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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tomato Blues

For the past ten years or so, I have planted tomatoes in Earthbox containers. Most years, this has been a successful endeavor. Early in the growing season, I may lose a plant or two right after I plant the seedlings, but once we get through that, the plants grow six to eight feet tall and provide plenty of fruit.

Last year, the tomato blight struck hard. I probably picked a dozen edible tomatoes all summer. The rest were lost to the blight.

This year, things started off with a bang. I planted ten seedlings and they all took. There was no stopping their growth and it looked like it was going to be a great year for tomatoes.

One morning about three weeks ago, I noticed that all the leaves from top to bottom on one of the plants were curled up as if the plant was not getting any water. I water the plants every evening, so I knew that was not the problem. I inspected the plant for insects that may be causing the problem, but I found nothing.

I over watered that plant hoping to resuscitate it, but that did not help and the plant died.

A few days later, the exact thing happened to another plant, which was not next to the affected plant. I soon lost that plant, too.

This problem repeated itself over and over again during the last three weeks and this evening, I noticed my sixth plant suffering from the same fate. (That's plant Number 6 in the accompanying photo.) Six out of ten dead and I will not surprised if I lose them all.

I asked other gardeners including a tomato "expert" and they all shrugged their shoulders. I also researched the matter online, but except for lack of water as a cause, I did not find an answer.

I am clueless, not o mention bummed out.

If anyone has any ideas about what may be causing the problem, I sure would like to hear from you!

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