Paul haas
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What's wrong with my tomatoes

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Hi folks,
I've got 3 tomatoe plants. Since 2 days ago I notice the leaves are fading, rolling up or down.
I've attached pictures, would you please tell me what should I do to fix the problem? I regularly fertilize the plants but not sure what's wrong now?! :?
I'm in zone 9 Houston, Texas.

Is that sign of overwatering?

Thanks
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imafan26
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Re: What's wrong with my tomatoes

You have a small pot on a concrete base. It is probably too hot and the pot is drying out too fast. It looks like heat and drought stress. I plant indeterminates in large pots 18 gallons. I double pot the plants that are prone to heat stress and the ones I don't want escaping.

If you can transfer the plant into a bigger pot . You may need some help, the rootball will probably stay intact and look like the pot. If you can move it off the concrete pad or double pot. Put the pot inside a larger pot. It helps to insulate. If you can't do that you can get a styrofoam sheet and cut it up and wrap it around the pot in sections to insulate the pot. I have heard thick layers of bubble wrap could work, but I have not tried it. In the heat of summer you should move the pot to where it gets afternoon shade or water it 3-4 times a day. The midday watering is just for cooling so it does not have to be long.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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applestar
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Re: What's wrong with my tomatoes

Totally guessing because you didn't show the entire container nor the entire plant, but my suspicion is that the container is too small.

When the tomato plants develop their green fruits to a certain point, they all of a sudden start needing much much more water. I suspect that between running out of moisture, blazing sun and sitting on the patio, the roots are getting cooked.

How big is the container and how big is this plant? What about the others?

For starters, you should put the plants where they can get some noon day shade or just morning sun and afternoon shade.

...

I see imafan got in ahead of me with similar comment and we're in agreement. I was going to suggest possibly stacking this container on top of a larger container of potting mix. This has worked for me in the past. But I need to see/know exactly how big or small they are.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

imafan26
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Re: What's wrong with my tomatoes

I have double potted with soil between the pots but the roots won't necessarily go out into the second pot, but it would also act as insulation and help keep moisture in..
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

pepperhead212
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Re: What's wrong with my tomatoes

Are those tomatoes in containers? It seems I see one in the upper photo. Depending on the soil mix you have them in, it can dry out quickly, but they will recover quickly when watered. But they also can be in soil that doesn't drain, and this is worse, as it is hard to get anything to recover from excessive rain. Many years ago we had a summer when almost all of my tomatoes were killed by constant rains, and they looked like that, at first. (I felt for the farmers, as entire fields of many types of crops were lost). That's when I started planting some tomatoes in upside-down buckets, and made sure that I added a bunch of perlite, for drainage, in case we ever had a summer like that. I learned quickly, that those things dry out FAST, but, as I said, the plants came back fast when watered. That was when I learned about drip irrigation! I've switched to Earthboxes, and other SIPs, to make sure I always have tomatoes!
Dave

Paul haas
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Re: What's wrong with my tomatoes

Thank y'all for your great advice. I've got peppers, zucchini, cucumber and 3 tomatoes. But just tomatoes have this problem. I've attached new pic to show all together.
Thanks,
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AnnaIkona
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Re: What's wrong with my tomatoes

Looks like they are not watered often enough. I water my tomatoes once a day, and mine are in raised garden beds. But since yours are in pots, I recomend watering 2 times a day.

Also don't water them when the sun is shining directly at them, as this isn't good for them.
Zone 8b, Canada

imafan26
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Re: What's wrong with my tomatoes

5 gallon buckets are small for indeterminates. Even self watering pots need at least twice the soil volume for a large tomato plant. The concrete does not help as it reflects heat and heats up the roots. If you can anchor the pots partially in the soil, the buckets may be able to wick some water up from the ground and the roots will be cooler with the ground as insulation. Buckets that size I think will probably need to be watered more like 4 times a day. It is not much root volume for a tomato and tomatoes in production can suck up to 4 gallons of water a day.

I plant in 18 gallon buckets and I water once a day, sometimes twice if the temperature exceeds 90 degrees. Most of the time if the temperature is 88 degrees and it is not windy the tomatoes will not wilt or get BER, but the roots will still come out of the bottom of the pots and go into the ground unless I put the pots on blocks.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

ButterflyLady29
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Re: What's wrong with my tomatoes

To keep them watered you need to put some sort of saucer or tray underneath to hold the water. Those will need a good soaking to revive them.

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jal_ut
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Re: What's wrong with my tomatoes

Tomatoes when grown in the ground have a root system that may go out 3 feet in all directions and up to 4 feet deep. No wonder they feel crowded in a bucket? Those wilting leaves mean they want/need water.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

ladyhawke6281
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Re: What's wrong with my tomatoes

Hello,

Yes, it could be that they need shade, but how often and what do you fertilize with. To me they look like they may have been over fertilized and not enough water.

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Francis Barnswallow
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Re: What's wrong with my tomatoes

Lack of water, and too much heat.

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