garden5
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Putting sugar in your planting holes: myth or fact?

I actually found [url=https://www.ehow.com/how_2221948_grow-sweet-tomatoes-sugar.html]this[/url] while looking up sweet potatoes :lol:.

It says that if you put a spoon of sugar in your hole before you plant your tomato, the tomato plant will produce sweeter tomatoes. Something tells me that this is an old wife's tale. What do you think?
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a0c8c
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I doubt it directly makes your tomatoes sweeter, but it could increase bacteria activity making the soil richer.
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garden5
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a0c8c wrote:I doubt it directly makes your tomatoes sweeter, but it could increase bacteria activity making the soil richer.
That's an excellent suggestion. Its probably the increase is microorganisms and their nutrient deposits that lead to any increase in fruit sweetness.

I believe that it has been proves that by having increased microbiological activity in the soil raises the brix (sugar content) levels of the plants.

Interesting.
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bbobbillybob
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I have read in a book called 1001 gardening tips that states that if you add a tablespoon of sugar to the water for your tomato plants that this will in fact make the fruit more sweeter and juicier.

I remeber that in 7th grade we did a experiment by growing celery with red food coloring and to find out that the leaves of the celery turned red! This is evidance that whatever is in the water will effect the plants fruit/leaves

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applestar
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Was that growing a celery with roots in soil or was it a cut stalk of celery? It's a different scenario with cut vegetables and flowers (I remember doing a similar experiment with cut white carnations in which the flower petals turned red or blue, depending on the color used in the water).

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From what I understand, the best way to jack up the brix levels (sugar levels) in the plants is to give them plenty of compost and compost tea amendments.

Here is the link: since compost tea contains microbes, which are the main contributors to the raising of brix levels, the sugar might raise the brix levels in the plants by adding to the microbial activity. Perhaps The Helpful Gardener will come across this thread and lend his insights. He seems to be pretty knowledgeable about microbial activity and its affects on plants.
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Gary350
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I know a guy that waters his melons with sugar water every day. He claims they are sweeter.

He says someone told him if you water your plants with sugar water the melons get sweeter. He didn't believe it so he set out to see for himself. He planted melons and watered half the crop with sugar water and used regular water for the other half. He says the melons watered with sugar water really were sweeter.

I have not tasted the melons myself so I can't testify that it really works.

garden5
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This is starting to sound like it has the making of a gardening experiment....as if I do not have enough in mind already :shock:.
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joeleitz
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I've never heard of adding sugar to the planting hole like that but perhaps I'll try it this year. Who knows maybe it will work and it's certainly easy enough to test. I wouldn't say that I've found my past tomatoes particularly bitter though but I guess it could be interesting to see if it makes any difference.

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seagullplayer
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Last week I read about a guy that breaks an egg into each of his tomato holes when he plants. He also composts heavy and has what looks like great soil, his produce looked great, hard to tell how much the egg had to do with any of it, he had so many other things going his way.

I am going to try it with a couple of plants to see how much difference I can see, I have chickens so a few eggs is no big deal. 8)
Moved on.

Best of luck to all.

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Okay sugar increasing bacterial components which eventually means more nitrogen and traces makes a certain sense to me... (and bbob, those celery plants take it up when cut, NOT when it's roots...)

Like bbob, we tend to think whatever we put in water ends up in the plants, but the plant is a self reliant entity and it chooses what it uptakes.

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I don't know about the sugar, but there is scientific evidence (i.e. agricultural testing) that the old wives tale about adding some table salt (sodium chloride) to the planting hole will improve the flavor of tomatoes, assuming the soil is not high in sodium already, but that is probably something for highly controlled conditions used by hydroponics growers to worry about. IMO there are too many variables going on in the home garden affecting flavor from week to week, and too great of a chance to screw something up by using some of these "home remedies" to jump on the bandwagons.

garden5
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TZ -OH6 wrote:I don't know about the sugar, but there is scientific evidence (i.e. agricultural testing) that the old wives tale about adding some table salt (sodium chloride) to the planting hole will improve the flavor of tomatoes, assuming the soil is not high in sodium already, but that is probably something for highly controlled conditions used by hydroponics growers to worry about. IMO there are too many variables going on in the home garden affecting flavor from week to week, and too great of a chance to screw something up by using some of these "home remedies" to jump on the bandwagons.
Wouldn't that be damaging to the garden's microbial life?
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The Helpful Gardener
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Not at low levels; I have seen the evidence for sea salt (amore balanced mix of salts then plain old sodium chloride) adding traces and helping plants...

But I ain't doing it...

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Scott Reil

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