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Tomato plants - help!

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Tomato plants - help!

Post  newgloves on 8/4/2010, 1:15 am

First of all, I'm pregnant & always tired so I didn't start my square foot garden until 3 wks ago. Thank goodness cuz otherwise I would have done the traditional gardening rather than talking to my sister!

But, so my tomato plants aren't huge. I found whatever leftover sad little spindly plants I could find & threw them in the ground. Now, they've done fairly well considering the replanting shock & the heat we'd been having when first in the ground. However, I'm noticing several of the tomato plants (both heirloom & hybrids) are having a strange problem that I've never seen. About half of them seem to be having stems & leaves that are flat dying off - turning yellowish & drying - although they get plenty of water. At the same time it's developing new stems w/ flowers at record speed. What's going on? I've been gradually clipping off the dying stems so my plants look rather strange w/ bald spots & then amazing growth elsewhere. What's up?

Thanks for your help!

newgloves

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Re: Tomato plants - help!

Post  Chopper on 8/4/2010, 3:01 am

Tomatoes have a host of possible problems. They are the fussy divas of the garden. Sometimes leaves die because they are done. Older leaves that just die. Other times it is bacteria or fungus or virus or one of the wilts. Who the heck knows. On mine, I do the same. As long as it looks like it is still growing and producing I just chop off the bad looking parts and let it do its best.

And I NEVER put any tomato stuff in the compost no matter how good it looks because of all of the tomato disease possibilities.

Here are some useful sights:
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/publications/tomatoproblemsolver/ and
http://www.hbci.com/~wenonah/min-def/tomatoes.htm

Chopper

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Re: Tomato plants - help!

Post  Lavender Debs on 8/4/2010, 10:01 am

First of all, Choppers post and advice is spot-on, I have nothing to add to it. I am just impressed with you. It is like you have "rescue tomatoes" and have no idea what kind of abuse they received before you gave them a home. It sounds like they are responding to your care. It is still possible that they will succumb to tomato diseases but then again, they are trying to give you what you want because you gave them what they need. As far as I know, handling sick plants will not be harmful to you or your baby but I encourage you to wash your hands after handling them so you don't spread any possible disease around the garden (some of it lives in infected soil for years). I don't know if it will help but a little squirt of hand-sanitizer or a change of gloves might be a good idea if one of them looks really bad before handling another.

Ditto on the NEVER put tomato parts into compost. I have put tomatoes (the fruit from mega costo packs) in compost and have tomato weeds coming up all over the place. If it isn't too late, keep them away from potatoes. They are cousins and swap problems.

All the best to you, your growing family and this gardening adventure you are on!
Deborah.... welcome!
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