Growing Vegetables/tomato root problem


What may be causing the roots to disappear? I grow primarily heirloom tomatoes from seed. This year plants are dying and when dug up there are no feeder roots only a woody bare taproot. the soft green outer sheath and all feeder roots and root hairs are missing.
    Should I solarize next years patch before planting?


Sorry I took so long to answer your question.  It sounds like you have a boring insect like a wireworm in your soil. The solution I would recommend is not to grow tomatoes in that area for 2-3 years.  Make sure the soil is tilled well once or twice a year, that way birds will eat any exposed larve or worms that are exposed and they will not have plants to feed on.  You can grow other vegetables in the area, just not any night shade varieties such as peppers, eggplant, potatoes which the insect could feed on.  You could grow peas, beans, or lettuce.  Rotating your vegetables is essential to keep your soil more fertile and free of pests.  

I hope this helps.  If you have any other questions or comments please let me know.


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Catherine Abbott


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.


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 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.

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.

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.

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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