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#49215 May 21st, 2007 at 11:34 PM
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Otamot Offline OP
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I am a new gardener and this is my first season growing anything at all. Most of my plants appear perfectly green and are thriving, but I transplanted a couple of heirloom varieties about 3 days ago. I am aware that these varieties are more diffcult to grow than the standard retail hybrids. The heirloom varieties I just planted were: Brandywine, Dutchman, and German Pink. My problem is that I am wondering if I transplanted them too soon (they are 6-8" tall). Some of them are quite yellow and just appear droopy and weak.

I planted them with the following method: I tilled the native soil (which has never been used for gardening) about a foot deep and loosened it well. I buried the plants about 75% deep into a mixture of organic chicken manure (Black Hen) that was dissolved in water. I let the water soak well into the hole for a while and then buried the plant. I then used about a 80/20 mixture of native soil and Miracle Grow "Organic Choice" soil around the plant.

Here are the pics so you can judge if everything is well or if the plants are in shock. I got the plants from a friend who has grown them for years, so I don't know if he just gave me a few weak plants or what.

A Brandywine that look Yellow:

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A Dutchman that looks yellow:

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A German pink that looks healthy (or does it?)

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A yellow looking German pink

[Linked Image]

Otamot #49235 May 22nd, 2007 at 03:46 AM
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I'm not sure about the black hen that you added to the wholes. But it's not uncommon to have some transplant shock with tomatoes. For future reference, A few days before you transplant feed the tomatoes. And then choose a time when it is overcast or early in the morning to transplant.

Tomatoes like a mixture of 50% compost and 50% garden soil. They are heavy feeders. They will need to be feed in about 5 to 6 weeks.

Now about your soil's pH. Have you checked it in the tomato bed? If it isn't correct that can affect the plants ability to pull the nutrients from the soil.

Good luck with your garden.


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tkhooper #49241 May 22nd, 2007 at 04:06 AM
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I'm wondering if you hardened off your plants first?

I'm curious as to what your temperatures are.


~~Tam~ You can bury all your troubles by digging in the dirt.
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I don't know if I'd say that heirloom varieties are harder to grow than hybrid. Right now, the heirlooms (which get same care) are kicking the butts of every hybrid in my garden, and it's always that way.

Yellowing is usually an indication of nitrogen deficiency however, it sounds like you fertilized your plants well. It very well may just be transplant shock. The plant drooping may also be transplant shock. Tomatoes do like to stay consistantly moist, they really do not appreciate the soil drying. I would say give the plants a week and let us know if they've improved.

Good luck!


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LandOfOz #49527 May 22nd, 2007 at 07:20 AM
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Thanks guys. I have been watering the transplants every day since I planted them, though I have just been giving them a quick going over with the water hose, as I am afraid that I may be overwatering. It's hard to guage the exact amount with a hose. Can anyone tell me exactly how much water per week a young tomato plant needs? How about a mature flowering plant? My friend grows over 100 plants every year and says he NEVER waters them, yet he routinely produces 1-2 lbs. fruits. The only time he waters is if there is a prolonged drought. So, I hear everything from give them 5-6 gallons of water a week, to others saying they don't need much water other than natural rain. Naturally I am confused and would like clarification on this.

I suppose my plants aren't dying? I had one of my hybrids exhibit the same weak yellow look so I took it out of the ground, planted it in a big pot, and it thrived.

Otamot #49532 May 22nd, 2007 at 07:21 AM
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Hi, one more question.... Can anyone tell me if using pine mulch with red dye in it would harm the plants?


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