Articles, Blog

Tomato Problems: Fix Issues Affecting Your Tomatoes

November 6, 2019


[Music] Homegrown tomatoes are something else –
beautiful rich fruits with the most divine aroma! But growing tomatoes successfully
depends on avoiding some of the common pitfalls that can trip you up
along the way. Knowing exactly what to expect and what to do about it will greatly improve your chances
of a terrific crop of tomatoes. In this video, we’ll look at how to troubleshoot
some of the most common tomato problems. Aphids and whiteflies are regular
visitors from early summer. They often congregate in large numbers, sucking sap from your plants and leaving their sticky excrement or ‘honeydew’ on the
foliage. Some types also transmit plant diseases. Small infestations can simply
be blasted off with a jet of water, or try spraying plants with a solution of
soapy water, taking care to reach leaf undersides. To minimize potential problems,
attract pest predators such as ladybugs and hoverflies by planting flowers close by –
marigolds are a great choice. You can even buy these predators ready to introduce
into enclosed environments such as a greenhouse. Warm dry, conditions
are perfect for spider mites which, like aphids and whitefly,
can quickly weaken plants. Look out for their faint webbing. Peer closer and you may be able to see
the tiny, usually red, mites. Spider mites love drought-stressed
plants, so don’t let your tomatoes dry out. If spider mites do attack, spray the
foliage with a fine mist of water, insuring you reach all parts of the
plant, then cover the plant with a row cover for a few days to create the shady,
humid conditions that repel the mites. Many parts of North America are prone to
tomato hornworm, a caterpillar that chews holes into tomatoes. Check plants regularly for any signs of damage,
and remove and destroy any caterpillars you find. Cocoons like this are great news. They belong to braconid wasps, which
feed on hornworms to bring them under control. Late blight strikes during spells of
warm, wet weather. Foliage, and then the fruits, become covered in brown blotches. Eventually the plant simply wilts and collapses. Late blight also affects potatoes,
which are related to tomatoes. Blight is rare on indoor tomatoes, so grow plants under cover
if it’s been a problem in the past. Keep the foliage dry by watering at
the base of plants, and remove and destroy any infected plants
as soon as you spot the first signs of blight. You can also grow varieties
described as blight resistant. Blossom end rot is a disease caused by dry
conditions at the root zone and a shortage of calcium. Fruits form sunken black patches
at the blossom end of the fruit. Insure your tomatoes have enough
water at all times, and feed them regularly with a liquid tomato
fertilizer. This is the best way to guarantee your plants are getting
all of the minerals and nutrients they need for healthy growth. Pay particular attention to plants in confined spaces
such as pots or growing bags. Irregular watering often leads to split fruits,
when a sudden rush of water causes the fruits to swell quicker than the skin surrounding them. Instead of leaving soil to completely dry out
between each watering, aim for consistent soil moisture. Water regularly, and mulch tomatoes with plenty of
organic matter to keep roots cool and moist. Mineral deficiencies usually show up in the
leaves first. Magnesium deficiency such as this is the most common form, and often arises as a result of
high potassium levels. To correct the deficiency,
spray a solution of epsom salts directly onto the foliage then switch to a tomato feed
that contains a high proportion of magnesium. Plants can wilt when the soil is either too wet or too dry. Too wet and the roots literally
drown, while very dry soil won’t supply plants with all the moisture they need. Pay close attention to watering. Containers of tomatoes should have good-sized
drainage holes at the base so that excess water can drain out. Raise containers up onto pot feet
if water doesn’t drain away easily. In all cases,
water generously when it’s dry or set up an irrigation system if you can’t
be there to water. Later on in the season, mature plants with lots of foliage
may need watering twice a day. [Music] Poor fruit set – when flowers fail to
produce fruits – is a very common problem. A lack of bees, excess heat, very dry or
humid air, and poor nutrition are all possible causes. Make sure pollinating insects such as bees
can reach plants growing in greenhouses and tunnels. Improve pollination by simply twanging or tapping
on supports to dislodge the pollen, or gently twiddle the flowers between your
fingers. Provide as much ventilation as possible in hot weather. If your climate’s also very dry,
raise the humidity around plants with regular watering and make sure to feed your plants regularly
with either an off-the-shelf tomato feed or a homemade high-potassium liquid fertilizer
such as comfrey tea. Don’t be put off
by all these potential problems. So long as you know what you’re looking
at, and react quickly, your tomatoes are very likely to recover. Now, please do let us know about any other
tomato problems you’ve experienced in the comments section below,
and how you got around them. We’d also love you to subscribe for more
handy how-to videos so you can really get the most from your growing. I’ll catch you next time. [Music]

68 Comments

  • Reply Gary G July 28, 2017 at 10:33 am

    I have just removed a Tomato moth caterpillar from one of the plants in my greenhouse.

