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Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:11 am
Location: Houston, TX

Pale tomato plants

Hi tomato people. OK my first year at this. I'm in Houston, TX. Over the Christmas holidays my son and I built a 16 X 16' raised garden (12 inches) and completely enclosed it with a sturdy frame and hardware cloth (1/2 inch wire mesh). We filled it with a mixture of 256 bags of various soils including rose soil, humus, topsoil and organic manure. We then laid 9 lines of drip hose over the top and tied it into my lawn sprinkler system and are thus able to control watering cycle.

I transplanted 28 various tomato plants from local nurseries the last week in February and have been fortunate not to have experienced a frost since. The plants have shot up like rockets to a height of 12" to 18 inches and are producing lots of blooms and early fruit.

For the last week or so I have noticed that the growth rate seems to have slowed and the plants are taking on a pale color. I have dug down about ten inches and tried to determine moisture level. I can make a ball of soil that will hold together, but when pressed with my thumb will crumble. I am watering through the drip lines every other day for 30 minutes.

Temps here are in the 60's at night and low-to-mid 80's during the day.

Any ideas about the pale plants? I can post pictures if I can figure out how to do it. Maybe my wife can help (she's a photographer and forum addict)

hit or miss
Green Thumb
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Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 4:57 pm
Location: central Kansas

If I had to make a guess, I'd say that they have probably outgrown the available nitrogen in the soil with the cooler ground temps. Keep them moist and they will take off again! What's the soil temp, by the way?

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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

Is it a bottomless raised bed with native soil underneath?

Super Green Thumb
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Location: El Cerrito, CA

"How to Post Pictures & Photos on Forums" by the webmaster:

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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The description of the moisture level sounds good to me. I would agree that it's time to add some nitrogen. At this stage, before the plants are full sized and ready to flower, fish emulsion produces very nice growth. JMO. :)

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