Sick Tomatoes In Pots (Buckets)

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Sick Tomatoes In Pots (Buckets)

Postby abrogard » Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:26 am

I grew some tomatoes from seed and got nice healthy plants. Two of them I planted out into buckets full of potting mix - a proprietary brand I bought - and those two are looking sick.

They have curled leaves and a general air of unhappiness.

I'll include photos of them and a photo of one seedling still in a seed tray to show the difference this morning - because some mornings everything is feeling crook, aren't they? But you can see here the seed tray plant is happy.

Anyone got any ideas for me to check out? I've thought only of watering faults of mine - I tend to overwater, I think. Can you overwater with a good loose potting mix? And food. I might have over fed them with soluble fertilizer, just maybe, not much chance but maybe.

Anyway, here's the pics:

IMG_0573.JPG
Old Droopy


IMG_0574.JPG
Poorest Specimen


IMG_0575.JPG
See Tray Plant
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Re: Sick Tomatoes In Pots (Buckets)

Postby greg.l » Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:26 pm

Do you have enough drainage holes in the buckets? if the water can't get away easily it is very easy to overwater them, or overfertilise.
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Re: Sick Tomatoes In Pots (Buckets)

Postby abrogard » Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:56 pm

Looks a bit like overwatering, does it? Or overfeeding? O.K.

I've got 12 10mm holes in the bottom of each bucket. Do you think that should be enough? 8 arranged as a cross - two lines of 4 crossing at right angles and the remaining 4 holes between the arms of the cross out on the edge.

I have failed this time to put any potsherds or rocks in the bottom of the buckets, which is what I usually do. I was out of them at the time I potted these on. Do you think that could be a significant thing?
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Re: Sick Tomatoes In Pots (Buckets)

Postby tam » Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:32 pm

Can you stand them on something to lift them up, to let the water drain better?
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Re: Sick Tomatoes In Pots (Buckets)

Postby abrogard » Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:23 pm

Yes. I'll give that a try. In fact I think I'll repot them and put stones in the bottom.
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Re: Sick Tomatoes In Pots (Buckets)

Postby gardenlen » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:10 am

maybe the medium may be leaving a bit to be desired for a medium suited to tomatoes, would also suggest either containers aren't full enough or big enough to promote the root system, might do better with cherry tom's? in containers. would need a good humusy medium that will hold enough moisture to allow for a once a week or twice a week watering.

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Re: Sick Tomatoes In Pots (Buckets)

Postby abrogard » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:43 am

Size of container is apparently not a problem at this stage, Len, judging by how well the seedling in a tray is doing. But maybe the medium is all wrong. It is proprietary potting mix. The seed trays have seed raising mix (sand + cocopeat) in them.

I'm short of space so try to use pots as often as I can. But I can find space for these. Still like to know the answer to the riddle though so's I don't make the same mistake again.

I won't water them until they're really drooping and I'll lift them up or repot to pots with stones in the bottom and we'll see if drainage is the problem.

When they reach the very jaws of death I'll drop them into a lovely warm home in the ground. Hopefully having solved the problem by then.

:)
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Re: Sick Tomatoes In Pots (Buckets)

Postby Cosmic » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:33 pm

When I started my heritage seed collection I planted 80 plants in buckets. But the difference is, I cut out the bottoms entirely. Tomatoes have a lot of root and can quickly become root bound. I placed the buckets on soil so that once the potting mix had done its job feeding the plant ( limited life) the roots could get into the soil. The buckets then act as guards and not the only growing area. I had great success this way. Not sure how to post pictures - do I need to upload them to something first? You might try cutting the bottoms out of the buckets with a stanley knife and putting them on soil. I have to figure how to get a photo up from my computer to here then I can show you the whole sequence.
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Re: Sick Tomatoes In Pots (Buckets)

Postby abrogard » Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:46 pm

Just click on 'upload attachment' while writing your post. Then search your hard drive to find the file you want to attach.

Then after it has it you get to click to put it 'online' or 'inline' or something. Put your cursor in your message at the place you want the photo to go and then click to 'put inline'.

Too easy.

Look forward to seeing the pics..

:)
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Re: Sick Tomatoes In Pots (Buckets)

Postby Cosmic » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:07 pm

bucketstom.jpg
OK trying now.
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Re: Sick Tomatoes In Pots (Buckets)

Postby Cosmic » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:11 pm

P1010471.JPG
BP1.JPG
BP2.5.JPG


Now I know how to do this I'll add a few more. First I have to find them unless this is enough to convince you!
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Re: Sick Tomatoes In Pots (Buckets)

Postby abrogard » Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:17 pm

That's brilliant. I like the look of it.

But what's the exact advantage? Why not plant straight into the beds? Either seed the beds or plant seedlings?

I think you are filling the bottomless bucket with potting mix while it is in position on the bed, right?

And then you seed that bucket of potting mix.

And it all grows there.

And you say when it has nourished itself as far as it can from the potting mix it then puts roots down into the plant bed.

So does that mean you don't feed them? Or you see some inefficiency or something with feeding plants in pots?
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