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Good Tomato Bad Tomato

There are good tomato plants and bad tomato plants. A good tomato plant is a healthy one that has plenty of green foliage and possibly some emerging flower buds. This plant will probably yield a substantial number of tomatoes throughout the growing season. A bad tomato plant will have a whole assortment of problems such as yellowish foliage, dried leaves and possibly broken stems.

I happen to have two tomato plants on my patio and one is in very good condition and the other I am trying to nurse back to health. First let’s discuss what the good tomato plant looks like and how you maintain it.

Good Tomato Plant

The good plant has plenty of growth, two or three main shoots, a few tomatoes and several flower clusters growing. The leaves are deep green and have no signs of being dry such as wilting or any signs of significant spotting. This means that it is a good, healthy plant.

I am going to do some preventive maintenance on the plant to help assure that it does not develop major issues. First, remove any lower stems that touch the dirt in order to prevent any diseases from transferring. Second, remove any leaves that even start to look yellowish.

Next you want to get rid of any “suckers.” These are shoots that grow between the side leaves and the main stem. They will just drain away nourishment from the main plant for their own growth and you will not get any fruit benefit at all. Do not get excessive about it. I always remove the ones at the bottom third of the plant, because that also allows for better air circulation, which will dry the plant with the air flowing through and possibly avoid some diseases caused by excessive wetness.

Bad Tomato Plant

In contrast to the good plant, my bad plant has droopy, dry leaves that are getting brown at the tips. It has spots that are black and brown with yellow circles around them, which are early signs of a blight called septoria.

Septoria is caused by the fungus Septoria lycopersici and occurs on tomatoes worldwide. Septoria leaf spotting can occur at any stage of plant development. Symptoms may even appear on young greenhouse seedlings ready for transplanting or you might first see them on the lower, older leaves and stems when fruits are setting. You will find that most fungicides registered for use on tomatoes would effectively control the Septoria leaf spot.

Another problem in the lower leaves of my plant is a disease called verticillium wilt. Yellow blotches on the lower leaves are the first symptoms, then brown veins appear, and finally chocolate brown dead spots.

When you see problems like these on your leaves I recommend that you break them right off and get rid of them in order to try and stop the problems.

This plant also has a broken stem that I repaired with some duct tape, something like setting a broken bone, and then I supported it with the tomato plant cage. If you do this, the broken stems will gradually repair themselves and keep the nutrients flowing to the tomatoes.

Because of all these problems I am concerned about this plant’s yield and its’ longevity. I only have one tomato on this plant and maybe that is all I will get. I am going to try and help the plant recover because it is already quite large and our short growing season will not allow me to replace it so easily.

Directions

There are good tomato plants and bad tomato plants. A good tomato plant is a healthy one that has plenty of green foliage and possibly some emerging flower buds. This plant will probably yield a substantial number of tomatoes throughout the growing season. A bad tomato plant will have a whole assortment of problems such as yellowish foliage, dried leaves and possibly broken stems.

I happen to have two tomato plants on my patio and one is in very good condition and the other I am trying to nurse back to health. First let’s discuss what the good tomato plant looks like and how you maintain it.

Good Tomato Plant

The good plant has plenty of growth, two or three main shoots, a few tomatoes and several flower clusters growing. The leaves are deep green and have no signs of being dry such as wilting or any signs of significant spotting. This means that it is a good, healthy plant.

I am going to do some preventive maintenance on the plant to help assure that it does not develop major issues. First, remove any lower stems that touch the dirt in order to prevent any diseases from transferring. Second, remove any leaves that even start to look yellowish.

Next you want to get rid of any “suckers.” These are shoots that grow between the side leaves and the main stem. They will just drain away nourishment from the main plant for their own growth and you will not get any fruit benefit at all. Do not get excessive about it. I always remove the ones at the bottom third of the plant, because that also allows for better air circulation, which will dry the plant with the air flowing through and possibly avoid some diseases caused by excessive wetness.

Bad Tomato Plant

In contrast to the good plant, my bad plant has droopy, dry leaves that are getting brown at the tips. It has spots that are black and brown with yellow circles around them, which are early signs of a blight called septoria.

Septoria is caused by the fungus Septoria lycopersici and occurs on tomatoes worldwide. Septoria leaf spotting can occur at any stage of plant development. Symptoms may even appear on young greenhouse seedlings ready for transplanting or you might first see them on the lower, older leaves and stems when fruits are setting. You will find that most fungicides registered for use on tomatoes would effectively control the Septoria leaf spot.

Another problem in the lower leaves of my plant is a disease called verticillium wilt. Yellow blotches on the lower leaves are the first symptoms, then brown veins appear, and finally chocolate brown dead spots.

When you see problems like these on your leaves I recommend that you break them right off and get rid of them in order to try and stop the problems.

This plant also has a broken stem that I repaired with some duct tape, something like setting a broken bone, and then I supported it with the tomato plant cage. If you do this, the broken stems will gradually repair themselves and keep the nutrients flowing to the tomatoes.

Because of all these problems I am concerned about this plant’s yield and its’ longevity. I only have one tomato on this plant and maybe that is all I will get. I am going to try and help the plant recover because it is already quite large and our short growing season will not allow me to replace it so easily.
 

Good Tomato Bad Tomato
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