lbb87
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 4:46 am

Something is wrong - plants dying?

This is my first time growing tomatoes or anything really. I've tried growing potted grass for my cats and killed it - twice.

Back in May I bought three plants from a nursery - Patio, Big Boy, and Better Boy. I put them in 5 gallon pots with holes in the bottom, with potting soil and dirt from a flower bed (as suggested by a relative). Things were ok for a while but a few weeks ago I started having multiple problems. First, hornworms (yuck) decided to eat a good amount of the Better Boy and a little of the Patio. Then I noticed brown spots and small holes on some of the leaves. I sprayed them with an organic spray that takes care of most fungal and pest problems. Now, something else seems to be affecting the tomatoes. The Big Boy's leaves are turning brown and none of the plants are really producing anything.

The weather around here has been hot (90s) the past few weeks with little rain. There were some days that were very humid and the temp was near 100. Some of the books I read said to water everyday, others said to skip a day, then others said to check the soil to see if it was dry and water if it was. I still can't tell when they need water and when they don't.I have the pots sitting on a small piece of wood (for drainage) and they're sitting on my porch. They were getting about 6 hours of sun a day. Now, with the sun and time changing I'm not sure how much sun they're getting, it's probably less but I'll have to check.

With the hornworm eating most of the leaves, many of the tomatoes were probably exposed to the sun. I thought some of them had enough protection from it but maybe not.

Any ideas as to what's going on? I have a few ideas but I'd rather have the opinions of those more experienced.

Could someone tell me exactly how I should be taking care of these tomatoes. How much and often should I water? When and how much fertilizer should they receive? I've been following other people's advice but I think I just suck at gardening. I have the thumb of death.


Is it ok to eat the tomatoes if something has infected or infested the plants? Like that tomato at the top of my webpage, is that ok to eat as long as the bad spots are cut out?

jstr12
Full Member
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2006 8:03 pm
Location: Washington, U.S.A., Zone 6

Sorry I'm not an expert but it seems I'll be the most expeirienced of everybody who answered.Lol! I have some of the same leaf problems as you but I have asked the same quetion and I think we came to the conclusion that I needed to use a fish emulsion. Also tomatoes (I'm pretty sure) don't produce fruit if the tempurture gets over 86°F. And how much sun are they gaetting? Tomatoes need 6-8 hours of sun a day. Can somone confirm my info? I'm not very sure of myself.

jstr :D
Jstr =D

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Not being entirely sure what has happend there, it looks like something has come along and started to eat your tomatoe. It's not blossom end rot or a calcium deficiency.

Maybe try spraying your tomatoes and plants with Neem oil, only once a week though.

Neem oil, is a non toxic means of deturring insects from feeding on your plants. If you would like to read up on it, read the sticky in the general topics forum.

lbb87
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 4:46 am

I was thinking that maybe they have Russet tomato mites. Or maybe it's just the climate. I do think they need fish emulsion or something similar.

One of the biggest problems I have is where to put them. I have a big piece of property but it's surrounded by trees. Finding a spot that gets 6-8 hrs of sun is a problem.

opabinia51
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

For next year, I would do a little reasearch and try to find some plants that might detur these mites and also find some plants that will attract insects that prey on the mites. We have some great threads on this in the organic forum but, google is great for this as well and Rodales guide to composting can also help.

Anyway, plant such plants around your tomatoe plants and see if you can find a spot that is sheltered from the trees.

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