MzAshleyAnn
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What's wrong with my tomato plant !

I've had this tomato plant for about two months now and the leaves are drying up to be very crunchy and also it is not producing any tomatoes other than that tomato it came with when I purchased the plant which was green so it is improving but it's not growing also I live in Phoenix Arizona and my plant is currently on my balcony any suggestions?
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rainbowgardener
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Re: What's wrong with my tomato plant !

Several things wrong with the plant, which is clearly not doing well at all.

Picture one, the white stuff is probably an insect issue, mealy bugs or wooly aphids or something. Treatment is to spray it with soapy water spray (a little bit of real soap, not detergent like dish washing liquid in a quart of water) and then rinse.

Sometimes in hot weather tomato plant leaves curl up, just to conserve water and protect from sunburn. I was thinking that was what picture two would show, but I don't think it is. In that case, they usually roll UP and are not discolored and the plant keeps producing. I think it is diseased. Fungal diseases in tomato plants are common.

Picture three shows a general failure to thrive. I don't know what variety tomato plant you have. Is it some kind of very dwarf patio variety? Anyway your plant is tiny, not well branched or leafed out.

But you are in PHOENIX. I looked. You are having temps like 107, 108, 109. That is NOT tomato weather! (I'm not sure it is people weather either, but that is a different question :) )

Honestly, I would throw the whole thing out, plant and soil (because the fungal diseases can stay in the soil). When daily high temperatures get below 90 (or maybe 95 if you get special heat resistant varieties like Sun Master), start over with new plant, new soil, and a bigger container.

In climates like yours, tomatoes are planted in late winter for a spring crop and late summer or early fall for a fall/ winter crop. They do not produce in very high temps. I grow tomatoes in the summer, but you can have two crops a year, so that makes up for not being able to grow them in the summer.

What direction does your balcony face? Is it covered?
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imafan26
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Re: What's wrong with my tomato plant !

There is a bag of MG garden soil next to the pot. You need to use potting soil not garden soil. Garden soil is intended to be mixed with soil in the ground but is not intended for pots and does not work well in pots. Dirt cannot be used in pots either.

The heat will cause shriveling, but using garden soil which will hold too much water, using a saucer with a pot and a pot that is too small can be trouble too. Too much water will also cause shriveling and root rot.

I prefer to put tomatoes in big pots about 18 gallons or 20 inch pots. Tomatoes have a large root system. If you are growing a patio variety then at least a 5 gallon pot.

Use MG potting mix. Add about 1/2 cup of tomato food (tomato tone, tomato food, citrus food) and mix it in with the potting soil. Thereafter feed the tomatoes about 1 tablespoon a month as a side dressing.

Plant tomato deep. Remove all the leaves except for the top four and plant the stem as deep as you can in the pot.

If you are using a saucer, fill it with stones first and put the pot on top of that. Use a basting bulb to remove excess water. The pot should not sit in water. Better yet, use a self watering or wicking container. It will water more evenly and you only need to keep the reservoir filled.

Tomatoes need to be evenly watered or you will have problems with BER.

Tomatoes like weather 65-88 degrees. Anything over 90 and flowers are not likely to set, unless you have a heat tolerant variety and they will stop setting around 100.

I agree with Rainbow that the tomato may not be salvageable. It would be better if you plant again in September when it is cooler. BTW tomatoes do need at least 6 hours of sun to produce fruit, otherwise you need supplemental lighting.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: What's wrong with my tomato plant !

Did I say that when plants are under stress (such as heat stress), they then become much more vulnerable to whatever diseases and pests are around? That's why your plant is now showing multiple problems.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

MzAshleyAnn
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Re: What's wrong with my tomato plant !

Thank you all for your insight, i will be starting over with a new plant and potting soil. I am really new to gardening its so relaxing, but i really need to get better lol

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rainbowgardener
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Re: What's wrong with my tomato plant !

getting better is mainly knowledge and experience. The best garden results come from knowing how to really improve your soil and knowing the needs of each plant. Every kind of plant has a set of conditions that are optimum for it (sun exposure, moisture, temperatures for germination and growth/ fruiting, soil fertility, soil pH, etc) and a range of each of those variables within which it will survive.

The closer you get to the optimums, the happier and healthier your plant will be and the more resistant it will be to disease, pests, etc. The farther from the optimums, the less it will thrive, the more it will struggle, and the more vulnerable it will be, until you get outside the range, and it will die. 108 degrees is WELL outside optimum for tomatoes, pushing the limits of survivability and severely stressing it.

We often try to get plants to grow in the conditions we have. If they don't match what the plant needs, it doesn't usually work well. I have a native woodland shade plants garden. A number of the shade wildflowers that I really wanted to grow are acid lovers, but my soil is alkaline. I tried for years to get them to grow, amending the soil the best I could, etc. They would never thrive and usually died after awhile. I finally gave up on that. If you can amend your conditions enough, then maybe. But best is to grow plants that like the conditions you have.

As you read more (learning from others) and garden more (gaining experience about your own garden and what works in it), you will know what your plants need and they will do better.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

lexusnexus
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Re: What's wrong with my tomato plant !

The brown spots with the yellow halo is a fungal disease called septoria. Two things can be done for that. First cut off the branches where you find leaves with it. Second, use a copper based fungicide (can be found using a Google search). Pruning your tomato plans has an additional benefit, it allows air to move through the plant.

Having said that the previous respondents hit on a key point, that high temperatures will essentially halt production and ripening of tomatoes. Many people in Florida don't normally grow tomatoes in the summer, but have two tomato seasons a year.
Dan - "Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends..." Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Karnevil #9

imafan26
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Re: What's wrong with my tomato plant !

Ashley, put your zone and location in your profile so we can give you better advice. Depending on where you live, it may be at the end of the season for tomatoes now. If you live anywhere that snows, it definitely is, unless you grow them indoors like applestar. In the southern and far west states that are frost free, we can grow tomatoes year round but there are more fungal issues and slower growth in the cooler months.

If you want to start a fall garden, look up your city in the farmers almanac planting guide and it will give you an idea when to plant things. Put in the city or zip code in the search box
https://www.almanac.com/gardening/planti ... I/Honolulu
Now, I would start thinking about planning and planting cool season crops like romaine, bib lettuce, carrots, beets, broccoli, peas, and Asian greens. The warm season crops tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, beans (except fava), squash are happier in the warmer months. But to tell you the truth, I don't plant much in July and August, it is too hot for most things and I do more maintenance things like weeding, weeding, solarizing, mulching, fix the irrigation system, pull out the diseased plants and prepping the soil for the fall planting.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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