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Unable to grow tomatoes

Posted by mrm54 NC (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 22, 14 at 14:37

I have a patch of garden in my yard that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight. I have tried for years to grow a tomato plant there. Every time one is planted, it grows beautifully, flowers, sets fruit, and then starts wilting. I live in eastern NC. I have never had any problems with peppers, eggplant or Okra. It is always just tomatoes. I have tried various types with all sorts of letters after their names trying to find one resistant with every kind of wilt there is. I do have voles, could it be they love tomatoes and leave the other stuff alone? What else is it?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Unable to grow tomatoes

  • Posted by LKZZ 7b (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 22, 14 at 15:13

I believe it could be voles - here is a link from a previous discussion on Gardenweb.

My outdoor cats kill voles all the time.

Perhaps consider getting a couple of outdoor cats - for their hunting abilities and for there adorable cuteness. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Elimination of Voles

RE: Unable to grow tomatoes

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 22, 14 at 16:09

It could be voles but it could also be other issues. Sometimes we focus on just one symptom - like 'it wilts' - and fail to notice all the other contributing factors. Lots of things can cause wilting other than disease but without lots of details there is no way to know what is causing the problem.

For example, tomatoes have very different water and nutrient needs than do peppers and eggplant. They are also less tolerant of high heat than those others. Add to that the fact that the soil borne wilt disease would also affect peppers and eggplants it sounds as if something else is going on to me.


RE: Unable to grow tomatoes

Do you have any Black Walnut trees nearly ?

RE: Unable to grow tomatoes

Are you growing determinate tomatoes? If so, they'll only grow and produce a set amount and they're done. Indeterminates, especially the hybrids (not heirlooms, because those are too heat sensitive), are probably your best option. Also, when transplanting, be sure and break the rootball because it helps the roots spread.

If you are growing indeterminate tomatoes in that spot and still getting the same results you've been having, you might want to consider trying again next year but also growing a tomato plant in a large container and compare how it does against the one in e ground. Tomatoes in containers will probably result in smaller fruit, but at least you can get some good potting soil and place it where it can get optimal sunlight and shade.

RE: Unable to grow tomatoes

no walnut tress nearby. The plants start dying as soon as the fruit is about the size of a golfball! sometimes a tad bigger. I think I have tried every kind of hybrid there is. Is there any way to determine what type of wilt it could be, it that is what it is?

RE: Unable to grow tomatoes

Check out verticillium wilt and fusarium wilt online. I've just been reading about them myself as my eggplants have been wilting. They are really horrid diseases and the fungus that causes them can persist in the soil for many years.

It is possible to solarize the soil using clear plastic, although I'm not sure how long the effects of this will last.

Another solution would be to grow tomatoes in large containers using potting mix and not soil.


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