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Tomato problems - several - first timer

Posted by wolfemacleod WA (My Page) on
Sun, May 16, 10 at 13:05

This is my first foray into gardening, and I'm not sure what is going on. I've read and read, and have seen several explanations...and contradicting stuff.
Over watering? Not enough water? This deficiency or that deficiency...even my local nursery has told me different things.

First - I'm in Seattle. It has just started to warm up here.

I've got about 40 tomato plants here. I figure out of that many, I should get at least one. A few Early Girls, Beefsteak, Roma....

People post pictures of thier leaves.. blurry pictures, that is, so you really can't tell what's going on.

On one, I'm getting some pretty heavy brown spos on the leaves. Now they're startign to crack or split around the spots. And a few leaves are starting to curl.. donward, into a spiral.

On another, I've got leaves turning very yello.

On another, I've got leaves folding.. and crumbling/browning around the edges.

Another's leaves are turning a whitish... sort of "powdery" look...

I have plants who's veins on the underside of leaves are turnign purple. And stalks, too...

I have plants that I started from seed that are not growing...they got tall and "leggy" and stoped there, at about 6-8 inches tall...

All of my larger plants were bougth from a local nursery. The biggest problem one (brown spots and cracking) started within a couple days of purchase.

I originally planted seeds in Miracle Grow.
I am using Dr. Earth furtilizer and mulch.

I have seen watering answers ranging from "water them a lot" to "water them a little"

I'm not sure what is going on here. Am I giving them too much fertilizer? The Dr. Earth liquid container says only every few weeks. The Nursery says "frequently"

I bring them out when it's been warm and sunny. Otherwise, they're under grow light in the garage.

I have uploaded some pictures to a directory on my site here:

Anyone in Seattle want to come take a look and tell me what I'm doign wrong?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Tomato problems - several - first timer

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Sun, May 16, 10 at 20:25

First 4 pictures = drought stress. Perhaps ran short of water, or a hot and/or windy day a while ago.

Yellow lower leaves may be short of fertilizer, especially Nitrogen.
Have you fertilized? If so, with what, at what strength, and how long ago?

Final images, more cultural problems.

Bottom line: you need to get the plants into the ground; if that's not possible, into much larger containers.

RE: Tomato problems - several - first timer

Jean, thanks for your reply.

I've been keeping them plenty watered, so I don't think it'd drought stress- unless the water just isn't reaching them somehow?
I've been using the Dr. Earth "Liquid solution" fertilizer that the nursery reccomended, and at the strenght (or very close) that they suggested... about 2 Tbsp/Gal.
It hasn't been very hot here at all... lower 70's maybe on our warmest day. A litle wind, but not much.
I took a couple leaves over to the bursery today, and the tomato person there said too much light...
Temps are going to start dropping again this week to under 50 at night, so maybe not ready to go in the ground just yet...?

RE: Tomato problems - several - first timer

  • Posted by jean001 z8aPortland, OR (My Page) on
    Mon, May 17, 10 at 13:37

I'll stick with the "short of water" suggestion. That can occur for one or more of multiple reasons:
1. potting mix is too dry; roots are damaged, and can't absorb
2. potting mix is wet; roots are damaged, and can't absorb
3. High temps -- removes water from plant faster than roots can supply
4. applied water missed rootball. This can occur when recently transplanted into large pot/site. Water must be applied to region of existing rootball.
5. wind! -- removes water from plant faster than roots can supply

Tip one out of the pot and look.

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