Return to the Vegetable Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

Posted by megret7 none (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 18, 11 at 11:46

Hi there --
I prepped my raised bed last week and have been hardening my seedlings/small vegetable plants for over a week. Saturday I put them all into the ground. The cucumbers are doing great, as are the pepper plants.

The tomato plants, however, are wilting/drooping. They are still green, they just won't stand up. They are about 3" high, so I was told they were plenty ready to transplant. They have adequate water and the soil was pre-prepared with fertilizer specifically for tomato plants. I have them loosely tied to small sticks to act as stakes to hold them up, but the leaves are still leaning and laying over; if the stakes weren't there one plant in particular would be almost lying in the dirt.

This hasn't happened the previous two years, so I'm scratching my head on this one. Any ideas? (And can the wilting plants be saved?)

Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

I always water transplants with a fish emulsion fertilizer to avoid transplant shock. Also, did you harden them off? They might not be able to take strong sun, wind, etc yet. I usually put my newly purchased vegetable plants in my garden cart to wheel in and out of the garage to harden off. I don't leave them out very long the first couple of days. Also, try to transplant on overcast or rainy days.


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

I did harden them off for several days, toting their pots in and out of the garage. The only thing I can think of is that it got quite windy the afternoon after I planted...

I've attached a link to a photo of the worst looking of the three plants...

Here is a link that might be useful: Wilting tomato seedling


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

How much of a soil ball did your plants have?? I would think that a good solid ball that stays together would not have wilting plants unless something is remiss.
Still I would think that the plants could have used a little longer time in growing and hardening before setting out.


 o
Tomatoes

Postscript: At this point I would cover them for a couple days with large plastic containers turned upside down over them....will do a lot more for them than propping up.


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

You shouldn't transplant so early. Evening is the best time, so they have time to recover before being exposed to full sun.


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

megret - you have wilting tomatoes and wilting radishes. Could there be something wrong in your soil? Could it be over-fertilized?


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

megret7 -

In my experience, wind just after transplanting can be far more damaging that intense sun/heat/cold. Where are you located (you may want to add your location and zone)? If you are anywhere between Philadelphia and Rochester (probably beyond), the wind was really, really strong yesterday and could easily do that kind of damage.

As Taz said, planting in the evening in best, but I also cover my plants for the first few days with a cut off 1g water bottle, especially if it is windy.

I hope they recover,
Bellatrix


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

Yes wind may be more damaging than direct sun after transplant but putting them both together could spell disaster.


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

I live in SC. We had a cool front move through Sat. and Sunday, thus the wind (temps never got below 60, though).

I planted on a similar day last year and the year before, so that's what has me so confused.

I had considered the overfertilization, but I followed the package directions (even put a little less than recommended) -- then worked it into the soil well before planting. It is an organic fertilizer specifically for vegetables and tomatoes.

The root balls were okay -- I had about 2-3 plants per terra cotta pot, so I couldn't just remove the entire pot's contents/soil ball and plant it undisturbed; I had to separate the plants. Maybe that's the problem.

I really hope I can perk them up. They are cherry tomatoes -- I can buy nice strong tomato plants from the local produce stand but they're slicing size.

I will try covering them with plastic containers.


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

You want to harden off outside, in sunlight. Hardening off includes to UV light.

Dan


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

The two and three plants per terra cotta pot jumped out at me. They look like plants that sustained some root damage during transplant. Sometimes very rootbound plants or plants with immature root systems do that, especially with wind right after transplant. Basically, they're wilting because they are loosing more water through their leaves than they can replenish through their roots. I don't think it is hopeless. Just protect them, make sure they have even watering (don't drown them, just don't let the roots dry out), and wait it out. I like the idea of protecting/shading them temporarily, too.


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

The wind did it.

The root systems are very small and dry out rapidly.
Wind (sun, too) makes the root ball dry out faster than normal.

Remedy:
1. Water the entire bed at planting.
2. Every day after that, sometimes several times per day early on, water directly at the rootball.
3. Rig temporary protection against direct sun and/or wind.

Caution: If you cover them with a cloche-like device, you could cook them on a sunny warm day.


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

Would you recommend covering with something like newspaper, or upside down translucent rubbermaid storage containers? I agree - - I don't want to cook them. It will be 86 degrees F here tomorrow!


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

The containers I had in mind are plastic pots that plants came in from the nursery. these have holes in them so they don't usually get so hot. If worried about heat, tip them up at an angle on one side by pushing the pot into the ground on the other side Choose which way to tip...usually open to north.


