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TomatoGirl
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Pale Tomato Plants

Hi all. I'm having some issues with my tomato plants, and I hope you can help me. (photos to follow. need to upload from my phone.
This is my third year growing tomatoes from seed. Heirloom varieties.
They are in pots. When they were planted, they were planted in a triple mix soil (black loam, compost and peat moss) mixed with a little pearlite. I put a couple tablespoons of eggshells in each hole and watered with fish emulsion. At this point they really took off and were a lovely dark green. Then I decided to try something new I had done some research on, spraying with aspirin water. The first pills I bought didn't dissolve so I bought different ones. Unfortunately the dosage was higher and not realizing over dosed them :evil: :oops:
Within about 3 days they all started to lose colour, and have stayed that way for the past 2.5 weeks. In that time I added a little compost to the top, they had some fish emulsion dilution and some compost tea.
They are still growing. A little more spindly than I'd like, but have grown a good few inches. They all have buds or flowers. If they were dark green I'd be very happy with them. But they are like a lime green colour. Some have purple veins, some have a little leaf curl. Some leaves are now growing in dark green, but some are growing in pale.
Have I killed them? Do you think they will grow back? What can I do to save them?

It's been close to 3 weeks since I sprayed them with aspirin and they aren't dead O:) , so I'm remaining hopeful. But if someone can help me know what's happening and if there is anything I can do, I'd be extremely grateful!!
Thank you :)

AnnaIkona
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

I have heard about people using Aspirin on their tomato plants (Garden Betty in particular), but I've never done it myself.

Since its been almost a month since the tomatoes were sprayed with it, and have not died, I'm guessing that they won't get worst, but instead better.

I would guess that it would be good if the tomatoes always had enough moisture in the soil so that the water could "flush away" all the aspirin.

I am looking forward to some images and updates on how they're doing.
Zone 8b, Canada

PaulF
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

Since you are growing tomatoes in containers, like any other plant grown that way, you need to add nutrients on a regular basis. As you water, like annalkona indicated, you "flush" out the nutrients and leave a relatively sterile soil. Thus the light green leaves and the purple veins.

The only real nutrients were in the compost, the original soil, the compost tea and the fish emulsion.

Concerns: how large are the containers and which varieties are you growing? are you adverse to fertilizers or plant food? do you intend to continue to add nitrogen rich nutrients?

Most large tomato plants need at least a 5 gal (somewhere around 19 liters?) container to do well. As tomato plants grow, nitrogen needs to be reduced and P an K levels increased. Bloom booster type granular plant food dissolved in water with a low N number will work. Water with this about once every ten days to keep nutrient level up.

Aspirin water does very little in my opinion. It is supposed to increase disease resistance by reducing stress. Stress weakens the plant ability to fight off disease. It is not a magic bullet and only staves off problems for a while. Good growing practices do a lot more for plant health. Aspirin is not a nutrient.

Growing plants in containers has its own set of rules for success and the net is full of advise. My tomatoes are most all grown in-ground but I have grown in containers as well. Expect smaller fruit and less production and fairly constant care but at least they are home grown tomatoes.
Paul F

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TomatoGirl
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

This is a black cherry
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TomatoGirl
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

sorry. That is NOT black cherry. It is a mystery orange potato leaf

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TomatoGirl
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

This is a "Firework" tomato
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TomatoGirl
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

Thank you for all your replies.
I grow my tomatoes in pots every year. I don't have the greatest garden for veggie growing, just the one patch, so I grow my toms in pots. They are all in 5 gallon and up size pots. I have never had this happen, so I am thinking this has to be the aspirin. My sister has some of my plants, planted in potting mix and they are all bushy and green compared to my spindly pale plants, so i don't think it's being in pots that has done this. Rather I think the overdose of aspirin stressed the plant.
I was wanting to go organic this year with fertilizer (hence the fish emulsion and compost tea), but if you think it is the soil lacking in nutrients I am open to non organic fertilizing if it will save them. As they have only been in the pots 3.5 weeks, is it likely all the nutrients in the soil are gone? I added compost on sunday, and have been feeding with the fish emulsion. My sister hasn't fed hers at all, and they are great like I said.
I'm so mad I decided to spray them. They were looking so good :(

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TomatoGirl
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

They are all the same colour green, no matter the variety. The black cherry seem the hardiest though, and have been growing the best
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THIS is the black cherry
THIS is the black cherry

AnnaIkona
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

To be honest, they don't look that bad, TomatoGirl. I can see that some already have flowers which is a good sign.

