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Tomato Plant Problems

Growing tomato plants doesn't always go without a hitch. Are you having problems with your tomato plants? Hopefully, you will find the answers and the "Fix" right here.

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

Soil too cold.

Add bottom heat., use a germination mat.

Plant seeds very shallow.

See Seed Sprouting Problems

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 are 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.

More on Leggy Plants

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.

More on Pollination problems

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. 

More on Powdery Mildew.

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

Use Tomato Plant Collars.

Use baits specifically 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.

Also, see:

Tomato plant disease resistance codes - selecting disease resistant varieties, will help produce a  better crop.

Garden Tomato Recipes: May we suggest:

Garden Seeds & Supplies

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