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Watering results in only partial success

Status checkThe experiment in which I actually water the plants has now been in effect for approximately two weeks, give or take a watering or two. While I was gone to New York for a family reunion, Fatemeh picked up the slack in my stead, and had the pleasure of learning just how much water two gallons really is. (The answer: A hell of a lot of water.)

The plants look better than they did. There are still yellow leaves, but not nearly as many as before. The basil has started growing again. Tomato blossoms are not as tasty as tomatoesAnd the bean plants have started putting out a couple of runners.

But everything still looks sickly and sad, and though I have myriad yellow blossoms, there are no tomatoes fruiting yet. In fact, there are a few yellow blossoms that have taken suicidal dives into the sand below the pots.

This is not how I define success.

I have some excellent ideas on how to remedy the situation from a certain tomato doyenne in Tennessee, but haven’t made to any store that sells the right stuff (including a garden spray bottle) to actually try out said remedy. That’s going to have to wait until next week, for any number of reasons, many of them starting with B and ending with LogHer. I’m spending the rest of the week and weekend in New York City, slinging back martinis with the rest of the Lady-based Blogerati, and doing very little thinking about gardening and yellowing plants.

But when I return, I have to buckle down and figure this out. Now that I’ve tackled the water deficiency, it is clear to me that something else is missing, and that something else is, most likely, some sort of plant nutrient.

8 Comments on “Watering results in only partial success”

  1. #1 Liz
    on Aug 3rd, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Yep, I’d say they need feeding. I had this last year and this year, a bit of tomato food and they’re nice and green again now. Sorted.

    Good luck, I’m sure it’ll be fine. Literally within days of my feeding them they look much happier.

  2. #2 Francie
    on Aug 3rd, 2010 at 7:49 am

    Yep, tomatoes like nutrients. They also need calcium, especially ones in pots, to prevent blossom end rot. Good luck!

  3. #3 trey
    on Aug 3rd, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Flick the flowers. When you flick the flowers it set’s the fruit. Feed with Foxfarm Grow Big or Tiger Bloom. Can’t find it at a nursery try one of those hydro-shops all over Oakland.

  4. #4 inadvertentgardener
    on Aug 3rd, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Liz, good to know — I’m going to get on that as soon as I’m back.

    Francie, excellent — I’m on it!

    Trey, hold up. Flick them? Like with my fingers, as if I’m kicking a paper football?

  5. #5 LizB
    on Aug 3rd, 2010 at 11:48 am

    My ‘maters loved horse manure this year! I guess it was the acidity of it (the manure was >1yr old to keep from being too acidic). I’ve never had tomato plants so green! I think even WalMart sells cow manure (all manure has nitrogen in it) – but be careful what people see you hauling up to the apartment. :) Lol…

  6. #6 Heather's Garden
    on Aug 3rd, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    I think Trey and I are thinking along the same lines…your flowers aren’t getting pollinated. You can just rub your finger on the face of the flower to move the pollen around. I’m guessing you might not have many pollinators (like bees, wasps, or flies) up on your balcony.

  7. #7 pilar
    on Aug 4th, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    Awww, Genie. Sorry to hear it’s not gong so well. I am thinking you need some plant food. I have never heard of the flicking; sounds interesting.

  8. #8 inadvertentgardener
    on Aug 9th, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Liz, interesting…I will check that out.

    Heather, oh wow — you know, you’re right! I hadn’t even THOUGHT about pollination.

    Pilar, yeah, me neither…let’s see if I can fix it myself.

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