  • Reply Sandra Moran-Jewett July 28, 2017 at 11:11 am

    A friend of mine taught me to use chewing tobacco when planting tomato seedlings in the ground to detract the horned worm or tomato worm from the tomato plants. It has always worked well.

  • Reply Emma T July 28, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    tomato leaf curl virus. Havent got around it yet :-((((

  • Reply PhxtoNash July 28, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    I have use an old electric toothbrush to help pollinate my tomatoes before it worked very well. But I'm sure there's many other ways to have similar results cheers

  • Reply Laura Gray July 28, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    I would like to know how to rehydrate the soil around the plant without the toms splitting

  • Reply Edgley Cesar July 28, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Great video.
    First time planting tomatoes and so far none of these problems. Phew!

    I'd love to see you making a video on spring greens (what the Americans call collard greens).
    Most videos on the web are with the US climate in mind so would love to see one for the UK conditions.

  • Reply Greg Sims July 28, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    Just battled the ugly horn worm. Within a few day, they nearly decimated my 36 plants. After manually killing over 100 in 2 days, I resorted to Permetherine. Not a worm found in a week.

  • Reply Nora Robicheau July 29, 2017 at 1:02 am

    To prevent blossom end rot, i put pieces of egg shells in the tomato planting hole. It seems that this problem is caused by lack of calcium in the soil.

  • Reply Cherokee Rose July 29, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    I am having a problem with large holes on my healthy  tomatoes.  I suddenly realized it may be slug.  Is that possible. Is DE a good killer?  This is my first year at this location I never had lugs before.  Thank you.  I get all your video emailed to me.  They are wonderful.

  • Reply Nancy Wells July 29, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Thanks You. I love your advice!

  • Reply Vladimir Leonidov July 29, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Zero information value.

  • Reply Daniel Wagner July 30, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Can someone edit this video, replacing when he says to-MAH-toes with "to-MAY-toes?"

    Asking for a friend 😂😂😂

  • Reply Ese July 30, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Thanks for the video. Has anyone got any advice for me. Basically my strawberry plant has lots and lots of leaves but no actual fruit? Is there anything I can do to get some fruit growing?

  • Reply Lauren Feller July 31, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    I've had many tomatoes on my plants for about a month now, but they haven't turned red. They're all still very green (and they aren't a tomato variety that stays green!) Any advice?

  • Reply HomelessOnline July 31, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Tuh MAH toze…

  • Reply grannyray August 1, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    I've heard that tomatoes don't like getting their foliage wet. My tomatoes leaves curl a lot of times. Is this the reason?

  • Reply Nadia August 2, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    What a great, short video, jam-packed with knowledge in just a few minutes! Awesome!!! Thank you so much, now I know what happened with some tomatoe plants 🙂

  • Reply Cathy Skidmore August 3, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    My biggest issue is with leaf footed bugs (a kind of stink bug). Do you have any tips for controlling these organically?

  • Reply Jomarley Duncan August 9, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    My tomatoes I planted are now experiencing white flies and early blight. I tried using a pepper mix which includes a few pepper, 1 onion and a whole head of garlic and placed in a spray bottle and tried it out. Seems to be working, but going to try the soap Water solution 👍👍👌

  • Reply Dallas Brauninger August 11, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    I am a 74-year-old blind, arthritic gardener. Gardening is joy because it is tactual, I can grow organic, and its tastes SO good. I start seeds inside of my  converted hen house home under lights. I use raised beds (4X4X12 deep on 3 deep concrete blocks. One for the cool plants – variety of lettuce and romaine, 2 types of curly kale, 2 types of chard, bok choi, lots of  broccoli. Use string squares markers and row cover. On the farm, keep this on all season because of wind. Add stronger bird netting/shade cloth to help with Nebraska temperatures and hail protection. Just transplanted fall seedlings. Cucumbers, bush and pole beans, baby acorn squash, 2 kinds of peas, 3 kinds of eggplant, 2 kinds of bell peppers, lots of herbs for me and for the 15 chickens. Inverted daughter's empty 18" deep black plastic  "molasses bins for cattle and filled with mix for full-sized acorn squash and 4 bins of  Beauregaard sweet potatoes. Thought the potatoes were not going to do anything but now at least the greens are growing like topsy. I'm really curious. Love red raspberries and (in an old cattle feeder) to kinds of strawberries — sun-warmed, fresh from the plant to my tongue. Not so many beans reach my kitchen as my service dog and I take turns receiving the fresh-picked bounty. Life is good.

