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Tomato Mania - Plant Problems

Tree Branch

This is certainly a page no tomato grower ever wants to have to visit. If you have to visit this page, you are having a problem with your tomato plants. So, we are hoping you have come to this page to learn how to avoid problems growing tomatoes.

The Problem: Probable Cause/Treatment:
Seeds don't sprout Old seeds, not viable.

Soil too cold. Add bottom heat., use a germination mat.

Seedlings fall over, cut at the base of the soil Most likely cause is Damping Off disease.

Let  the top of the soil dry between watering. Add air circulation and more sunlight.

Seedlings long and leggy Not enough sunlight. Move trays from window to window to catch more sunlight. Set outdoors on warm days. Use a grow light overnight.
Bushy plants, no flowers or fruit If your plant is all plant, chances are you have fertilized to heavily with a high nitrogen fertilizer.

Stop using nitrogen fertilizers just before the flowering stage. Add potassium to promote blooms.

Healthy plants with flowers, no fruit set The most frequent cause is poor pollination due to high heat. Highs in the 90's or above can cause this problem.

As soon as a cool spell arrives, the problem will be resolved.

Ugly brown spot on bottom of fruit Blossom end rot is caused by uneven watering and/or lack of calcium in the soil.

Keep soil moist, deeply water. Check calcium levels. Add liquid chelated calcium if needed.

More on Blossom End Rot

Leaves, yellow and spotted The most likely cause is a fungal disease caused by a combination of moisture on the leaves, heat, and high humidity.

Use a fungicide before problems occur. Water directly to the roots. If you do use overhead sprinklers, use early in the day to allow the leaves to dry before nightfall. Thin plants to improve air circulation.

Powdery white stuff on leaves Most likely caused by Powdery Mildew.

Apply fungicides. Use fungicides before hot weather begins to prevent powdery mildew. 

Stem cut off at/near soil level. Most likely caused by cutworms.

Use pesticides effective against cutworms.

Tomato skin is splitting Too much water all at once. This commonly occurs  when a period of drought is followed by periods of heavy rains. It's also caused by infrequent watering.

Improve drainage. Water regularly and deeply.

Important note: Use pesticides and fungicides as directed by the label on the container. Keep the container away from children.

Tree Branch


More Information:

Plant problems - how to identify and cure plant problems

Garden Recipes - Find Tomato recipes and garden recipes galore!


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