Yellowing on container tomatoes...?

MDutton(6a)May 5, 2013

I planted these two on the balcony last weekend... Both were purchased from a stand at the farmers market. Since planting, we've had 3 or 4 very sunny days near 80 degrees... And 2 or 3 days of cold rainy weather and about an inch of snow. Mother Nature has kept me on my toes!

I've noticed a little yellowing on the leaves within the last few days... My original thought was sun scald or heat damage (maybe they weren't hardened off enough?), but I'm also curious about cold damage... They're in big pots, and were covered with a plastic tote during the cold. They got some of the colder rain before the snow started.

I also have a pepper plant with some strange spots... But DH brought that one home from the grocery store looking pretty sickly, so it's been questionable from the start. LOL

All are growing in 511 mix with Osmocote Plus mixed in.

Any help is much appreciated!

Tomato, "Scarlet Red"

Tomato, "Celebrity Supreme"

Pepper. "Big Bertha"

Thanks again!

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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

It is probably environmental damage from sun, wind and/or cold, especially if they were not properly hardened off before planting. It seems early to plant tomatoes or peppers in zone 5, and snow is a pretty good indicator that you planted too early. Tomatoes and peppers need soil and night temps above 55 to grow. Below 50 they suffer.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 2:03PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I agree with Ohio.
To my eye, the tomatoes look a bit sun-bleached, rather than yellowed as one would notice on the lower leaves if the plants were over-watered. The pepper looks fine, given the weather conditions.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 3:10PM
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Ohiofem, I'm actually in Zone 6a, according to the USDA zone map... Using the tool in my profile on GardenWeb put me in zone 5. Apparently, we've recently changed zones? Sorry for the confusion!

The meteorologist on our local news station mentioned that Kansas City hadn't seen snow past the first of May in something like 140 years... Definitely an unwelcome surprise! It had been in the upper 70s the day before.

Regardless, I should've waited another week or so to put plants out, just to be safe. I'll definitely know better for next year. Do you think these will pull though, or should I start over with fresh transplants?

Many thanks in advance!


    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 12:33PM
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prestons_garden(9B SZ 22 HZ 6 SoCal)

Don't start over. Once the weather doesn't have extreme fluctuations, the plants will thrive. Hang in there.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 12:48PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I advise folks to stick with the zone they know...
too many people are re-zoning based on recent Weather patterns.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 3:15PM
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greenman28, what resource is best for determining zone?

My zone change wasn't of my own doing... The USDA map says zone 6a, based on my zip code. GardenWeb's widget says zone 5, based on the same zip code. It appears as though my zip code was affected when the USDA map changes happened for 2012. Is it wise to go by the new 6a guidelines? Or stick with zone 5? (Not trying to be snarky, just genuinely curious.)

I'm a Floridian by birth, and was transplanted here January of 2011... All of my adventures in gardening here have been learning experiences. I miss my orange trees. ;-) Gardening with four seasons (instead of Florida's two; "summer" and "tourist") is still somewhat of a mystery to me... Inconsistent zone assignments and wacky weather patterns are definitely not helping things.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 4:05PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I didn't mean to imply that *you'd* changed your zone ;-)
But, yes, I suggest you follow the formerly accepted zone guide-lines for your area. Better safe than sorry.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 5:44PM
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