5 Common Problems when Growing Tomatoes

5 Common Problems when Growing Tomatoes

Photo source:  John Nyberg


Five Common Problems with Growing Tomatoes


Growing tomatoes can be a bit stressful when you first start out. Certainly it is something that gets easier with time and that first year of growing them teaches you more than anything else. Learning what can go wrong is half the battle. With a bit of careful planning and some time spent in the garden, you’ll have enough healthy tomatoes to share and even brag about year after year. Here are several problems you can expect to encounter eventually while growing tomatoes:


  • Too many came in at once. Tomato plants produce a lot of fruit. For most small families, one or two plants is enough. If you have plenty of avenues to get rid of them, by all means plant more. If not, you might consider staggering them. Plant a couple of plants one week and then plant more plants two or three weeks later. This way they will produce in increments.


  • There isn’t enough support. If your plants are drooping, you may not have enough support for them. It isn’t unusual for a healthy tomato plant to reach six feet or more. The cages you get in stores are fine, but you may want to add some taller supports as well.


  • Tomatoes crack. Of the five common problems with growing tomatoes, this is probably the most common and most annoying. Here is this beautiful tomato and it is splitting wide open. This happens when there is plenty of wet weather right after plenty of dry weather. By keeping your tomatoes on a regular watering schedule, you can avoid this issue altogether.


  • White and yellow patches cover the tomato. This is the tomato version of being sunburnt. It’s a great idea to trim back suckers and remove dead leaves, but you also want to leave enough foliage to protect the tomato from the sun. If you don’t you can expect to see these ugly sunscald spots appear.


  • Septoria leaf spots appear. When you water your tomatoes, focus on the keeping the soil moist. The tomato plant gets its water from the soil, not the leaves. However, when you water the soil, try not to splash it on the plant because it causes the septoria spots. You might also try adding mulch around the plants to absorb the water and prevent splashing soil on the plant.


As you can see, problems with growing tomatoes are not complicated. They are simple fixes that you have to learn. Wash your hands before you touch your plants. Use soapy water to prevent pests and take care of some other health problems and be sure to water your plants on a regular basis. These basics will keep the tomatoes coming as quickly as you can enjoy them.