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May 17, 2009 08:33 AM

Tomato plant?

My tomato plants are well watered (every morning) and in full sun. The are still very green and growing, but the leaves appear to be wilted. Why?

And how can I keep bugs/birds off my leaves, organically?

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  1. Wait until evening to water. If you water in the full sun the droplets act like tiny magnifying glasses and can burn the leaves. If you do water during the day, take extra care to keep the water off the leaves.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JohnE O

      Droplets burning leaves is a myth. Watering at night is not recommended, since wet soil and leaves can spread disease.

      Some tomato varieties simply have wilty looking leaves. Can you state what varieties you have?

    2. What are your temps? How long have the plants been in the ground? How many years of tomatoes in that bed? Very high daytime temps ( 102 here today), and root knot nematodes cm cause wilting of adequately watered plants, Also, bugs and and birds are not always a problem. Are there symptoms of an infestation?

      1. I don't know about cooler climates, but if you are in a warmer one, I would not opt to water in the evening. As we progress into the the summer months (and heat), the wet soil (and foliage) during warm evening temperatures are an ideal condition for various molds and mildews. Ideally, it's best to water in the early A.M. hours and let the early sun do it's job of deterring mold/mildew by having a natural drying effect without burning. Early morning sun does not have the heat intensity as it does later in the day. This is watering rule #1 for any general lawn care in north central TX. Just FWIW.

        1. Could also be that you're overwatering. Unless your soil is very sandy or you're growing in a shallow container, daily watering is not normally recommended. Where abouts are you in the world? And specifically, what birds and bugs are bothering you?

          1 Reply
          1. re: toastnjam

            Generally speaking Birds are good....they eat the bugs.

          2. You're overwatering. Tomatoes like deep, infrequent waterings, as opposed to regular waterings. It's best to water tomatoes with a soaker hose (you can buy one for $20 at any big box hardware store) for 30 minutes to an hour once a week.