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Old 01-09-2011, 02:38 PM
 
270 posts, read 2,000,349 times
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Hi All

I live here in the LA area. This is our first year planting tomatoes. We planted tomatoes back in May and the same plants are there. They are still producing the occasional tomato, although at a slower rate and they also ripen at a slower rate. The plant themselves though are an unwieldy mess -- falling over on themselves, twisted and tangled.

I can see several baby tomato plants growing in the soil beneath them.

Would I be wise to maybe tear the old ones out and start anew? I'm wondering if that's what the rest of you do come winter season?

thanks for any input.
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:58 PM
 
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Once the tomatoes start yielding poorly it's best to compost the plants. Tomatoes take a lot of nutrients from the soil so why let your garden feed them during the season when they don't produce? In fact, you have to repair the nutrient balance for spring/summer, and traditionally that's by planting legumes, which return nitrogen to the soil. Try snow peas. They're great to have, though you might not get a great crop in a young garden. Otherwise, any legume (with the same crop yield caveat). But your big purpose is to help nourish the ground, so if you do get kitchen vegetables it's more of a bonus.

There are odd challenges to planting in SoCal. For "winter" prep you have to be careful not to seed too early because the weather can sometimes get hot again and the plants grow prematurely. It's all season-to-season and you have to get to know your own soil, then try to predict the weather from month to month.
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Old 01-09-2011, 05:34 PM
 
270 posts, read 2,000,349 times
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Sounds good. Good point about plants needlessly draining soil of nutrients. Probably won't plant anything else right now but why tax the soil with old plants
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