Wilting and spotting on my young container tomatos

UnionCityGardenerJune 7, 2011

Help! I am a novice at tomatoes and planted four plants in home-made self watering containers a few weeks ago and three of four are starting to wilt! The two containers with Early girl are the worst, the red beefsteak is getting bad and the sweet 100 cherry tomato looks great. Here are my hypotheses - please weigh in with your thoughts:

1) Some kind of disease

2) Over fertilization (I mixed in slow release pellets when planting and may have been overzealous)

3) Lack of oxygen (The container lids on the worst plants were sealed shut with soil touching the top, whereas the cherry tomato had some breathing room)

4) Over watering (The self watering containers stay quite moist all the time due to the reservoir in the bottom -- I noticed the cherry tomato was a lot less moist -- perhaps only because it seems to be healthy and drinking.)

What should I do? Toss out the afflicted? If so do I need to use new soil? Thanks!

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Over watering AND over fertilizing can cause these issues. The poor things do look like they've had too much love.

I've had issues with self-watering containers and tomatoes because the soil does not have a chance to dry out and can stay very soggy. Tomatoes really hate to have wet feet.

I stopped using self-watering containers because I couldn't seem to control the issue. I'm sure there's a way to make them work, but don't know what the secret is. Perhaps the container gardening forum would be more useful in that regard.

As for fertilizing, I don't know what kind of slow release pellets are being used, but you can over fertilize and it looks like there's a bit of that going on too.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 6:47PM
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