Sunday, June 1, 2008

Oh Tomato, Are You O.K.

I purchased these 2 Tomato Plants from the Farmers Market a few weeks ago. They were only $1.00 a piece and were about 10 inches tall. These Tomato Plants are weird I think. Some days the leaves will be bright green and looking really good, then other days the leaves look like this, wilted not to green and almost dead looking.

There are Tomatoes being produced right now for the first time. The only problem is they are all cracking. I have never grown Tomato before so I don't have an answer for this. I am hoping that you can help me. My Tomatoes are in full sun and get watered in the morning and at dusk. Do you think I have a Tomato problem? Is this some kind of disease? Here are the pictures for you to decide. Please help, I really want to grow some great tasting Tomatoes.


Nancy J. Bond said...

According to my Dad (a long time tomato grower), this is usually caused by irregular watering. But you've said you water every day, morning and night, so you wouldn't think that would do it. I do hope you find a solution, though!

misti said...

It's really almost the end of tomato season for Florida. Mine are waning and most have come down. But yeah ours did crack with inconsistent watering.

Wicked Gardener said...

I was going to say make sure it has enough shade, which will help the plant retain water. You can also try mulching the pots which helps me retain moisture in potted plants.

Helen said...

If you were in the UK I would say that its a lack of water but I suspect its a case of the plants drying out too much between watering. Perhaps you should move them to a more shady area. Once the toms are green you can pick them and ripen them on a window sill - or put a banana in the bowl with them as that helps

Lets Plant said...

Thank you for all of your input. I guess it would be drying out between waterings. The spot they are in is very sunny, I put them there because I thought the more sun the better. I will move them and see what happens. There is a tomato season in Florida? I we could grow just about anything at just about any time. Thanks again for all of your help!

ldybug said...

Temps need to dip(I think 75) at night for fruit to set. The extreme heat renders the pollen sterile. So, during summer, I always make the mistake of growing huge tomato plants that flower but never produce fruit.

Stacy said...

No, no tomato season in Florida. We grew Romas from April to November last year.

Try watering in the middle of the day, and mulching the pots to help them retain moisture. Clay pots will also retain more moisture than plastic.

Oh, and never use Miracle Grow on them...waaay too much nitrogen in that mix.

Stacy said...

ldybug: Tomatoes will set new fruit below 92 degrees. No particular nighttime temp requirement, just can't get OVER that during the day.

Sanibel Treehouser said...

Hey --- wonderful wonderful site you have here and I'm saying this as a fellow fledging gardening enthusiast.

Have you thought that maybe you might have an ugly tomato breed, i.e. a heirloom tomato varietal? They tend to look like this, well, "ugly" but it may not mean there's anything wrong with them.

Otherwise, the brown cracking could be caused by sun-scorching, i.e. too much afternoon sun. Maybe your tomato patch is in the afternoon sun?

You can prevent it in 2 ways:

1) Once you get a plump (predominantly green, just starting to turn red) fruit, wrap it up loosely with clear plastic (Not cling-wrap 'eh). AS it continues to ripe, the plastic creates a humid atmosphere to help it retain moisture and also to prevent direct contact with the sun.


2) When fruit is just turning red and beginning to ripe, snip it off (with stem intact) and let it ripen indoors gradually.

The advantage of (1) of course, is that as the fruit ripens, it continues to get nutrients from the plant. Not so for (2).

Either way, you get a prettier fruit.

Hope it helps!


Lets Plant said...

Thanks so much for all of your input. I will move them into a less afternoon sunny spot and mulch the pots. I am going to come up with an automatic irrigation system for them so they are watered at exact times everyday. I do water them but not at the same times. I appreciate all of your help very much thank you!

Mick said...

Apart from the watering problem mentioned by others I think that the pots they are in look way too small IMHO.
If you can't put them directly into the ground I'd go for a 5 gallon bucket (at least), support them with a cage or firm stake and feed them a liquid fertilizer such as fish emulsion every couple of weeks. For container growing choose determinate varieties which tend to grow more "bushy" rather than indeterminates which are true vines and grow all over the place.

Just my 2 cents :-)

Lets Plant said...

Thanks Mick, I didn't think the pots were to small because they were in 1/2 gallons when I bought them and I immediately re-potted them into 3 gallons. But I will get them into some 5 gallons asap.

John said...

I would also suggest larger containers and perhaps a move to a location where they get their sunlight during the morning and avoid the really scorching afternoon Sun. Great blog!