Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 1:06 pm

Cheery tomatoes brown up in pots - advice anyone?

I've been growing cherry and grape tomatoes in 5 gallon containers for years, and always have the same problem. They start off great, but about 1 and a half to 2 months into the season (July) the leaves start to brown up and die off. I still get tomatoes, but there must be something about the containers or watering that causes this browning. I live in NJ. I water every day. The containers all use potting soil that specfically mentions suitability for vegetables. I drilled drainage holes in the bottom of the containers and put stones at the bottom.

I grew one plant this year in the ground and that one has not browned up.

I fertilize with tomato food every 10 days or so per label directions.

Any clues as to why the container plants have this problem every year? I'm sure I'm losing a lot of yield because the foliage does off so quickly in mid-late season.

User avatar
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1596
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 8:42 pm
Location: Summerville, GA, Zone 7a

Hmmm. What kind of container are they in? I'm wondering if it's some kind of plastic that could be decomposing after many years of use in the sun and leaching chemicals into your soil.

I'm also wondering if it's possible for the soil to get too warm in a container that size? Anybody know? I tend to keep my pots grouped together so they stay shaded in an effort to keep the soil cooler and retain more moisture.

What sort of fertilizer are you using? Or what's in your organic compost, if that's what you're using?

The Helpful Gardener
Posts: 7492
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

Yeah the fertilizer regimen they list on packages is more designed to sell fertilizer than grow plants; that rate seems suspiciously high...

I also lose most of the bottom foliage so that soil borne fungii have no leaves to splash up on and start their climb; that may help...

Return to “Container Gardening Forum”