Just water them as frequently as possible, to "flush away" all the aspirin, and I would strongly suggest giving them some store bought fertelizer, as they do need a bit of a head-start at beginning to grow again after begin stressed by the aspirin. Maybe when you feel that they are 100% healthy, then switch back to organic fertilizer (fish emulsion, compost tea, etc).

Once again, looking at the flowers on some of the plants, I'm sure they are already getting better. :)
Zone 8b, Canada

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TomatoGirl
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

Thank you!! Yes, if they weren't so pale, I wouldn't be so worried. I have been giving them good soaks, and we've had a fair bit of rain here in ontario. I'll get some store bought fertilizer. Is there any that you recommend? Last year I bought the CIL, but they were slow release and I don't like digging around the roots when they are in pots, as it's so easy to damage them. Is there a good liquid fertilizer I could use?
Thank you so much :)

AnnaIkona
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

I've had good results with this stuff:
073561000420lg.jpg
073561000420lg.jpg (22.2 KiB) Viewed 2258 times
Zone 8b, Canada

imafan26
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

It is yellower on the bottom than on the top. I would think it is a nutrient or watering problem. MG should green it up in a week or two if that is the problem. If the soil is too soggy, let it dry out a bit more. It is and expensive way to go. I usually start with a fresh bag of potting soil and a clean pot. I bleach my pots between uses. I add 1/2 cup of granular fertilizer and mix it into the potting soil. You can use tomato food, vegetable food, tomato tone, citrus food ( my favorite ), I prefer low numbers 10 or below if possible. I supplement with 2 tablespoons of additional fertilzer at first flowering, first fruit, and monthly thereafter.

If you make your own soil or you put a lot of compost in the mix it can end up holding too much water which will make the leaves turn yellow.
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TomatoGirl
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

AnnaIkona wrote:I've had good results with this stuff:
073561000420lg.jpg
Thank you!

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TomatoGirl
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

imafan26 wrote:It is yellower on the bottom than on the top. I would think it is a nutrient or watering problem. MG should green it up in a week or two if that is the problem. If the soil is too soggy, let it dry out a bit more. It is and expensive way to go. I usually start with a fresh bag of potting soil and a clean pot. I bleach my pots between uses. I add 1/2 cup of granular fertilizer and mix it into the potting soil. You can use tomato food, vegetable food, tomato tone, citrus food ( my favorite ), I prefer low numbers 10 or below if possible. I supplement with 2 tablespoons of additional fertilzer at first flowering, first fruit, and monthly thereafter.

If you make your own soil or you put a lot of compost in the mix it can end up holding too much water which will make the leaves turn yellow.
If i could have afforded to use potting mix, I would have. For all those pots it would have cost over a hundred dollars in just soil. Makes it kind of not worth it. I did add pearlite to my mix though for the drainage. Compost was just added to the top few inches.
I'm off to get some fertilizer now. Thank you :)

RadRob
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

I've been sidedressing with Calcium Nitrate and it's made a huge difference in plant growth and production. I sprinkle about a tablespoon around the plant and water it in every 2-3 weeks.

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TomatoGirl
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

So I fed them with the miracle grow for tomatoes. I believe it's 18-18-21
I didn't do full strength just incase it stressed them. So I'll keep you posted over the next few days as to how they are doing and if they perk up. Nearly all are blooming now, and the black cherry has one baby tomato forming. So I'm hoping my babies will make a full recovery.

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TomatoGirl
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

You can see how green they were, but also how small. So they are still growing strong.
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This is them on May 30th. A week after planting.
This is them on May 30th. A week after planting.

RadRob
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

Those pots are small so you're gonna have to feed them weekly. The plants will use up all the ferts fast and rain will also deplete the pots. I don't know what your temps are but if it's hot and or windy you might need to water twice a day.

AND you're gonna have a jungle pretty soon, once they take off you won't be able to get between the rows.

FYI: watch the dog, mine picks his own tomatoes.

