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Looking icky?

Posted by greengoblin72 none (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 23, 14 at 18:23

I bought a small tomato plant from home depot a couple of/few weeks ago, but the past few days its been looking� well, icky. Its the best adjective I can describe. It doesnt look like a disease perse, but then again I'm not an expert on tomatoes or diseases. It doesnt look as if its dehydrated. The leaves are kind of brown, almost like a rash on a human. Any ideas on what this could be? i was wondering if it could be something to do with second hand smoke, since my husband is a smoker, and the pot is kept a few feet away from where he goes to smoke. But somehow I dont think so because the smoke would have to travel downwards from the porch�. I dont know.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Looking icky?

another picture


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RE: Looking icky?

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 23, 14 at 19:10

i was wondering if it could be something to do with second hand smoke, since my husband is a smoker,

No, not unless he smokes imported Turkish cigarettes. :)

No it isn't dehydrated it is instead drowning and the roots are rotting leading to leaf death.

What potting mix did you use and how often have you been watering it? What size container is it in? What has it been fed if anything?

Where is it (you) located so we can at least guess at what weather it has been exposed to? Lastly, the name of the variety please?

Dave


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RE: Looking icky?

I agree with digdirt on the over watering. I am going to go out on a limb a little farther than he did though. I have seen leaves look like that from a couple of things my wife, and the weather did to some plants.

One is over watered as digdirt said. (BTW he knows his stuff well.)

Two is poor draining of the pot. It looks like it is on the ground. Find something to put it up on like a couple of bricks on each side. It also helps the the soil on the bottom to dry.

Thee is watering and leaving the leaves wet in the sun. It burns the leaves that way. If it is not that then I will guess at it being wet on a cold night. Either way water the dirt not the leaves.

Ok here is a possible fix for you. I have seen this done by my granddad. I have helped some people by doing this as well.

Remove the entire root ball of the plant. Have a place in the sun to set it out. Wrap it in burlap, or a towel. Tie it gently with a few wraps of string. Set it in the sun for at least 2 days. Let it dry out until the leaves look a little wilted. Remove the wrap. Return to the pot. Give it a small amount of water, with some half strength fertilizer. That should have it greening back up within a few days.


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RE: Looking icky?

Looks like overwatering as said above. I would toss it out and buy another.
As far as getting leaves wet in the sun... I used to work in a commercial growing operation with over 250 acres of plants that were grown on the ground, outside, in the Houston, Texas sun. We overhead watered most everything in my department, which was annuals and perennials. Never once did we see any negative effects from this practice.


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RE: Looking icky?

thanks guys! that is some great advice! i should know what breed it is but darnit i cant remember...overwatering sounds like a possibility, i havent watered it too much but it has been a little chilly the past week. the first time i saw it looking sick i added some plant formula (again, i wish i could remember what brand…). i live in central new jersey. the pot is ok on drainage, it has holes in the bottom and the added tray that attaches to it. the dirt i used when i replanted it from its original home depot pot was miraclegro.


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RE: Looking icky?

Has it been outdoors since you bought it?

I'm in Southeast PA and the weather had definitely been too cold for tomatoes to be outside consistently. I put mine out on warm days (above 50 degrees) and always bring them in at night since some night have been in the 30's or even below freezing.

You could try to save it but it might also be a good idea to buy a new one. And I would recommend going to a local nursery instead of homedepot. You'll likely end up with a better quality plant.


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RE: Looking icky?

" And I would recommend going to a local nursery instead of homedepot. You'll likely end up with a better quality plant."

Any anecdotal evidence to back this statement up? I hear it a lot, but no one ever expands on it...

This post was edited by ncrealestateguy on Thu, Apr 24, 14 at 22:33


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RE: Looking icky?

huh?


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RE: Looking icky?

ncrealestateguy, I'm assuming your referring to my comment about HomeDepot vs. local nursery.

In a pinch last year, I bought some parsley and basil plants at home depot because mine were devoured by the wildlife around here. Well, they did okay for about 2 weeks and then slowly withered away. It was rather bizarre. I have been growing all my life and never had that happen before.

I have also seen rather sad looking tomato plants that friends had bought at big stores like HomeDepot.

Not saying it's not going to work out okay but I wouldn't take my chances if I had a choice and rather by from somewhere local. :)


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RE: Looking icky?

