Tomato plant tops turning 90 degrees!!

edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)June 15, 2011

This is my first year growing in containers. I have 8 tomato plants growing in 511, in containers of various sizes....5 gallon to 20 gallon. They are growing well except today I noticed that the tops of the plants....at least half of them, have a curious defect. The tops have taken a 90 degree bend to the south. They are not just leaning over, it's definitely a growth issue. They are different tomato varieties, so it must be something about the container growing medium, conditions, etc. that is making them do this. I could post a photo if necessary. Has anybody else had their tomato tops turn like this?

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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Are the tomatoes staked or caged? They are vines that will go every which way if you don't train them. Photos would help a lot.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 6:41PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

They will be caged, but haven't grown big enough to put the cages on yet. I've got thin bamboo stakes at the moment. I've grown tomatoes for years and have never seen anything like this. I'll try to post a photo tomorrow.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 10:13PM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

Have you asked the folks in the Growing Tomatoes forum?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 12:28PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

Do you mean south ? or downward ?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 9:13PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

In case you don't know how to post a photo, there's a Garden Web FAQ on that.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to post a photo

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 9:18PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Thanks everyone. I have just been too busy to get the photo posted. I took the picture, but just can't get the 10 minutes to get to the computer. I'm typing this from work. Hopefully I will soon. The tops are not turned down, just 90 degrees, and all in the same general Southerly direction. Since they are in containers, I figured I'd start at this forum. To be continued.........I hope.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 10:32PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

OK.......so I finally got a minute to post the photo. The top is not just leaning over....it's stiff as a board and is growing this way, along with several others. If all the plants were the same kind of tomato I might think the seeds were defective, but it's happening to different ones, which makes me think that it's something I did.

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    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:15AM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Did they get top heavy and run out of steaks to tie them to?

I've never had a tomato do this, and I've grown many! 10 yrs worth in containers, about 5 plants or more a year.

Where are they in the yard? Stretching for sun?

It is odd, but I can't imagine how it would be container related.

I'm curious to see what others have to say.

A friend of mine is using the topsy turvy and they are turning up, I figured reaching for the sun.

JoJo

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:49AM
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terrybull

any weed killer in the area?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 1:13PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

No weed killer. They get full sun, and are around our pool. The only thing I can think of is overwatering, or over fertilizing. A few are doing this but not as severely, and most are fine. They are not top heavy and running out of stake. If that were the case I would just tie them up and straighten them. There's no straightening this one, it's locked in place. Even though the tops are weird, the plants are healthy with thick stems, and branching out like crazy. I've also got potatoes, peas, muskmelons, watermelons, peppers, and beans growing in the 511, and they are doing really well. The bell peppers lagged a little, but are catching up. I'll be picking peas for the next few days.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 10:50PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

Rotate the container 1/2 turn ,and see if they are just following the sun

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 3:21AM
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terrybull

"which makes me think that it's something I did"
"or over fertilizing"

over fertilizing might be the answer to the proplem.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 9:54AM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Thanks all for the replies. I will try rotating the container. Happy growing.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 10:25PM
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