Tomato problems - Knowledgebase Question

Kensington, CA
Question by amf551
August 19, 1999
Always in the past I have had wonderful tomatoes. This year I planted about five different varieties (plants from different nursies) and my production is poor, the tomatoes are hard, not juicy, and the leaves are folding inwards and looking sickly with some yellow leaves. The plants are in full sun and watered about twice a week. What is happening?


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Answer from NGA
August 19, 1999

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The shapes of tomato leaves vary depending upon variety. Some leaves are smooth and look like the leaves on potato plants and others are wrinkled and more 'tomatoey' looking. The weather can also have an affect on how leaves look. Unless the leaves are distorted, thick, or curl upward, I wouldn't be too concerned about their appearance. Yellowing leaves on tomato plants is quite common and can be caused by a variety of things, including transplant shock, over or under-watering and lack of nitrogen. Tomatoes like rich, moist soil that's has plenty of organic matter and drains well. Tomatoes need nitrogen at the start of their growing for green healthy leaves. Try fish emulsion for an organic source of nitrogen or use a balanced fertilizer, e.g., 10-10-10. Follow package instructions for application rates. Water well before and after applying.

Tomatoes are moisture sensitive and need a regular supply of water to thrive and produce fruit. How often to water depends on your particular soil's characteristics. You want to keep it uniformly moist, but not soaking wet, to a depth of 12-18 inches. I hope this information helps with your tomatoes!

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