The Q&A Archives: Is Manure Wilting Tomato?

Question: Heirloom tomato is wilting rapidly in same type new pot and soil/sheep mix where cherry tomato is thriving. I'm worried whether the sheep manure may have been too "hot" for certain varieties. Can you recommend indeterminate variety for container tomatoes in my climate and tell me more about soil and amendments for them?

Answer: It's generally a good rule of thumb not to use manure in planting mixes because it can be too hot. It's best if composted first, or aged at least 6 months. Although it is interesting that your cherry tomato seems unaffected, so it could be something else causing the problem.

Tomatoes like rich, moist soil that's has plenty of organic matter and drains well. You're on the right track--I'd just recommend adding compost rather than manure. Tomatoes need nitrogen at the start of their growing for green healthy leaves. Try fish emulsion for an organic source of nitrogen. Phosphorous is needed to help flower and set fruit. Put it in the planting hole so it's ready for the roots to uptake. Bone meal is a good organic source of phosphorous.

I like Early Girl because it matures quickly within 59 days. I also like Yellow Pear (75 days) because it puts on jillions of fruit. Good luck with your tomatoes!

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