Ask Burton: This week, a question about tomatoes! Q: I have a raised bed that I filled with a good bulk soil mixture, and planted tomatoes. I love tomatoes! But my tomatoes do not love me – they’re pale, not growing well, and some of the lower leaves look purplish. How do I fix this?

A: You need to fertilize more aggressively.

Raised gardens need more frequent watering than in-ground, and those waterings rinse away soil fertility. Bulk bed mixes contain a lot of composting woody material, which tends to suck up available nitrogen in order to break down. That’s two reasons your plants need a good feeding!

Apply a cup of your favorite vegetable garden fertilizer per 4′ x 4′ square of the bed, and as many as two cups of fertilizer if you’re using an organic fertilizer. Re-apply every four to six weeks, and you’ll get the results you were looking for.