Home > Tomato Nutrition > Tomato Problems With Phosphorus When They Have Cold Feet

Tomato Problems With Phosphorus When They Have Cold Feet

This is where it starts…a nice yellow blossom on your tomato plant. Oh sure, you’re happier than the proverbial Pig in s……manure. You’re bought your new tomato plant from your local greenhouse or nurtured it from seed and you are now getting ready to place that plant out in the garden, if it isn’t there already. In any event the plant gets into the ground and a few days go by and you notice that not only is your tomato blossom yellow but some of the leaves are showing signs of yellowing…..and worse than that the whole plant is taking on a purple tinge with veins of purple running up the main stem….OHhhh NOooo, it’s the dreaded unavailable Phosphorus syndrome!!

What in the world could cause such a thing? , you ask. I’ll tell you, there are 2 possibilities. One, there is not enough Phosphorus (P) in the soil for the plant….or number Two, the soil is too damned cold, especially here in Michigan.

Let’s look at how we solve number one. We put some ANIMAL manure on the soil we’re planting in. Animal manure is loaded with Phosphorus, a few bags of cow manure from the local gardening center will do the trick and it’s a good practice regardless of purple plants or not. You can use another animal’s manure too, it’s probably the best manure I’ve ever used for tomatoes……Chicken Manure, tomatoes LOVE chicken manure! You’re probably asking yourself, “Where in God’s creation do I find chicken manure?….well, I just report what works, not necessarily where to get it, you’re on your own there! If you know anybody that raises chickens or of an egg plant nearby you’ll probably be on the road to chicken manure nirvana.

OK, number two, how do we cure Cold Soil? Cold soil can be cured by following President Obama’s advice …..use Solar Power….place some black plastic on the ground around your tomato plants and let the sun warm their feet all the way to toasty. Hey, I forgot to tell you why cold soil is so bad. When the soil is cold (below 50° F) the phosphorus is unavailable to the plants and all kinds of bad stuff happens at that point….like turning purple….that’s because the tomato plants use the phosphorus for Photosynthesis which makes the plant a nice healthy green….see there, that wasn’t so hard to figure out…no chlorophyll. Anyway, put away that 1500 Watt hairdryer and listen to the President….and me! ☺

Next week we’ll take a look Potassium (K)……another one of the big 3…Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and yup, you guessed it, Potassium(K). Till then……

Posted Saturday, May 7th, 2011 by by admin, under Tomato Nutrition.

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