We don't know what variety the tomato is, but chances are that the pot is too small. (Dwarf and other short/small tomato varieties may do well in a 5-gallon container, but taller/larger varieties need a container multiple times that size.) Is there any possibility of planting your tomato in the ground? Good-sized containers usually aren't inexpensive.

Plants growing in containers should never be planted in actual soil/dirt; that just doesn't drain properly in containers. (Yes, many of us didn't know this. Yes, Miracle Gro and other vendors are in business to make money rather than teach good garden practices.)

So if you're buying something in a bag with which to fill your pot, buy something labelled "potting mix" and without the words "soil" or "dirt." And go to the Container forum and read about Al's 5-1-1 mix and/or his 3-1-1 mix, so you can mix a container mix with even better drainage.


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RE: Looking icky?

ok thanks! i meant that i use miraclegro half and half with old soil or garden soil when repotting new plants, unless im planting them in the ground where the soil is good quality. i dont think the tomato has outgrown the pot yet, because it hasnt grown much since i bought it. and the container it was in originally was much smaller. (im sorry im terrible at estimating volumes, areas, lengths, time, anything basically. its just completely bizarre…)


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RE: Looking icky?

oh and ive seen a lot of sad plants at home depot too! but thats after the spring rush and all the beautiful ones were taken away! i just went yesterday to buy another tomato backup but all they had left were small withered looking things… but when they first appeared! i love the start of spring:)


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RE: Looking icky?

Software hiccup?

This post was edited by missingtheobvious on Fri, Apr 25, 14 at 0:26


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RE: Looking icky?

BBS (like HD) mostly sell Bonni products. All they do is to water them and keep them alive. And sometimes they cannot even do that simple thing. The growers often have infected environment and some of the plants they sell come already infected. I just bought one tomato plant (Bonni product) from HD, and it shows some possible disease symptoms. I might go ahead and just ditch it, if I can find a better replacement


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RE: Looking icky?

No need to estimate the size of the pot. Simply get out a ruler/yardstick/measuring tape and measure the interior width of the pot, as well as the height of the soil.

For a round pot like yours, add the top interior width to the bottom width, and divide by 4 (that gives you half the average width of the pot, more or less -- aka the radius).

Multiply the radius by itself. Multiply that by 3.14 (aka pi).

That result is the size in square inches of an average slice of the pot.

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Multiply that by the height of the soil/mix.

That result is the volume of the soil/mix in cubic inches.

==

Divide that by 368.8 (the number of cubic inches in a dry gallon).

That result is the size of the pot (as it's currently filled) in dry gallons.

[Dry gallons are used to measure pot sizes rather than liquid gallons (which are a bit smaller).]

==

Small tomatoes (dwarf plants, for instance) are happy in 5 gallon pots. [Very small plants are happy in even smaller containers.] Indeterminate types need considerably more space. Since I don't grow large tomatoes in pots, I don't remember the recommended container size for large tomato plants.

Unlike other types of plants, it's a good idea to plant tomato seedlings in their final growing place, rather than move them from pot to pot. Two reasons: moving them is bad for the roots (root damage retards plant growth, etc.) and can result in damage to the stems and leaves.


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RE: Looking icky?

Divide that by 368.8 (the number of cubic inches in a dry gallon).
%%%%%%%%%%%

Not accurate. The number of ci in a dry gallon is 268 not 368. Probably just a typo.


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RE: Looking icky?

or i could look on the bottom of the pot for a number XD


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RE: Looking icky?

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 25, 14 at 18:41

i meant that i use miraclegro half and half with old soil or garden soil when repotting new plants, unless im planting them in the ground where the soil is good quality.

I think you missed the point missingtheobvious was making above. You never use soil/dirt in any amount or any type in any container. It compacts, drains poorly, retains water far too long and causes root rot and other diseases.

You are just asking for problems with plants if you use anything other than a light soil-less mix in containers.

i dont think the tomato has outgrown the pot yet, because it hasnt grown much since i bought it. and the container it was in originally was much smaller

Top growth is not an indicator of whether a plant is root bound or not. The bottom line is your pot in the photo is far too small. That is obvious by the scale of the plant to the pot. It is too small for for 90% of the tomato plants out there. So transplanting it into a much bigger container after stripping off all the affected leaves and filling the pot with a proper potting mix might save the plant.

Of course if you knew the name of the variety it could make a big difference. Can you go back to HD and find another one of them and note the name?

Dave


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