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Help My Tomatoes - Fran wrote in to Ask Gardenerd this week: “I have been growing tomatoes for years with good results. Last year, however, my plants looked well at first, but by May were struggling. I got very few tomatoes. I am wondering if it was the soil or the weather that caused it. Right now I am starting to prepare for the new season. I was considering adding organic rock dust in addition to the chicken manure, and vermiculite, and gromulch I usually add.” We’ve posted the full answer to this question in the January, 2017 Gardenerd Gazette, but here’s the gist: First – it sounds like it’s time to rotate your crops. If you’ve grown tomatoes in that location for several years, plant them in a new location from here on out. Second – check for root-feeding nematodes. These are evidenced by galls that form on roots of tomato plants. Add high-quality, biologically-active compost or compost tea to inoculate your soil with beneficial microbes that combat these critters. Third – prune your plants to improve air circulation if you have blight or powdery mildew. Forth – go ahead with the rock dust, just don’t go overboard. Re-mineralization can solve a lot of problems, but adding too much can cause imbalances that are hard to correct. Find the full answer here.