  • Reply palladini971 August 12, 2017 at 4:05 am

    I fix my tomato rot problrms by every other week, spraying them with an Epson Salt solution. I use a Dollar Store Sprayer, fill it water from my rain Barrel, then add 3 to 4 TBSP of Epson Salt. Then I spray it on the leaves and stocks of the plant, both tomato and Peppers.. I also when I Plant the Tomatos, I wil dump a TBSP of Epsom Salts into the whole first, then I also dump some Epsom Salts around the base of the plants.

  • Reply Kate Wilson August 12, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    I am finding that on several of my tomatoes, the top cracks (where it is attached to the plant). It's really only the top that cracks, and it doesn't negatively affect the taste of the tomato. However, because the top is split, they don't look very nice on my countertop, the fruit is open to gnats, etc., and I must cut out the split top, which ends up taking a good hunk of the fruit away. I have encountered the other tomato issues presented in this video, and have used information from these videos and website to fix them – thanks! Does anyone have any ideas on this cracked/split top?

  • Reply LaBrenda Henry August 12, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    The home garden is the best. Have cucumbers, zucchini, bell peppers, sweet banana peppers( first time growing these. They are better then the bell peppers to me). Yellow squash is great, cut it in 1 inch slices then cross cut in 4. Sprinkled garlic salt, bacon bits, parmesan cheese and butter. cooked it in the oven 20 min. or so, over cooked it is mushy. Test test the squash to what you like. Like it to be soft but have a little firm to the crust.

  • Reply Scott Fulk August 13, 2017 at 5:15 am

    What if they aren't getting ripe? To much foliage or maybe to much nitrogen?

  • Reply Great Dane Rv August 14, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    I grow mine in an aquaponic system. The biggest problem I've in years past are horn worms, but a pair of scissors so corrects that issue.

  • Reply Jan Vautard August 20, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    I'm not sure whether this would be considered an organic remedy for those trying to grow organically, but I understand that crushing up antacid tablets such as Tums, sprinkling that around tomatoes, and watering it in can quickly make calcium available to tomatoes suffering from a deficiency.

  • Reply Justine M September 9, 2017 at 4:24 am

    I'm in the PNW (dappled sunlight!) and have individual tomatoes outdoors in 14-16" diameter containers. Last week I moved the containers to the sunniest spot on my property to give them more space. Powdery mildew and late blight are present in the lower leaves of some and I've cut them off to remove the disease but also to allow even more sunlight to reach the green fruit (is this practice okay in September?!). When you refer to "regular feeding" what does that exactly mean? Add fertilizer with each watering? If so, adjust to half strength? What are the organic (i.e. liquid kelp?) and NPK (20-20-20?) options I should consider? There are a few questions in there – thanks for your help. I really do adore your videos!

  • Reply Robin Brown September 14, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    I have one large tomato plant, it gets the flowers but no tomato grows. The flowers fall off a slight touch. I put manure and potting soil, changed pots too, did not help. Any suggestions? Thank you

  • Reply JO LEACH September 22, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    The excessive rain killed me this year on the beefsteaks and whites, but the roma tom's did great. I have found that milk is a great way to fight rot bottom.

  • Reply CaptTurbo October 28, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Plonts and tomotows. heheh

  • Reply qassim abbas March 1, 2018 at 10:23 am

    One of the best videos – very informative

  • Reply Edwin Manzanares April 12, 2018 at 12:02 am

    How often can u water tomatoes plants?

  • Reply Silver Turd April 30, 2018 at 1:00 am

    Water with a Hydrogen Peroxide and water mixture to air rate the soil for potted plants too!

  • Reply manuel Lopez June 4, 2018 at 3:26 am

    I have a problem, hope u can help. My tomatoe leafs are turning upside down . How can I turn it back to normal

  • Reply angela sheppard June 7, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing

  • Reply eve Tor June 25, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    It’s my first time growing tomatoes and I think they are split and have white fly. It’s very concerning and it’s also growing sideways. any advice?

  • Reply Lucene Dobler July 6, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    What to do when tomato skins are very tough and hard to eat

  • Reply Francis McAlonan, Jr. July 25, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    I have approx 15 tomato plants in two beds in a 14' by 20' polytunnel. I watch out for Tomato fruit worm and eliminate blossom end rotted fruits but I have several fruits with stem end rot, brownish patches where the stem attaches, how do I handle that?

