Early Girl Tomato plant wiliting all the sudden

loveisblind1May 11, 2012

Hi. This is my first tomato plant. Its an early girl tomato plant, its over 3 feet and has almost 40 tomatoes on it. It was doing great until recently. I've been giving the tomatoes consistent feeding and the leaves started to wilt everywhere. There were a lot of leaves that turned yellow that eventually fell or crumbled off. I know that this can be a sign of overwatering. I tested the soil with a meter to find out it is also wet. But I haven't watered it for a couple days to dry it out and its still wet. I have plenty of holes on the container. What can it be. Also I have a photo of one of my tomatoes. I need to identify if this is due to bugs. Thanks!





Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

It could easily be rootbound in that container. What potting mix did you use in the container? If it is a potting soil or other poorly draining mix then it could be root rot.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 6:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

bacterial wilt?

Here is a link that might be useful: My tomatoes

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 7:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

loveisblind1, it looks to me as if a caterpillar munched on the fruit in the last photo.

There are various caterpillars that enjoy eating tomatoes. Some stay inside the fruit and eat the inside until they're large enough to go into the cocoon. It's best to discard any fruit with deep holes like the one on the left. With holes like the one on the right, you could just cut out that part.

[For those who didn't try it, clicking on the photo digdirt posted for the OP takes you to the other 3 photos.]

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 10:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi. I am a little embarassed to admit but my boyfriend got it for me from Costco. Lol. It was my first plant. I'm thinking about repotting it as I do think its probably a drainage issue since my soil is always reading that its moist. And I checked for bacterial wilt by checking for oozing and didn't see any. Is it hard to transplant a plant that is this big? And thanks, missingtheobvious, I will just cut off that fruit.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 5:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

loveisblind1, I have no faith in moisture meters (well, okay, I only tried one and that was years ago ... er, decades ago ... but it was a total dud and my houseplant died). So while you're repotting, check to see how moist the soil is.

Please don't be embarrassed about Costco. I started my own seedlings this spring, but that didn't stop me buying a tomato at WM today. And in another couple of threads, you can read how KCKook found an English cherry tomato at WM and is now bound and determined to save seeds ... and plant more this same year! (And I'm surely not the only other member who added that variety name to my list.)

I'm eyeing the last three yummy grape tomatoes in the kitchen (from upscale The Fresh Market rather than WM) and contemplating saving seeds ... like I don't already have seeds of multiple grape varieties in the tomato seed box.... *sigh*

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 2:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

loveisblind- that poor plant is drying up! Water water water!!!

I can see about 10 tomatoes already on that plant. Water should be running out the bottom because you've watered it so much! That container is not big enough to water once a day... you may need to 2-3 times. I don't how easy transplanting that to another conatainer will be but do it if you can.

If you find you can't water the container enough - Get a tray or something to hold the moisture. Check out my container plants.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 9:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Bets(z6A S ID)

I agree with rickcef, it looks like it is dying of thirst! In warm weather you will have to water more often in a container, and the smaller the container, the more often you will need to water.

When growing medium gets as dry as that growing medium looks, the water will just sheet off and run away. Personally, I'd get at least one or two empty milk jugs, put a pinhole in the bottom, then fill them with water so that it leaks out slowly giving the growing medium time to absorb the water before it runs off the root ball. And the catch tray is a good idea as long as the roots are not standing in water all the time.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 4:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks everyone for the advice. Wow rick, your tomato plant is huge! I will water it more. I actually pulled the plant out gently to check the soil by hand. It was very moist and compact. So I tried to loosen up the soil and repotted it in drier and better draining soil. I haven't watered it for days and it was so moist.. What is that a sign of? Poorly draining soil? Could it be bacterial wilt since its been sitting in wet soil? Either or, I really hope it perks up. I will try to water it more often as people said if it does.

And I will buy a catch tray. THanks for the advice. I really hope I dont have to throw this plant away!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 2:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with what everyone has said, when I tried to grow tomatoes in a pot, I was watering the top, and the water never got down to the bottom of the potter where the feeder roots were at. make sure the pot has holes in the bottom, and then put the pot in a shallow plate of water, the water will travel from the bottom up, all the way to the surface. soil is like a sponge that way, its neat.

I water the same way with seedlings in trays, a lot of the time watering from the top will fail to get to the bottom of the cell, where the root needs it most, while the top looks flooded.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 2:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Bets(z6A S ID)

When planting in a container, it is best to use a soilless growing medium, not dirt from the yard or a bagged "garden soil" because it tends to compact in a pot and then it drains poorly and the tomato's roots will drown or suffocate and the plant will die. Which is what you had happening to your Early Girl. Hopefully your loosening the soil and putting in a better draining medium will help.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 12:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm not sure what kind of dirt that Costco used, but it didn't look like gardening soil. It was mixed with a lot of perlite and wood shavings. But it was not loose at all when I pulled it up. I used a potting mix with perlite this this. A lot of perlite and things mixed in to help with drainage. What other medium could I have mixed into the soil?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 3:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Actual dirt should never be used in containers (drainage problems). [I'm not exactly a newbie gardener, but I learned that on this forum.]

When the word "soil" is used on a label, that bag usually contains dirt.

But "potting soil" on a label is ambiguous. Is it for containers ... or is it dirt for the garden? Hopefully somewhere on the bag there will be a list of contents.

Sometimes on this forum we use "soil" to refer to a non-dirt mix which can be used in a container. This confuses people.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 10:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mine is called Miracle Gro Potting Mix. It doesn't say on the bag what is making it up, just the nutrients in the mix. It claims to be good for containers. I mixed it with perlite.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 8:11PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Tomato clips
I'm thinking of using tomato clips this year. Tying...
Tomato cage
how to build a 24"L,by 24"W,by 48"H,screened...
Tell apart a Cherokee Purple and Black from Tula?
This year I decided to plant a mixed bag of seeds since...
Turbo-Tomato Mulch (Red Plastic) From Gurneys
First time poster here. I wonder if anybody has used...
Jersey Boy - 2015
I volunteered to post a review for "Jersey Boy"...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™