Tomato plant wilting

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A couple of weeks ago I planted out my tomato plants into containers on a south facing patio. Now I've noticed one of the plants is wilting. It seems to recover if moved into shade. It's ok for water. Anyone an idea what could cause this. I've read about virus's causing wilting, but usually its describing the symptoms at a later stage in the plants growth. The plant is only about 30cm tall, and I've used fresh compost from the garden center, although the cheapest 'compost' I could buy. Thanks, Alan.
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How wide is the pot at the top, and how tall is it? Is there a dish under the pot? If YES, is it the kind that's attached with little plastic tabs? If YES, can you see whether there's standing water in it? Is the soil damp, moist, or soaked?

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It's actually not a pot but a wooden container holding 3 plants, 3ft x 1.5ft approx with a good 15" soil. So there's no dish needed, there are holes enough. I have other plants in far smaller clay pots and they're fine. Infact at the moment they are all fine except this one plant. In previous years I've had the wilting problem with certain plants but later when the plants have fruit, and it was blossom end rot that was the problem. Could it be the same virus, but at such an early stage?
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This isn't a decisive answer, but I've never had young tomato plants wilt, and sometimes, when mine are still in six packs or tiny pots before being moved to their final destinations, they've been horribly abused (forget to water for a day, etc). They still seem bulletproof. That's why my first reaction was to question whether yours might be waterlogged.
Other than wilting, any other discolorations or telltale signs of trouble?
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No other than wilting it's fine. It really seems to be the sun that's causing the wilting, since since the sun shade's been over it today it's recovered. Strange that just the one plant of the three in the container should wilt. It's meant to be hot the next few days (32C) so I'll observe for wilting. I thought tomatoes can withstand full sun. Or do they do better with it filtered? Maybe they have to get hardened to the sun. Being such small plants I'm sure it's not a watering problem. I'm suspecting this blossom rot virus since I've had it before. Didn't think it started as soon after planting out as that though. Only other thing could be that something's eating the roots, though as I say it was fresh compost.
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Hey....you just gave yourself a clue. :-) Did you grow these from seed yourself, or if they came from a garden center, were they on display someplace OTHER THAN right in the sun, like in a greenhouse where you might not have noticed that there was shading material on the glass? If so, then they might not be hardened off - ready for wind, sun, etc, and need to be introduced slowly.
As far as blossom end rot, I am not aware of that affecting the root system of tomatoes. It affects the fruit.
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I grew them from seed. Had them indoors for a while till they grew too big and then put them in a cold frame. They had to put up with several cold nights till 2 weeks ago (down to 2 or 3C), though I did cover them with some fleece. I could see from the leaves that they had suffered slightly from the cold, but now they all seem to be growing well. Maybe it's the sudden temperature swing within the last weeks that's causing the stress, and one of the plants is a wimp. With the plants that had blossom end rot, I'm sure they were wilting too. I seem to remember that the growing tips of a few of them just shriveled up. Maybe they had blossom end rot and some other virus in addition.
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Well, without doing some reading (which you can do), I have idea whether the organism that causes blossom end rot can cause symptoms even when there are no blossoms. Just cover all your bases. Do a soil test, maybe shade that plant for another week, slap it around a little if you think it's just being a wimp.
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OK, thanks for your suggestions. I'll try to protect them from the full sun and keep them evenly watered and see whether that helps.
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I'm not sure that blossom end rot is a function of a tomato virus. My own experience is that it is a symptom of unequal watering - too wet alternating with too dry. Some people have also said that it's a symptom of inadequate calcium uptake - and recommend adding some form of calcium to the soil. In any case, I don't think it's related to whatever's causing your small plant to wilt. The wilting problem sounds more like inadequate root system to take in enough water to keep up with the transpiration needed in the extreme heat you are experiencing. Even some well-established plants have trouble in the heat of the day. I have some foxglove that wilt every day during the midday hours when they are in direct sun. The rest of the day they are in partial to heavy shade and they perk up immediately.

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I got the same problem with a few of my plants. I have them in 8-10 " pots. It is supposed to be raining a lot today. Should I have taken them in? Also, is a cage necessary for cherry tomatoes? My plants are about 20" tall now but no flowers or anything. Should I worry? Someone told me its because I need to pollinate them with another plant?

