Troubleshooting with Banana Peppers and Cherry Tomato plants

ejh805(8b)June 1, 2012

So, I ended up purchasing a very healthy looking Husky Cherry (Bonnie) tomato plant at the store, and also a pretty big Sweet Banana Pepper plant.

The cherry tomato plant says that it is an intermediate, and is currently at about 1.5ft tall. The pepper plant is probably right under 4ft.

Currently the weather here has been in the low 90s/high 80's during the hottest part of the day, with nighttime lows between 65-75 degrees. They are both set out in full sun.

The tomato plant doesn't have any flowers on it. Am I right to think that it may not begin flowering and giving fruit until the nights begin getting cooler?

As for the pepper, there are no mature fruits on it as of yet, but it has lots of flowers and several small peppers starting to grow (from buds to about 1.5 inches in length).

For potting medium I used Miracle Gro potting soil mixed with a good amount of perlite and some sand. I'm going to be getting mulch later today. Still not sure what I will use. I mixed some bone meal into the soil following instructions on the box, and a little bit of time release fertilizer (osmocote- the kind with the pink top).

I planted the tomato deep, not 2/3rds deep, but buried several inches of the main stem. With the pepper I planted it level like with most things.

I watered them both very well after transplanting, and they are both staked and have cages. Sprayed both with a neem oil/water mixture this morning just to stave off any possible bugs or fungi wanting to set up camp.

Did the math,and each pot I'm using is about 9.5 gallons.

This is my banana pepper plant. With the closeup of the leaves, I showed the worst. Overall, the plant looks healthy. But because of the condition of several of the leaves, I'm hoping ya'll can help me identify the problem so it doesn't get a lot worse and kill the plant. I bought it yesterday from a big box store and it was in this condition in the "garden center". I'm hoping that my transplanting and fertilizing will with time, correct however they screwed it up.

This is my Husky Cherry Tomato plant. Purchased at same big box store. Was the healthiest looking on the rack, and it's one of the VF Bonnie Hybrid tomatoes (I believe). I'm hoping that ya'll can help me identify the issue with this one as well.

thanks in advance for the help!

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The tomato looks great!

I wouldn't worry too much about some yellow leaves near the bottom of a tomato, especially when it was transplanted recently. The rest of the plant looks great! Mine do that all the time. Eventually the plant drops those leaves anyway.

I'm not sure about the pepper plant. Hopefully someone here can help you with that one.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 7:28PM
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Chill. Plants look very good considering they are real plants, not plastic ones.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 3:10AM
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valentinetbear(z6 PA)

I don't know hot peppers at all, so can't help you there. I'm a little concerned that you don't have flowers yet on your cherry tomato. I'm 1.5 zones above you and we're starting to get flowers on all four varieties of tomatoes (grapes, patios, and two varieties of large tomatoes - so no cherry tomatoes to compare with.)

I'm not sure what you can do about that other than wait and see. It looks good.

Also, and this is probably nothing, but just in case, pull your Bonnie plants away from other tomatoes or peppers of any kind, if you're on the East Coast. Bonnie got hit with late blight a few years ago, it got worse the following year, and we've avoided them for the last two years, so I haven't kept up with if that problem is over. If you pull them away from other plants enough that they never touch, if the disease is still showing up, at least it can't spread to the other plants. (We didn't know, until it was too late, and the tomato with late blight touched a sweet pepper which touched the next and next and then on to the next two containers of tomatoes - wiping out our crop of both peppers and tomatoes for the second half of the season.) Just something to keep an eye open about. If you know the possibility is there, it might just keep it down to only one plant being affected. (And better chance that they resolved the issue.)

And, again, the tomato probably should be flowering by now, so I don't know what you can do with yours doing nothing still. It looks like it's in good condition, so I doubt it's anything you've done wrong.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 2:50AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

You have your plants in a very water-retentive medium, and over-watering will need to be guarded against judiciously. You're probably seeing the early effects of a medium that lacks sufficient O2 - so be very sure your plants need water before you DO water. If possible, I would make sure the container bottoms are below the soil line. This will put the earth to work as a giant wick and help rid the containers of the excess water.

Next time, you might consider a medium with better aeration/drainage. The sand you added actually compounds the water retention issue and decreases aeration. Please consider leaving it out next time. I think you'd be much better served, and could greatly increase your margin for grower error, by looking into making a soil that is based on a large fraction of pine bark. It comes with greater potential at a much better price, making it a pretty good value in my view.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2012 at 4:01PM
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