container tomato growing

Last summer's container garden

Last week I started my container vegetable garden— well, just the tomatoes. I am conducting an experiment: comparing the Tomato Program from Classic Gardens in Centerpoint, AL and Easy Container Combos: Vegetables & Flowers (Pamela Crawford’s Contianer Gardening) (will be planting a container today).

Well, one of my tomato plants has given up and I am to blame. I used a root stimulator (according to the instructions) and some of the formula got on the leaves of my plants. I used a watering can that had a shower head which dispersed the mixture over the pot. It was difficult to keep the water from getting on the leaves because of “the way one should plant the tomatoes” (that is a link to a “tomato growing tips” article I wrote) –deep, with just the top leaves above the dirt.

The next morning I noticed dark spots on the leaves. The only thing that could have caused this was the root stimulator. I immediately showered the plants with clean water from the tap–hoping that any stimulator on the leaves would be washed off. That appeared to work because no more spots or leaf damage appeared.

Well, one week later, my brandywine tomato is wilting big time. The other plant is still upright and showing signs of new growth.

Lesson learned: do not let the root stimulator mixture get on the leaves of your transplants.

I will replace the dying brandywine with “sweet 100”.  I have heard good things about this variety. Or maybe a “lemon boy” tomato. It is one of my favorites.

Stay tuned.

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I know, you are thinking,” it is a yellow tomato plant.”  However, the leaves are not supposed to be yellow, too.

What to do? Go to my old standby http://www.Squidoo.com! I am somewhat of a “tomato expert”, but I do not know everything–well, actually, I cannot remember everything I read. (“Why remember information when you can go find it?” I say!)

As coincidence, I had just read a wonderful article by Suzy_T, “10 Tomato Plant Problems”.

Can you guess, my problem was at the top of the list!

That night a friend called me and said, “The leaves on my tomato plant are curling up! What does that mean?” I sent her the link to that very article.

Suzy_T wrote a wonderful lens (article in Squidoo language) about the ten most common problems you might have with your tomato plants. I have experienced them all. But, like I said, too often I cannot remember what I did about them.

When I first started growing tomatoes, I had some years of successes (accidental, I am sure) and some really bad years when I only got one tomato off a plant that I spent $2.00 for! I had given up–almost!

In 2008, I grew some really nice plants and had such fun learning how to do it correctly.

The next year, my garden was really turning out the tomatoes–in containers and in the raised be my hubby built. I even wrote several “lenses” about my experiences. (Grow Great Tomatoes in Pots!; My Small Vegetable Garden; Tomato Planting and Growing Tips and my very first The Best Tomato and Cheese Sandwich.)

My yellowing leaves are probably a result of low nitrogen. Suzy recommended I add manure or compost. I do not have a compost pile, so I bought some Moo-neur.

I also boughtBonide 931 Garden Dust on the recommendation of the article by Suzy_T:

I found some at my local Home Depot, but it was not in the “spray dust” bottle.  I wish it had been.  Instead I mixed 1 Tablespoon of the dust in 1 quart of H20 and sprayed it on my plant. (I had to look up the formula on a website).
We shall see. I hope the combination of the manure and the spray will do the trick.

Yellow leaves on tomato plant

What to do?

We shall see what happens. I had such luck with the Lemon Boy last year, I would hate to loose it.

Now, go dig in some dirt!

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