You can tell veggie gardening season is officially in full swing because my email inbox is full of questions about bugs, suspected plant diseases, and other miscellaneous plant issues. This question comes from a reader from Minnesota:
"I was moving my plants out of the cold frame and into the garden, and somehow I managed to break the main stem on one of my 'Kellogg's Breakfast' tomatoes. Is it a goner?"
After emailing this reader, she clarified that the stem was snapped, but not totally broken off.
So, good news! Most likely, your tomato can be saved. Even if the stem had broken all the way through, you could have stuck the stem deep into your garden soil, burying it to just below the bottom-most set of leaves, and it would have grown new roots along the stem. The fact that the top of the plant is still attached to the roots (even if they're not completely attached) makes it even easier. If it had broken completely, you would have to wait longer to start letting your plants set fruit, because I would advise, in that case, removing any blossoms to encourage root development. Without a good root system, tomato production would be rather pathetic anyway. But since the roots are still attached, you won't have to worry so much about that. Simply take your plant, and either dig a very deep hole, (deep enough to fit the roots and stem all the way up to the bottom set of leaves) or dig a trench long enough to lay the roots and stem into and bury that. Roots will form all the way along the stem, and your plant will recover just fine.
To give it a little extra help, you could try adding some bone meal to the soil in the planting hole, which will gently increase the amount of phosphorous in the soil.
Thanks for the question, and good luck!
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