The Q&A Archives: how to keep tomato plants-planted in large pots-healthy, and growing good?

Question: we have planted 3 tomatoes-they were given to us, so i'm unsure of the variety they are-in large flower pots (the labels say they hold 17 qts of soil). The plants looked really good for about a month, now the lower leaves are yellowed, and curling inwards. we thought they weren't getting enough water, but giving them more water has not helped. they each have about 9 tomatoes on them, with the lower ones being good size vegetables, and the others seem to be doing okay too. do i worry about the leaves looking bad, or is there something that i should be doing to make them healthier? Any help you could offer would be great....oh, we are located in the mohawk valley in upstate ny if that helps at all...thanks in advance....lisa

Answer: Unfortunately, based on your description I am not able to tell you exactly what is wrong with your plants. Typically yellowing at the base of the plant indicates overwatering, this can happen with a container plant if the soil is not a well drained mix, or if the drain hole in the bottom of the container becomes clogged, or if the container sits in a saucer that is holding excess water so the soil becomes saturated. Since the plants were fine up until now, I would not expect watering to be the problem. Tomatoes may suffer a a number of potential disease problems that can cause foliage symptoms and it is nearly impossible to diagnose them long distance. So I would suggest you consult with your county extension to try to obtain a firm diagnosis. Good luck with your plants!

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