should I pull these tomatoes?

newtoremodeling(6b)May 9, 2013

I planted them out a week ago since they weren't looking so great in pots and I figured they would do better in a bed. They are looking really sick, there is barely any green on them, leaves are yellowing, turning brown and dying. Yesterday I thought maybe it's a nitrogen deficiency and added some blood meal. Don't know how fast it's supposed to act but they are still awful looking. We've also been getting heavy downpours for the past few days... I am ready to pull these and plant seedling I was given a few days ago. What if the same thing happens to those, though? Do these have a chance? Thanks!

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Another pic. Thank you!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 2:23PM
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Did you harden them off before planting? Looks like they might be suffering from sun exposure. Hang in there. They could recover.
John A

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 2:49PM
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What have you amended your soil with?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 3:02PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

I don't think they will make it. I'd definitely start over. Your soil doesn't look too bad though. Do you know the pH? Maybe some kind of soil test to get some idea of the N-P-K, etc.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 3:53PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Pull and start over. Even if a couple of them do somewhat recover they will never be healthy.

Something went really wrong with these. Whether it was because they were planted too early, planted so shallowly, in bad soil, over-watered or whatever I can't say with the info provided. Let's hope it was the rain.

What is the bed filled with and how deep is it?


    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 5:09PM
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That's too bad since I grew the seedling from seed. The same ones did really great last year...

I kept them for now since I am trying to figure out what went wrong. I am still clueless.

The bed was put together with leaf mold and top soil from the store about three year ago. We've been adding mulched leaves since but that's all. Could it be that the leaves are causing this problem?

Think I will pull them today but I am afraid to plant anything else in that bed. However, cilantro is doing really well in the same bed. I just don't know.

Thanks for the feedback!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 9:58AM
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I think they'll do well eventually if you bury them up to those top leaves. It could be a million things gone wrong on some level, but I'm willing to bet either no grow light was used, or way too far from the seedlings, and you didn't harden them off. I say that because they are both leggy and sunburned.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 10:20AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Have the soil tested for pH. Depending on the type of leaves and amount used you may discover that adding all the leaf mold and shredded leaves has turned it very acidic.

Also shredded leaves that have not turned to leaf mold before mixing them in the bed can bind up all the nitrogen in the soil as they continue to decompose. Shredded leaves can work as a mulch but not mixed in.

Lots of discussions over on the Soil & Compost forum here about folks who have added lots of shredded leaves and tilled them in only to discover nothing will grow now.

Try giving the whole bed a heavy dose of fast acting nitrogen (if the pH is ok) to off-set the N binding. Bloodmeal, cottonseed meal, alfalfa meal, even a granular high N fert should make a big difference quickly IF that is the issue.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 10:31AM
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I didn't use grow lights but I didn't use them last year, either. Everything did fine last year. I have a very sunny, south-facing window sil and thought it was enough.

Maybe I didn't harden them off properly. That is probably part of the issue.

Thanks for letting me know, Dave, about the problem of adding leaves. I need to learn more about soil and compost. I really lack knowledge and skill in that area, and it's so important.

I did add blood meal last week but so far it hasn't made any difference.

Thanks, again!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 12:33PM
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Half of my tomato plants look identical to yours and I'm also debating whether I should pull them or not. Here's some background on my situation which may shed some light on what's happening to both of our plants.

I planted some of my tomato plants in one garden plot. I had tilled compost into this plot several years ago. After that, I simply cover the plot with leaves in the fall, the leaves which remain in spring act as mulch. These tomato plants are doing fine.

I planted other tomato plants in my second plot. I built up this second plot using the lasagne gardening method by piling on coffee grounds, leaves, and grass clippings atop a bed of cardboard. I did this two years ago, and all my tomato plants grew well in this plot last year. I also cover this plot with leaves in the fall. This season, all of my tomato plants in this plot look like the ones in your photo.

I have planted some identical tomato plants in both plots, yet they are not doing well in the second plot. All tomato plants were planted at the same time, May 15, with the same additives in the holes (fish, bonemeal, epson salt, tomato tone). It was warm when they were planted, then it cooled off significantly, and it is now warming up again. We have also had a significant amount of rain since May 15th.

If the additives or weather were a factor, I think it would have affected all of my plants rather than just those in the second plot. This leads me to believe there is something about the soil in my second plot that is affecting the plants.

Strange how we both have similar looking tomato plants in similar soil. I do not till my soil in either plots so the leaves sit on top until they decompose.

This post was edited by jaidog on Thu, May 30, 13 at 19:03

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 6:56PM
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