Monday, March 15, 2010

Adding Soil on Tomato Exposed Roots


Tomato roots seem to be floating at the surface of the soil. They are so tender, and I suppose they are unable to penetrate deep into the ground. For that reason, tomato plants don't have solid anchorage, needing support or trellis to hang on and to keep the tender stems upright. Rains were heavy the last couple of days thus displacing some of the topsoil. The roots are now exposed.

I thought adding soil will keep roots where they are supposed to be, in the soil. I am not too sure if other gardeners practice that...

Then memory goes back to the younger days..., when as boys we ventured out into mangrove swamps which was less than 100 meters away. The mangrove trees adapt well by producing aerial roots, sucking atmospheric air into their system. The soil they are living in is always saturated with salt water, the roots underneath are completely drowned, submerged with the sole purpose of anchorage.


tomato roots fairly exposed
Not much,  but I have it rectified to sooth their painful exposure.



have a great day.

bangchik
Putrajaya, Malaysia

14 comments:

  1. The tomato plant makes new roots along it's stem.
    It's very handy if your plant has grown a bit tall and lanky. You can just add more soil on top, new roots will reshoot and help the plant to "drink & eat" and produce more fruits. Have a nice week!

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  2. I would add more soil - thats what we do here in the UK whenever they are grown outside and some of the soil gets displaced. The more anchorage they have the better outdoors.

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  3. Dear Bangchik, I am the last person in the world to offer advice but if they were mine, then I should certainly add some extra soil.

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  4. How very kind of you, I'm sure your tomato plants appreciate the effort.

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  5. Bangchik, you did the right thing. Tomato roots will grow all along their stems. In fact, I had a post some time ago about a tomato which put out roots seven feet (over 2 meters) up in the air. We'd had a lot of rain! (http://www.theenchantedearth.com/2009/10/putting-out-new-roots/)

    If you want really sturdy plants with strong stems, when you first transplant them you can bury their stems quite deep, or lay the plant sideways in a trench if your soil is not very deep, with just the tip pointing up.

    I think your plant will be just fine. :)

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  6. I am not sure if my tomato plants grow roots outside of ground. As they are always covered with mulch, I don’t see it. But it definitely can’t hurt to add more soil.

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  7. Good luck with the tomatoes Bangchik, I hope the rain decides to be a little gentler on them now! I was using some of my daughter's old woollen tights as ties for my tomatoes and they held some moisture, so roots started appearing under them way up high on the stem!

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  8. Thanks everyone. I did put a layer of soil around the stems, just enough to cover the roots from scorching sun.

    Trädgårdsmakare Hillevissan ~ The roots are so energetic, producing more when needed.

    leavesnbloom ~ anchorage is one thing, but that is helped by trellis. Roots should be underneath to drink water and eat.

    Edith Hope ~ I guess the plants are grateful with additional soil.

    Rebecca @ In The Garden ~ I hope so, that grateful feeling can be translated into better fruits... haha.

    ~ bangchik

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  9. Meredith ~ I dare not plant them too deep, fearing roots completely submerged in water. I probably try planting them sideways in the future..

    vrtlarica ~ Mulch will protect them against scorching sun...

    gippslandgardener ~ that's interesting, how tomato roots can be induced to produce more..

    ~bangchik

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  10. Hello Bangchik. We are just now planting our tomato seed but fresh tomatoes are several months away. ;) Each time I transplant our tomatoes, from seedling, to the next size pot and then finally to the outdoors, we always plant it deeper (each time) and remove the lowest set of leaves as we do it, therefore a stronger plant. However, we don't have the summer rains that you experience; ours is hot and dry.

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  11. Di ~ love the different ways, gardeners handle tomato plants depending where they are. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Admittedly, I'm not a veggie grower. But the roots tend to become exposed easily in my Florida sandy soil. I recover roots all the time, afraid that they will burn up in the hot sun. It's never seemed to damage the plants.

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  13. Dear Bangchik and Kakdah,
    Something very strange is happening. Blogger is suddenly telling me about a commment you left on my blog last August -! It arrived yesterday, but I couldn't publish it. Then it disappeared again, now it's back - and I still can't publish it. Oh well - I suppose even Blogger is allowed its idiosyncracies. But thank you anyway, and I hope you weren't too offended when it didn't get published last summer.

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  14. Kimberly ~ yea, sandy soil has its peculiarity, about roots easily exposed. Our continuous attention will help the plants somehow.

    Sue Swift ~ Oh really Sue..? It was long time ago, I could have forgotten. Yea, Blogger put a bit of idiosyncrasies to perpetuate attention. Its Okey...

    ~bangchik

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