Does anbody have a reponse for the one that is rotten at the base? Ive had that happen, as well. It was definitely not due to, too much rain. Yellowing leaves are one thing but the rotting stem is something else.
Ive been having this same problem with one of my tomato plants too, i grow them in 5 Gallon containers. The one that is having this problem also has little bees flying around the soil inside the container, i am also growing purple potatoes inside a giant 10 gallon sized container, and unfortunately same thing, the bees all around the soil, and the leaves turning yellow, i suspect there is something that the bees are doing to these plants, because all of my other tomatoes that do NOT have the bees around them are big and happy!
jmc1987 - are you sure they are bees and not fungus gnats?
If your soil is wet, the bees may be extracting water from the soil if there is very little to be had elsewhere. Bees will in NO WAY harm any plant, they are beneficial insects. (I used to keep honeybees when I was younger)
Honeybee, the nitrogen according to the bottle makes up 6% of it, those 3 plants are the only ones that seem to be suffering, the other ones are growing like mad, more so with this fertilizer that i am using, i would say that with the exception of those 3 that i am having problems with, that i have seem the best performance so far, as far as growth goes.
I am sure they are bees because i stuck my finger in the soil to test how moist and one of them nailed me right on the side of it. But like you say, may be scavenging water. Still a strange coincidence that they were only hanging around the soil of the plants that had this problem though.
Suppose i should go through the typical process of mite treatment via soapy water
I hear you on that one, once i was on the back deck, one had just started to build a nest under the sheltered part, too small to really notice unless you really look for it. Well me being as tall as i am, my head must have been to close, so it dived in and nailed me right on the back of the neck!
Here's a few "try this and see what happens" ideas.
If you lift each pot just before you plan to water it, are the rotting ones heavier than the healthy pots?
That would suggest to me that those pots are retaining more water, perhaps keeping the roots from getting as much air as they need. Roots in the lower part of the pot will drown and die if water completely displaces the air for some short period of time (an hour? Less?)
Are they getting more water than other pots, or less sun and wind?
Try just witholding water until you see some wilt occuring. Then lift the pot again. If it is still heavy, the roots probably never reached the bottom of the pot due to drowning.
Is the soil mix in the sad pots different from the happy pots?
Since Al ("Tapla") turned me on to pine bark chunks and shreds, I sing their praises as a way of assuring good drainage and aeration. Bark and coarse grit in pots!
Are the drain holes plugged or smaller than average?
You might need holes on the sides as well as under the pot: "under" holes might get plugged without your seeing.
Can you get a finger into a hole, to sdee if the soil mix is soggy deep down?
If you DO have good fast drainage, AND you're sure roots are not drowning, AND you think maybe you have too much nitrogen, you might try flushing the unhappy pots with water. To remove some soluble nitrogen. (Avoid real cold water, sun-warmed is gentler on sick roots). Or, just withold all fertilizer from those pots until the brown crunchies (necrosis) go away.
But I thought that fish emulsion could not really BURN roots.
In theory, you would think that potting soil would be fast draining, but the cheap stuff I used to buy never was.
It was heavy! Even potting mix (as opposed to potting soil) drained too slowly for my over-watering tendencies.
I like a lot of bark shreds and c hunks, and coarse grit. Others use perlite.
However, if they perked up after the spider mite treament, drainage was not your problem.
P.S. One upside of heavy, water-holding potting mix is that it WILL hold huge amounts of water. It can go longer between waterings without the plants wilting. With the same size pot but faster-draining mix, you will have to water more often.
If at the end of the season, the lowest part of the soil had lots fewer roots than the upper half, it probably wished it had had faster-draining mix, meaning "more air to the roots".
i have always been told to put a few drops of liquid soap (be sure its NOT the "anti bacterial" kind) into a spray bottle of water, and hit the under sides of the leaves with a good misting of it (where the spider mites like to hang out)
I managed to catch one of the little buggers today without getting stung, LOL. Have it in a glass jar with some water sprayed on the inside so he cant get away so easily. These guys are what have been swarming around the soil of my plants that are so sad.
one of the tomato plants I have in pots started suddenly to turn yellow. What could be the cause?
Moreover, I found that another one, planted in the garden, was rotten at the base. I could not identify the disease also.
Thanks for the help!
Some important points:
Container size - tomatoes need lots of space for roots and to allow for drainage - 10 to 15 gallon pot for large fruited
indeterminate varieties and 5+ gallon for small patio varieties. Drill more drainage holes if necessary.
Soil mix - free draining potting soil mixed with a quality compost and a little organic fertilizer.
Water - don't allow the tomato to swing from too wet to too dry - inconsistent watering results in nutrient uptake problems. Too
much nitrogen though produces a lush plant and few fruit.
I know we're a world away and probably in very different climates however plants are plants. You might gleam a few pointers from this Texas A&M University publication: