Magic Matt
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Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:23 pm
Location: New Orleans

Tomato leaves droopy, can't figure this out! Pix inside --&

Hello! Thanks for taking the time to help me out! My tomato plants have been looking quite sad the past week or two, and I can't figure out the problem. I've thought it was over-watering, so I didn't water for a week. They did not improve. So I watered them liberally on Saturday, and again on Wednesday, and they still have not perked up.

I know that in order to correctly diagnose the problem, you'll need to know a little background on my setup:

I am a first time soil grower (I dabbled with an indoor hydroponics tomato setup several years ago), and live in New Orleans (read: very hot, very humid). I built a 9'x3'x1' raised bed in my backyard. The location of the bed in a spot that gets the most sunlight, which unfortunately is only about 5-6 hours a day (of direct sun). I put a layer of cardboard down under the bed, and then filled with soil.

I filled the raised bed with 10 cu.ft. potting soil, 6 cu.ft. topsoil, 4 cu.ft "premium garden soil" (I.e. Scotts), and 2 cu.ft of manuer/humus. I then broadcast about 2-2.5 lbs of 8-15-15 fertilizer and worked it into about the top 8 inches.

I stated my seed indoors around the 1st of March, and planted them around March 28 (they were sitting on my patio prior to planting). I planted 2 beefsteak tomato plants, 2 eggplants, 2 california bell peppers, 2 cauliflower, 1 serrano pepper, 5 celery, and numerous onion/red onion/green onion. Everything looked great for the first couple of weeks (aside from a few bug problems, which I believe I've controlled by using Sevin dust). The tomatoes have absolutely sky-rocketed in germs of growth in the past month. I've also watered them with some Miracle-grow about once every 8 or 9 days (at first just 1 gallon for the whole bed, but more recently I did 2 gallons).

I was originally watering my plants every day, sometimes 2 times a day when they were young. I've heard that tomatoes require about 1" of water a week, so I began to cut back the watering when I noticed the tomato leaves looked saggy. But they haven't returned since then (around 4-15). And just recently, my serrano pepper plant has began to droop a little too. I don't know if it is a true 'wilt', but it looks sad nonetheless. I've tried not watering them for a week, but after 5 or 6 days, I felt the soil (at about 7" deep) and it was dry, so I watered again.

Anyway, on with the pics:

Here is the cauliflower:

Serrano pepper:

Bell pepper:





So, can anyone give me some advice? Am I watering too much? Not enough? What gives? I don't want to lose this crop because of my lack of experience......

Thanks a lot for anyone who can help!!!!

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

I'm not seeing what the problem is -- it all looks pretty happy and healthy to me. Tomatoes look great!

You are doing fine, relax.
Last edited by rainbowgardener on Sun May 01, 2011 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Greener Thumb
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Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:58 pm
Location: Virginia

I'm with Rainbow, great, healthy thick stem plants, relax and enjoy your garden!


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Senior Member
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:18 am
Location: Memphis

I agree. You have beautiful plants. The only issue is maybe the leaf miner damage on the bottom of some of your tomato plants.(the squiggly light lines) I would probably remove those leaves before the miner matures and drops into the soil.

Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

The plants look fine. It is not uncommon for plants to get wilty for part of the day.

IMO you are fertilizing Waaay too much. The soil and manure mix had plenty of natural nutrients in it, and then you added granular at a pretty high rate, and now you are watering with Miracle Grow. That will cause a lot of top growth, with relatively less root growth. Root growth is also slowed down by high moisture. Plants grow more roots when 1) they need water, and 2) they need nutrients, so when high transpiration rates hit during the heat of the day a plant with a small root mass will tend to wilt more than one with enough roots for its top.

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Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

Yes other than the leaf miner (remove those leaves or cut our the area they are in) and the fact that controlling the grass behind your raised beds will be a challenge and those cages are too small (those plants will get huge. I think you are in good shape.

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