  • Reply Meshia Brookins July 28, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    SAY IT RIGHT ITS to-MAY-toes!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply Monica Newkirk August 2, 2018 at 5:04 am

    My tomato plant has produced very little fruit this season and the top seems healthy and green, slowly producing a few tomatoes, but the lower half is yellowing and some deadening. It's a patio cherry tomato plant, growing in a pot. I use good soil. Please help!

  • Reply Jezelle Brewster October 1, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    Hi, new subbie all the way from Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies!! Very informative video! I found out just yesterday that we have leaf miners on the tomatoes and started treating with neem oil. Please advise.

  • Reply D N January 15, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    I found feeding plants with compost tea gave a far higher resistance to blight.

  • Reply Peach Mony February 19, 2019 at 9:34 am

    My tomato flowers have no pollens. I don’t know why 🤷‍♀️

  • Reply MissGreenThumbs March 31, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    Wow such a great video! I grew tomatoes last year and ran into multiple problems you discussed. This year I look forward to harvesting more tomatoes and ending blossom end rot! We shall see. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

  • Reply Love Music April 23, 2019 at 1:13 am

    This happened last summer, and it was the first time I'd seen it: my tomato plant leaves began to curl DOWN. Does anyone have an idea what could cause this? The same plants had lots of blossoms, but low fruit set.

  • Reply JK 16 May 28, 2019 at 2:08 am

    Top video very informative, thank you

  • Reply honey khan June 22, 2019 at 11:25 pm

    My plant after digging become died i didnt touch it or its root it was 11cm long
    After how much time i should separate new plants from clay pot and place each plant into new pots

  • Reply Gillian Knox June 23, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    My tomato plants have in curling leaves on the tops and I’ve noticed white specs on the surface of the soil. Has only affected two plants out of eight. Any solutions please ?

  • Reply DVR Class Action Assembly June 30, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    Awesome thanks!

  • Reply Loudiesel J3:16 July 1, 2019 at 3:49 am

    Two-mate-toes😄

  • Reply Kevin Rowe July 1, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    I have very few flowers on my sweet 100s cherry tomato plants.
    They are in new potting soil with commercial cow manure.

  • Reply Tony Bucca July 2, 2019 at 2:05 am

    toe-MATE-toes

  • Reply Jim Nowinski July 4, 2019 at 2:55 am

    tomatoes grow like weeds , not much needed just get good soil from HD use raised bed and liquid soluable fertilizer every 7-10 days and you will have success. all the experts on here crack me up

  • Reply adrian byucaxciuc July 7, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    You look like the doctor from star trek deep space 9 lol

  • Reply Steve Williams July 8, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    OMG

  • Reply Tony Bowers July 18, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    When walking our local beaches I always pick up the cuttlefish bones – a great source of calcium carbonate. This year I crushed up the bone, added it to water then fed the tomato plants with a weekly dose. Blossom end rot sorted.

  • Reply Jerry Salgat July 20, 2019 at 7:21 am

    Very good information.

  • Reply Maldives Intercede July 21, 2019 at 3:30 am

    Almost all the flowers bloom into fruits. But the fruits don't grow bigger. What could be the reason?

  • Reply Kevin Donadio July 21, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    thank you!

  • Reply The Krishna Way July 29, 2019 at 3:32 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DI8jIPcxXlg&t=75s

  • Reply Jordan De Knikker August 1, 2019 at 12:35 am

    Oh thank God. I just didn't water consistently. I was worried when my first tomatoes had small white scars on the bottom. First time growing these

  • Reply Diy growing gardening and celebrating eded August 1, 2019 at 3:59 am

    tks man. its very rare any of these videos have any worth to me. but tks,good job

  • Reply Mary Watkins August 26, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    My boyfriend just had deer take out most of his tomatoes. We'll be putting up fencing next time around.

  • Reply Mary Watkins August 26, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    Tomatoes are highly resilient. If you treat them right, they'll likely bounce back from most issues.

  • Reply Paty Moon September 2, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    Thank you for all the awesome info!
    My cherry tomato plants are producing super tiny, almost inedible, fruit. Even very ripe and red, the flavor and texture aren't great.

  • Reply Luke Jones September 2, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    What are small grey patches on the tomato skin?

  • Reply Khaled Mahfdee October 17, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    thanks
    good job
    I need very thing about nematode on tomatoes

  • Reply Adriana Castro November 5, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    Helloo i am growing yellow brandywine heirloom, seeing your pots are small? What size are you using? 5 galons or smaller?

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