A woman picking up fresh tomatoes from the garden
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Think Twice Before Pulling Out Dead
Or Dying
Tomato Plants
When old tomato plants finish producing and turn brown and crispy, do not rip out their roots. Instead, cut them at the base to preserve the soil's health.
Since tomato roots become home to many microorganisms, pulling them out will change the entire mini ecosystem and negatively affect your garden's health and productivity.
When you cut the plants at the base, the dead roots in the soil decompose into compost and add nutrients, giving new plants energy to continue growing.
Dead roots also attract earthworms that eat them and turn them into castings, which is highly nutritious for any new plant. Worms themselves will provide nitrogen when they die.