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Assuming you're not talking thunderstorms, which might break the young stems, leave them out. Just make sure they DO NOT have dishes/trays under them. The water needs to drain out.

Yes, you need cages, unless you are absolutely positive you bought some sort of dwarf variety. Stakes sometimes work, but most self-respecting tomato plants become elephants, and need more support than they'll get from a stake. By Saturday or Sunday, I'll post pictures of some cages that are very easy to make. The ones you buy in the store are almost useless, although better than nothing.
By the way, your pots are too small. Many varieties of cherry tomatoes grow just as large as any other tomato plant. The weight of the vegetation will make the whole thing top heavy. You want pots that are at least 16-18" tall, and equally wide. The root system is one reason, and the other is that if you're away from home during the day, or longer, larger pots will stay moist longer.
Right now, go out, buy bigger pots, lots of nice potting soil, and repot them TODAY. Sooner than you think, the plants will be monsters, and harder to handle.

That's silly. The "somebody" is silly, too. The plants will have flowers soon. Tell your "somebody" friend to go pollinate with a lizard or something. :-)
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I agree most look too small for my hands or too little support for the plant. These is the only cages I ever bought and they are great. They are too expensive but they last. This is my third year with them and they show no signs of problems. They aren't rusting. I did find them cheaper somewhere else last year and bought another set. I may buy a third set this year.
I have no problem letting tomatoes plants grow wild in these cages. Last years biggest plant was about 12' high. Stacked cages are strong, although I always anchor them before windy september storms come. I also used this to support spaghetti squash(grown vertically-not a problem), cucumbers, & green beans.
I used two towers of these, one with a grape tomato the other cucumbers and later green beans. The cucumbers only filled the first cage. The green beans grew up the side of the cucumber cage then wound round the top cage. The tomato filled both cages. I strung cheap bamboo between the two and built support for shorter beans.
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 3rd year gardener http://photos.yahoo.com/ph/royalfrazier /
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If you have a very wet season you might want to do that, or fierce winds--since it si young still. But protecting plants too much form wind and elements makes them weak. That's why indoor seedlings have to be hardened before set outside.
I've never done tomatoes is less than 12x12x12" pots. I think Tomatoes will grow to whatever size root zone your provide. SO the smaller pot will limit the size /crop. Also the smaller the pot the more it needs watering and the hotter the root zone becomes. All tomatoes need stakes or cages. You can make them or buy them. Staked tomatoes usually need more pinching of the additional vines. With a good cage you just let the plant do its thing and train the vine into the cage. Only towards end of season do I pinch out the extras to focus attention on the remaining fruits.

DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 3rd year gardener http://photos.yahoo.com/ph/royalfrazier /
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Thanks all. Very helpful hints. The dumb guy at the garden centre told me to get the 8" pots so I did. Now I gotta go spend some more $$$. As for cage, waiting for pics of your homemade ones.

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In article south snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

Menards has/(had) those 20 gallon plastic utility tubs for sale for $3 each. Just drill holes in the bottom and you have a planter. They aren't the best looking planters (don't put them in front of your house :-) but if you can hide them they're big enough to grow full size tomato plants.
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Pictures of the tomato cages have been posted at this link: http://cards.webshots.com/cp-99330986-NASX-album/343915986jGrvsy
The only step I didn't complete was cutting holes to reach into the cage. Make holes at various levels, including near the ground so you can pick up fallen fruit. And, when you cut the holes, tie some bright colored ribbon near each one or it'll be tough to spot the openings in all the vegetation.

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Doug, I'm intrigued with your tomato cages. Do you know if they help out at all with keeping squirrels away from the tomatoes? I really don't wish to share my crop again this year.
Thanks!
LauraJ

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I've never had any kind of animal damage using these cages, and I have at least a million lawn rats living around my house. Hint: When you install the cages, rotate them hard against the soil until they dig their way down an inch or two. Or, use your trowel to dig a bit of a trench. Then, when you fasten the cage to the posts, be sure to make the wire ties very snug.

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Cool. Thanks a lot! Hopefully this will be the solution I've been desperately looking for.
LauraJ

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