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Help with Tomatoes  RSS feed

 
Posts: 29
Location: The Carolinas
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OK so I transplanted 10 Rebekah Allen tomato plants then the next it started raining and rained for a day and a half and now all my tomatoes are wilted and laying down. Any suggestions to save them?
 
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Hello T. Gardener!

Steak them up for temporary support. Im guessing you didn't harden them off? So the additional stress of temperature acclimation, plus exposure to other elements, like wind and rain. Is to stressful for the new flimsy indoor plants, and the extra moisture on the plants, becomes to heavy for self support. So the tomatoes may need some steaking untill they adapt. Once steaked, you should see drastic improvement in a few days, and new growth starting in about seven days, if the roots weren't to stressed from transplant. Of course thats assuming your outdoor temperatures and soil are adequate for optimal tomato growth.

Hope that helps.
 
T. Gardner
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I did harden them off but maybe I'm not doing something right with that, I set out about 12 cabbage and 12 broccoli earlier and only 3 cabbage survived. We did have a lot of wind with this rain so I'm sure it stressed them out

I set out 10 tomatoes and 2 of them have snapped off at the ground but 8 of them didn't look too bad once I got all the mud off of them .

They are only about 3-4 inches off the ground, what would be the best way to stake them temporarily.
 
R. Steele
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Hello again!

Its most likely the wind and rain that caused them to flop over. They may have been temperature acclimated, but maybe not hardened off enough to deal with a spring storm. Hardening them off gives them a chance to adapt to all the different stresses of being outdoors, including the rain and winds they will be exposed to. Of course keep in mind even the strongest tomato plant can only take so much.

If they were grown indoors to start, and temperature acclimated in a protected environment. They most likely didn't get a chance to toughen up enough before the storm hit. If it makes you feel any better, most tomatoes would struggle with heavy rain and winds. So keep that in mind, the potential to flop over is always there when dealing with adverse weather. So it can be beneficial to have structural support at least for a temporary option when planting or fruiting.

Hope that helps.
 
T. Gardner
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I'm thinking they weren't acclimated to the wind enough to withstand the winds we got. They don't look wilted they're just laying down.

I don't know the best way to stake small tomatoes but what I'm thinking is a dowel and tie them to it with some jute string.
 
R. Steele
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Another option that may work better is the Carolina weave, but I wouldn't plan on permanently staking at this point, unless they are indeterminate varieties. If they aren't indeterminate varieties, they shouldn't need steaking, besides a little help now, untill they start putting on fruit.

Just do a search on tomato weaves, and you should find all the information you need if you decide to go that route.

Hope that helps!
 
T. Gardner
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So the wife found some skewers and jute in her craft box that worked great. Just tied the jute to the skewer and made a loose loop around the tomato plant, 2 of them were wilted and too far gone. So I'm down to 6, but I have 2 more of those that I can put out.

They are indeterminates and I'm still unsure how I'm gonna stake them yet, been thinking about putting a long T post in at both ends of the row and running fence wire across the top and using the greenhouse clip things
 
R. Steele
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Cool. If they are indeterminate varieties they will definitely need permanent steaking, but it sounds like the temporary steaking will tie you over till you come up with something. Your idea with the fence posts isn't to far off from the tomato weave I was telling you about. Maybe check out different options on tomato weaves before you commit resources, so you can be worry free for the season. Incase you didn't know, you'll ou'll also have to cut your vine tops twards the end of the season, timed so they can finish up the friut they have on vine, before the tomato season ends in your zone, plus remove any suckers along the vine. Which you can root, if you want to grow more tomatoe plants this season.

Keep up the good work!
 
T. Gardner
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Yeah I usually do pull the suckers, never tried to propagate them though so I might try that this year for the sake of trying it. I always forget to cut the tops though. Thanks for all the tips
 
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Last year I had wind the day after I planted my tomatoes out (after 3 weeks of hardening off outside in the orchard).  Two plants bent/kinked over at the ground.  They were about 12" tall at that point so I held them up straight and mounded dirt around them in a volcano.  I packed the volcano tight around their stems to hold them up and they survived and rooted into the volcano.  

Tomatoes will root from anywhere on the stem that touches the ground so I bury them fairly deep when I plant them.  Often 6" deeper than they were in the pot.  
 
T. Gardner
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Yea they were about 7 inches tall and planted them so that about 4 inches were above ground.
 
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