Ask a Question forum→Please help, what is wrong with my tomato plants?

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Colorado
000jessicab000
Jun 12, 2020 7:20 PM CST
Hello,
I live in Colorado and am pretty new to growing tomatoes. I bought these heirlooms as little sprouts and have kept them indoors under a grow light (1 month) until the last frost. I recently plants them outside in self-watering containers (water reservoir is underneath the soil and I fill it so the tomato's can take water as they need it). They had liquid fertilizer with the person I bought them from, but I haven't fertilized since then. However, when I transplanted them, I bought new soil with fertilizer and I put a "Jobe's Fertilizer spike" in the soil next to each tomato plant. I have been watering the plants regularly, but they are failing to thrive. I don't think it's disease— I think it must have something to do with nutrient deficiency or toxicity. PLEASE HELP! I'm so worried they'll die!


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Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
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oneeyeluke
Jun 13, 2020 12:03 AM CST
You have way too much wood in the soil mix and its tying up the nitrogen. In order for wood or any organic matter to break down it has to have nitrogen to do so. If you add a lot of organic matter to the mix, it will take away the nitrogen from the tomatoes.
NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Jun 13, 2020 12:15 AM CST
Welcome!

What kind of potting soil did you use? Brand name and type.

How many and what size jobes stakes did you add?

How wet is the self-watering pot keeping the soil?

Please don't add more fertilizer until we figure out what the problem is.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Jun 13, 2020 2:02 AM CST
Too much fertilizer and not enough sunshine!
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Colorado
000jessicab000
Jun 13, 2020 10:25 AM CST
Thank you for the responses. These are the things that I used. What should I do? Dig them up and replant/buy new soil?


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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jun 13, 2020 10:37 AM CST
Too much fertilizer. If you can find the Jobe's stakes, take them out. The best you can do for them now is when you water, let water run through the container for a few minutes to try to flush some fertilizer out. The damage is done, repotting will not fix that. Don't fertilize again.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Colorado
000jessicab000
Jun 13, 2020 11:35 AM CST
Thank you again for responding. I just found out some things about the miracle grow soil. I looked up reviews and many of them have had similar issues. This is one of the reviews, and their tomatoes look just like mine. Do you think with this info, I should buy different soil and replant them in new soil?
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jun 13, 2020 12:00 PM CST
I use Miracle Gro and have never had any problems but, I also make sure the soil is wet before I plant. Peat Moss, the first ingredient, will burn the roots right off plants if its not well hydrated before you use it. The Jobe's plant stakes are very strong and the fertilizer released is very concentrated in one spot. The roots affected will get an overdose while the roots the stakes aren't near won't get any fertilizer at all. That's why I suggested you try to find the remains and get rid of them. If you know where you put them, maybe scoop out a couple inches worth of soil and replace it.

The plants are damaged, replanting them won't undamage them but they might recover if left alone. I personally would hold on tight and flush the planters every time I watered.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Colorado
000jessicab000
Jun 13, 2020 1:12 PM CST
Okay! I found the Jobes spikes and there was about half of a spike left by each of the plants. I removed them and won't fertilize again! It's tough to not do something right away because I want to make them better, but I will leave them alone and keep soaking while I water. I appreciate everything you have told me!
Port d'Envaux, France (Zone 9a)
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JBarstool
Jun 13, 2020 1:46 PM CST
I think DaisyI and BigBill are spot on - and I would add two things...if your plants were indoors under a grow light and then suddenly planted outside they deserve to suffer from a little shock (I didn't see how long ago you moved them outside and am assuming you did not acclimate them to the harsh real-world first). Then - I say quit watering your plants, and hope for sunshine and warmth. A plant that is struggling to acclimate and get its roots established is going to sulk a while...but their job is to grow and likely will bounce back. Sometimes I think the word gardener is just a euphemism for executioner. Well, in my garden anyway.
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