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Old 22-03-2010, 11:23 PM posted to rec.gardens.edible
Dan Musicant Dan Musicant is offline
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First recorded activity by GardenBanter: Mar 2010
Posts: 28
Default Tomatoes - Ace versus Early Girl versus ?

On Sun, 21 Mar 2010 09:29:47 -0700, Billy

:Personally, I don't see a problem with the tree's roots. Maybe someone
:can enlighten me. I think the problem would come from the tree casting a
:shadow on the tomatoes. Fortunately, the tree is on the north side of
:the tomatoes, so just trim it to let more light reach the tomatoes.
:Alternatively, take a square nosed shovel and plunge it into the ground
:along a line that separates the tree from the tomato beds. You don't
:need to dig. You are just trying to sever any roots leading to the

I think the roots are a big part of the problem, not just the shade. I'm
basing this on my experience and also the admonitions and advice in my
favorite book on tomato culture, "Tomatoes, the Multiplant Method" by
Leo Klein. This book's methods enabled me to move from a bumbling
experimenter to an accomplished grower. It's probably hard to find now.
I found it at my local library, and made a copy many years ago. Klein
advised treated barriers against tree root invasion such as I'm using,
and doing this the last couple of years (especially last year) has made
the northern most plant quite productive, while in the preceding 3 years
or so, it has produced, be very meagerly compared to the southerly
plants. Shade is an issue, certainly, but not so much in afternoon sun.
I've trimmed he overhanging limbs some, but I'm convinced that invasive
roots are the major problem.

Cutting those roots will help, but a barrier is the best strategy short
of removing the tree. I should maybe do that anyway, because that tree
is overhanging the property boundaries pretty considerably at this


Email: dmusicant at pacbell dot net