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May 17, 2018 4:51 AM CST
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I'm having an issue with my tomatoes. I need to know if this is temporary or if this is a deal breaker and I should rip it out and try again.

A friend gifted me one of the ones he started from seed that he saved from last year. Unfortunately, he did not tell me what variety it was because he didn't know. He just liked the flavor.

It's planted in a 5 gallon container filled with Miracle Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix. I applied Epsom salts. I'm on a second floor balcony that gets full sun. Temperature ranges have been in the upper seventies to 90 degrees F for the past week in the day, lower seventies at night.

No signs of pests so far. All new growth is affected from top and bottom.

A few flower buds have appeared and appear normal.
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May 19, 2018 8:27 AM CST
Name: Ed
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Beekeeper Vegetable Grower Tomato Heads Enjoys or suffers hot summers Solar Power Seed Starter
Region: Alabama Garden Procrastinator Container Gardener Butterflies Birds Bee Lover
@jwhite1083, welcome to the forum!!!

I'm not sure what to tell you about your tomato problem. It could be disease or pesticide damage. I would probably pull them and pick a healthy seedling up and replant...hoping it's not something in the potting soil or a disease that may have infected the soil. As curled as they are I'd think they're only going to be problems from here out.

When saving tomato seeds you have to treat them with a fermentation process that gets rid of the "pulp" surrounding the seed but that also kills pathogens/disease that may be infecting the seeds. Your friend not knowing what type of tomatoes these are makes me think that he may not have fermented the seeds properly. But, the problem could be something else entirely.

If you're interested in raising tomatoes to eat and want a strong plant with some disease resistance pick up a hybrid. Big Beef, Big Boy, Better Boy, Goliath, Beefmaster, etc., are all common hybrids that taste pretty good and do well. Right now my Big Beefs seem to be outperforming some of the other varieties that I have planted and it has a good old-tomato taste to it.

So, yes, before the season goes much further you may want to pull that one and start over with a possibly a hybrid seedling....home centers, Walmart, etc., usually carry Bonnie Plants which are usually healthy seedlings. Smaller local growers/greenhouses may also have healthy seedlings available. I've never really had an issue with plants from Bonnie, though.

One thing, though. If you replant and have the same problem I would ditch the Miracle Gro potting soil and try a different brand. With the overuse of pesticides (both herbicides and insecticides) these days I believe some of it is beginning to find it's way into processed potting soils and soil amendments. I'm literally afraid to use local cow manure now due to the wholesale use of picloram on pastures and hayfields...the chemical easily ends up in cow manure.

When you replant you might want to mix in a tablespoon of epsom salt in the bottom of the planting hole an inch or two below the rootball. Maybe some finely crushed up eggshells.

Best wishes, be sure to let us know if you decide to replant and how that works out for you!!!
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