overfertilizing tomato plants

watch_itgrow(8b)July 24, 2007

Hi. I'm so sad...I'm new at gardening and I think I over-fertilized my 2 tomato plants. I don't have pictures yet, but hope to as soon as I learn how to post them. The bottom leaves are dead and one long stem is turning yellow. I don't know how much is too much and I was so proud of my very first plants and all the delicious tomatoes I was getting from them. I probably over water them too. The tomatoes used to be beautiful but now the bottoms of them are brown and leathery. The one plant is as tall or maybe taller than me and I thought that it would need lots of watering. I'm 5'3" and my one plant used to be so green and I had lots of tomatoes. My question? How does one know how much water or how much fertilizer for one tomato plant? I can't believe I am this upset over tomato plants. I don't know what else to say.....thanks for any help in advance. :(

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justaguy2(5)

A picture would help for certain, but what you describe doesn't sound like over fertilization to me.

You are posting to the square foot gardening forum and this leads me to ask why you are fertilizing at all and with what. If you are going 'by the book' you have used Mel's mix which generally doesn't require fertilizer if the compost is being replaced at each planting. I say generally because some, myself included, find a little extra nitrogen helps some plants do better.

Over watering could be a problem, but I would expect the entire plant to wilt from root death, not a bottom up decline.

So, I don't know what the problem is, but it doesn't really sound like an over watering/fertilizing issue.

One way to post pictures is to get a free account at photobucket, follow their instructions to upload photos to their site and then under each picture you upload they provide the code to copy/paste into the message box at garden web. You want the one beginning with HTML Tag.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 11:20PM
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watch_itgrow(8b)
    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 11:48PM
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watch_itgrow(8b)

My friend helped me upload this picture and I am new at the square foot gardening so much that I finally built 2 boxes and added the mix today. No, I haven't read the book yet, but my tomato plants were started before I learned about all of this. Thank you for any help.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 12:52AM
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mommyof6peas

I believe what you have is called Blossom end rot. This occurs during dry periods, the lack of water creates a deficiency in calcium uptake. Resulting in leathery fruit. You should remove the fruit that have this and discard.

Tomatoes need a large amount of water especialy when their fruit is forming. The leaves that are curled are normal and their is nothing you can do about this. Most often the lower branches will yellow. But you have leaves throughout that have died. I believe this is from lack of consistant water. I would water well every 2 to 3 days during dry periods. Do not allow your tomatoes to dry out this will cause cracks in the fruit and dead leaves. As far as furtilizer I doubt that is your problem.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 1:58AM
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watch_itgrow(8b)

Thank you mommyof6peas....I was scared to over water, so I think I under watered. I'm going to remove the fruit but I'm thinking my plants are doomed. They look worse than the picture. I'll water more. And yes, the watering has been inconsistent. Thank you for your help.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 8:52AM
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