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

Is there a chance you damaged the stems when tying them to the stakes? Also check on drainage.


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

hi. Poor plants! i would think that they are done, but you never know....what zone are you in? right now i have my tomatoes, zinnias, impatiens, and strawflowers(which have EPLODED in size since i put them in there!) in a raised bed under a sheet of glass and the soil temp. is about 70 degrees F. even though the temp outside is about 55 degrees usually.

I'm sure you already know what you are doing, but i thought maybe it would help a little?


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

I'm in Zone 7.
Has anyone heard of simply covering during the hottest parts of the day with newspaper?


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

megret7 -

One thing about cherry type tomatoes is - they don't grow upright like regular toms, but sprawl. However, from the picture, I would have used some mulch - like grass clippings - in and around the poor thing to help keep the soil moist and cool, until the tad took hold. The surrounding rocks probably reflected too much heat and sun.

Just my 2 c's.

Bejay


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

I am in SC, too.
This spring we have had continuous wicked winds and bad storms.
I am experiencing quite a bit of wind burn and damage with my plants.
If I were you, I would try to create some shelter for any remaining plants until the wind settles down.
This is the windiest spring I can remember.


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting


One thing about cherry type tomatoes is - they don't grow upright like regular toms, but sprawl

That all depends on how you grow them. If staked or caged they can't sprawl and I've never let them sprawl. I grow them just like any other Ind.
There are also Det. cherries which don't sprawl.


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

Hi megret,
Everyone's advice has been good, I would add (if too late for this year,then next years advice would be), plant them deeper, I can't tell by that pic,but it looks like you had a really tall,leggy transplant,that was already set up with "two strikes against it", if any of them are still surviving,pack dirt all around them ,all the way up to the leaves...1/2" gap, they like to be planted deep , and it will help them root quicker too.


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

Maybe the type of tomatoes that I grow - golfball-size, are a bit different than most. They will put out growth to 20-30 feet sometimes, that would take a heck of a large cage.

Our spring weather fluctuates from cold to hot in a single day - so I'm using some large cardboard boxes to put up some makeshift tents. That might be a help to newly planted toms too.

Just my 2 c's.

Bejay


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

30 feet?


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

So just to recap, hardening off is not done in the garage.

Personally, some of mine go under a pine tree that provides partial sun, gradually moving to more sun. The others go in the coldframe with a row cover over the top. Plants must be accustomed to the sun gradually. Wind can be dealt with by turning a fan on them before planting out to get them used to it and setting them out properly when properly hardening off.

Dan


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

30 feet? - well give or take a few - all over my back yard! Maybe I exaggerated a bit - but not too much.

Most of my tomatoes are started in yogurt cups, put into plastic shoebox size containers. When I harden them off, they are put outside under a shade tree with another shoebox placed on top (mini-greenhouse).

I realize we can grow year-round in our weather, but tomatoes, peppers, etc., still need special care when putting them outside.

Bejay


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting


Maybe the type of tomatoes that I grow - golfball-size, are a bit different than most. They will put out growth to 20-30 feet sometimes

Tomato size is mostly genetic. A longer season and bigger plant doesn't mean larger fruit. In fact an older plant produces smaller fruit IME.
Just what variety is this supposed to be?


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

The variety is unknown to me. They were volunteers found on the property when we moved here. I save seeds every year from the best and largest tomatoes that produce, then start seedlings from them the following year.

They are large cherry tomatoes, indeterminate in growth. Sorry I can't be more specific.

I've never grown a "determinate" type cherry tomato.

Bejay


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

Thanks for all of your responses. Unfortunately, those three tomato plants didn't survive.
I have two more still in my garage I will put out in their place, as well as one more I'll buy from the produce stand (slicing style tomatoes).

I will plant them deeper as recommended, too, and harden them off a bit longer this time.

Thanks, all.


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

Harden them off properly too, outside.

Dan


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

If you pile dirt around the two in your garage...they'll be a whole lot sturdier & try not to transplant them until they're a healthy 6-8 inches tall...just my opinion.

Good luck.


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

Megret, have you tried tomatoes again this year? Found this site because my newly transplaned seedlings are wilting however I know I disrupted the root system by breaking two seedlings apart to plant in bigger pots.


 o
RE: Newly transplanted tomato plants wilting

I just planted my garden this morning. 6 seedlings that all came in the same pot are struggling---I am assuming root damage but who knows. Ironically, I have very young seedlings with not much of a root system that seem no worse for the wear. On that note, maybe it is hardening off issue.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Vegetable Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here