeds you’ll notice that they are big and rough. Beet seeds are actually nodules, where up to 6 actual seeds can be found within one “seed.” So, you ended up with more beets than you thought you had planted because there were obviously more than one seed within each of the seed nodules. When you plant beets, space as you did, but then further thin or transplant as necessary. In terms of manure on root crops, I have never heard of anything like what you said about it producing too many roots, but what you do have to be careful about with manure and root crops is diseases such as blight, scab etc. The only root crop I worry about and don’t use manure on is potatoes. Other than that, I use manure as I normally would.  Here’s a couple of things about manure though. If manure is not in a composted state and you dig it into your soil, it can actually tie up your nitrogen. Fully composted manure is fine to dig in. If you use fresh (or not fully composted) manure as a mulch on top of the soil instead, then you can create a compost tea situation where when you water the manure it will leach its nitrogen into the soil, which gives the plant the nutrient it needs instead of working against the plant. Then, when you harvest your crop, it is then safe to dig the manure in, but water heavily and let the soil sit for 2-3 weeks before planting again. Thanks for the question, Gary. I hope this information helps!  In fact, you have inspired me to write an article about manure (I’ll try to do it in the next few days), because I actually have a lot more to say about it! Take care, Bryan