High humidity, condensation, cold and damp conditions – nasty! Condensation and tomato plants do not mix well!
We look after our plants and give them all the care we can, but when the air is damp and cold for long periods of time, disease is waiting to strike – fungal disease that is!
So what can be done, short of have our plants in front of the fire or by the radiator in the living room?
Take Care of the Roots
If you have wet hair and you are stood in a puddle of cold water for several hours, you could be about to catch something … if you have wet hair but the rest of you is warm, you may be able to avoid becoming ill!
I’m not sure if my analogy is very good, but what I’m trying to say is, if we look after our plants roots, and not over-water, the whole plant will stand a better chance of getting through the difficult periods.
The most important thing is to keep the soil dryer than usual.
Cold wet soil is one of the biggest triggers for fungal disease as it will lower a plant’s immune system.
Also, keep leaves dry – applying a foliar feed with a misting bottle is alright but best done at the warmest time of the day if conditions are poor.
Adding perlite (for bigger plants) or vermiculite (for small seedlings) to your potting mix adds air to the roots and helps keep them healthy.
Tonics can be applied as a foliar feed such as SB Plant Invigorator or Seaweed Extract and will keep your plants immune system in good shape. There are many other nutrient boosts and stress relievers available from the hydroponic catalogues.
Giving food as a root drench isn’t effective when conditions are cold because tomato plants won’t absorb nutrients through their roots when temperatures are low.
It’s quite cold up against a window at night. So if your seedlings are on the windowsill, it’s a good idea to bring them away from the window after dark. Remember, condensation and tomato plants do not mix!
I do envy gardeners with a heated greenhouse … but not their fuel bills!