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Growing Vegetables/Planting vegetables via Ferigation

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Question
I am currently planting vegetables using fertigation concept, i.e. in polybags containing no soil but instead coconut coirs, fed with liquid fertilizers via a electric pump, dripper and timer, very common in Holland. Everything went well until I tried tomato. It has now grown almost 3 feet tall after two months and are now fruiting. However, the leaves now appear to wither but actually they are fresh by touch. They are folded, out of shape and wrinkled but there are no fungus. What could be the cause? My friends say that it could be due to excess Nitrogen. How do I determine this and how do I alter the liquid fertilizer.

Answer
tomatoes in tunnel
tomatoes in tunnel  

cherry tomatoc
cherry tomatoc  
Hi Yahaya,

I have never grown using the fertigation concept.  In my opinion if the tomato plant is strong and fruiting the leaves are shriveling up because all the plant's energy is going to produce the fruit.  I routinely break off all the lower leaves on my tomato plants as they grow larger that way the plant is not wasting any energy on keeping the leaves green. Without the larger leaves there is more air circulation around the plant which helps to prevent fungus and disease.  I have attached a couple pictures of my plants.

Happy gardening
Catherine Abbott
www.your-vegetable-gardening-helper.com

Growing Vegetables

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Catherine Abbott

Expertise

I am confident I can answer any questions about planting, growing and harvesting vegetables and culinary herbs. I am very knowledgeable and experienced in garden site planning and design, propagating, soil preparation, transplanting, pest control, disease management, watering, fertilizing, and composting.

Experience

I have been growing vegetables organically since 1993 first in my small backyard, then moving to a 2 acre plot where I grew vegetables for sale at our local farmers market and through a CSA (community shared agriculture). I started a popular website http://www.your-vegetable-gardening-helper.com in 2007 and have answered questions from all over the world through that site. I have 3 published Everything series books on gardening as well as several self published books for sale on my website.

Organizations
I volunteer and assist teaching disabled adults how to grow their own vegetable gardens. I have set up raised bed gardens in the front yards of their group homes and the gardens help to feed the households. I am very involved in our local farming community and am the treasurer and a garden mentor for a local society called One Straw, which promotes organic and sustainable practices for growing local food. I am a board of director for a government committee that is involved in keeping our ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve) safe.

Publications
I have 3 published Everything series books: The Everything Grow Your Own Vegetables Book published in 2010. The Everything Root Cellaring Book published in 2011. The Everything Small Space Gardening Book set to be published Jan 2012. I have 3 self published garden design books: Vegetable Garden Plans for your Raised Beds. Vegetable Garden Plans for Square Foot Gardening. Vegetable Garden Plans for Row Gardening. I have a self published book on soil building: Why is Soil so Important? Tips on Amending and Fertilizing I also publish a yearly journal promoting garden planning and planting by the moon cycles. The current one is called "My 2012 Vegetable Garden Journal" I write articles that are published at EzineArticles.

Education/Credentials
I teach gardening classes on propagating, pest and disease management, and soil fertility at our local community center. My education came from my mother, mentors, and growing my own gardens.

Past/Present Clients
I write a monthly newsletter for my gardening website and send it to a email list of over 1200 gardeners. I write articles for EzineArticles. I have had numerous local clients through gardening classes and mentoring.

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