Bush goliath from store turning yellow


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Hello!

A couple weeks ago I purchased a "Bush Goliath" plant from my local grocery store and brought it home. It's in a 9" tall pot with an 11" diameter, and the plant itself is a little over 2ft tall above the soil. This is my first try ever at growing something edible, and I figured a tall tomato plant that's already [ostensibly] established would be better. I live in Austin, TX, and my balcony gets a lot of light for most of the day--full sun from about 2-5pm.

My biggest issue with all the plants I've ever tried to grow is figuring out the sweet spot for watering. So often it seems like the symptoms of under and overwatering are the same, so I also bought a hydrometer lol. The tomatoes have been hovering between "dry" and the lower levels of "moist" for most of the time I've had them. I'm not sure what's going on though--the leaves are turning yellow and then brown and falling apart between the veins.

I bought some 5 gallon cloth grow baskets that I'm wondering if they might be better off in? I can't afford a large pot ATM.

Any and all insight/advice is welcome!! Thanks a ton :)
 

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Hello!

A couple weeks ago I purchased a "Bush Goliath" plant from my local grocery store and brought it home. It's in a 9" tall pot with an 11" diameter, and the plant itself is a little over 2ft tall above the soil. This is my first try ever at growing something edible, and I figured a tall tomato plant that's already [ostensibly] established would be better. I live in Austin, TX, and my balcony gets a lot of light for most of the day--full sun from about 2-5pm.

My biggest issue with all the plants I've ever tried to grow is figuring out the sweet spot for watering. So often it seems like the symptoms of under and overwatering are the same, so I also bought a hydrometer lol. The tomatoes have been hovering between "dry" and the lower levels of "moist" for most of the time I've had them. I'm not sure what's going on though--the leaves are turning yellow and then brown and falling apart between the veins.

I bought some 5 gallon cloth grow baskets that I'm wondering if they might be better off in? I can't afford a large pot ATM.

Any and all insight/advice is welcome!! Thanks a ton :)
Lets start with the pot. A 5 gallon container is the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM size for a plant that size. