Early Girl Tomato Plant Wilting - Pruning?

cecropiiaAugust 2, 2012

I searched the forums and found a few answers as to why my early girl tomato plant may be wilting. I put a water plate beneath the pot and, sure enough, the low soil started sucking up the water like a shriveled sponge. Already the plant is showing signs of perking up, the few tomatoes on the plant are healthy and overall there doesn't seem to be any signs of pests or caterpillars infestation. So, I'm hopeful. But what I have noticed is that the plant isn't yielding very much fruit; it has maybe 10-15 right now (due to a storm this past week, the plant took a topple and lost most of its young fruit before I was able to shelter it), but it has a lot of leaf at the base and the top (primarily the top).

Despite being dehydrated, it's still got tons of young leaves trying to thrive. My question is, should I be pruning it? And what should I be pruning? Do I allow the new leaves to keep growing - and what about the larger ones? I should also mention that these leaves are not on fruit-bearing stems, and they're several stems away from ones that are fruit-bearing. I didn't want to over-prune, so some advice would be great! I can post pictures if necessary.

I'm pretty new at this, and this plant was just a $7 "tester" plant from a local greenhouse. (By tester I mean- it was just a little investment to see if I could keep something alive for more than a week.. haha..)

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sharonrossy

Hi, you need the leaves for photosynthesis. Only prune the very lowest leaves. You prune the suckers growing between the main stem and lateral stems. They will produce fruit but slow down what you have right now. Also, how often are you watering and fertililizing? Tomatoes need water but don't like too much and the are heavy feeders. If you are using containers, depending on the size you might have to water at least once a day either early morning or late afternoon, and don't let the leaves get wet.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 9:55PM
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cecropiia

I've been pruning the lower leaves, suckers and some of the large leaves at the top (but only the ones that have been yellowing or otherwise appearing unhealthy or nibbled at), there's still lots of top leaves though. When it was extremely wilted, I over-watered it a bit, but only from the tray beneath rather than the top of the soil. It went from wilted to perky within the afternoon, so now I'm just watering (again from the dish beneath) in the morning to keep the soil just wet enough that it doesn't seize up. Leaves have been kept dry. What should I be ideally "feeding" it? I've used Miracle Gro since bringing it home but am open to other options.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 2:27PM
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sharonrossy

I recommend Mykes organic fertilizer. You should use something for tomatoes. It should have a higher K content than N(nitrogen). I would not use Miracle Gro because you could end up with more leaves than fruit. It's okay to water in the pot as long as you do it slowly and thoroughly and making sure it doesn't sit in water. If what you're doing seems to be working then that's ok. I do container plantings and it's always a challenge to make sure they don't dry out or get over watered.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 4:36PM
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