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Why veggies need love and care

by Julie Spears |

Healthy Tomato Plants

At the farm this week I walked past a stray self-seeded tomato plant struggling to grow amongst some wood chip mulch. Whilst the plant is alive, and is even fruiting, it is lying across the ground looking quite sad. This plant is not irrigated and has received no compost or other nutrition. It is surrounded by competitive weeds and the wood chips are decomposing and robbing the soil of nitrogen. The leaves are yellowing and showing signs of fungal disease. It won’t last much longer.

nutrient deficient tomato plant

Struggling Tomato Plant

On the other side of the road are two rows of tomatoes planted into weed mat to prevent weed competition and to keep the soil moist. There is drip irrigation beneath the weed mat. They are supported by a wire mesh trellis and mushroom compost and dolomite lime were added to the soil before planting. These plants have also received a complete organic fertiliser with trace elements and were watered in with liquid seaweed when they were transplanted from cell trays. They look healthy and are growing strongly. They show no signs of disease and are also beginning to flower and fruit.

Looking at the photos, you can see the difference between these two growing situations. The reason we can produce such delicious and healthy vegetables on the farm is because you get out what you put in. It’s a bit like life really. So, next time you plant something delicious to eat, make sure you give it love and care and it will reward you in no time with bountiful fresh harvests.

Yours in veg,

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