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TomatoGirl
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

Growing in pots isn't my preferred way of growing them. But with only 1 garden patch I can't grow tomatoes in it every year. Hubby has taken over the rest of the garden with landscaping, so this is the best I can do. I normally get a pretty decent crop, but there is only the 3 of us, so 20 tomato plants should be enough, even if the yield isn't the best. The temp in the summer here is normally between 25-40 C. I don't even need to water every day. But I will keep on with the fertilizer.
I had a lovely little pvc greenhouse and they grew amazing in there, but after 2 years it was done. This is the best I can do for now in the space that I have, that will still get 6-8 hours of full sun a day. It's going to be wild for sure!!
Yes, Toby picks his own tomatoes. He favours the cherries lol

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TomatoGirl
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

So they seem to be getting darker after feeding with fertilizer. I left one of the plants uncomposted and unfertilised to compare, and it's definately more yellow than the rest.
I went to a friends house today, I had given them 6 of my plants. Their plants were almost 5 feet tall, thick stemmed,dark green and gorgeous. I had such plant envy. But theirs are grown in ground, in their previous compost area.
But saying that, my plants are the smallest out of everyone's, but I'm the only one with tiny fruit. Everyone else is just getting flowers. I believe this was because of the aspirin water. I think had I not overdosed them, it would have been ok.
You live and learn I guess!
But they aren't dying!! So thanks for your advice guys!!

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applestar
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

In the containers placed on pavers, they are warmer than grown in the ground. I'm having to admit that peppers and eggplants will tend to grow better (i.e. mature faster) HERE in containers. Maybe the same comparison could be said of tomatoes in your area.

Fertilizing and watering become a big issue with container gardening, but SIP's (Sub-irrigated Planters) based on Earthbox, Global Bucket, and Earthtainer paradigms do seem to work really well. I'm continuing to experiment with them since I started last year, but I'm also going to try growing some of the more productive peppers and eggplants in the ground again this year, while less productive ones will be grown in containers.

I'm trying some variants of automated Raingutter Irrigation System (another wicking-irrigation design) this year also. And maybe drip irrigation if I get the chance. I'm tying these in with the pond to be sort of aqua-ponic (except the pond water will be part of the irrigation water for container plants, not hydroponic.
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AnnaIkona
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

Hey folks, doesn't Nitrogen make tomatoes grow more leaves? I was wondering, maybe if you feed them with a high Nitrogen Fertilizer, the leaves will turn better and new leaves will start to grow.
Does this make sense or is this a dumb idea? :lol: I was just wondering...
Zone 8b, Canada

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TomatoGirl
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

RadRob wrote:Those pots are small so you're gonna have to feed them weekly. The plants will use up all the ferts fast and rain will also deplete the pots. I don't know what your temps are but if it's hot and or windy you might need to water twice a day.

AND you're gonna have a jungle pretty soon, once they take off you won't be able to get between the rows.

FYI: watch the dog, mine picks his own tomatoes.
Just wanted to update and say thanks for the advice. I fertilise them once a week, as you suggested and watering twice a day on the super hot days. Other than that I give them fish emulsion once a week also and they are THRIVING!! Thank you for your advice. They are totally a jungle right now, but they are VERY happy. The fact it's a jungle is giving them some shade in the heat wave we are having, so that has turned out OK.
Here are some of my tomatoes I am patiently waiting to ripen!! :D
I'll add a photo of my "jungle" when I take one later today.

Thanks again!!
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

Beautiful!
:)
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TomatoGirl
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

AnnaIkona wrote:I've had good results with this stuff:
073561000420lg.jpg
Thank you for this suggestion. I bought it and am having marvelous results!! I won't use anything else now. I remember using this a couple years ago, and I totally had the best crop. I'd somehow forgotten. So thanks for suggesting it. My tomatoes are loving it. SO MANY flowers and fruit!! I am amazed!

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TomatoGirl
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

rainbowgardener wrote:Beautiful!
:)
Thank you. :D

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TomatoGirl
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

Here's my jungle right now.
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AnnaIkona
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

Amazing!!! Glad they are all doing so well. :)
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TomatoGirl
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

AnnaIkona wrote:Amazing!!! Glad they are all doing so well. :)
Thank you. I thought I was going to lose them all!! I'm thinking it may have been a fertiliser issue after all and nothing to do with the aspirin. Not sure I'd try aspirin water again though.

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Gary350
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Re: Pale Tomato Plants

I would never spray aspirin on my tomatoes. Potting soil is missing a lot of minerals the plants need, mix 1 part dirt with 4 parts water, stir well then use water only to water your plants. If you have a plant water mister set it to water your tomatoes none stop for a week.

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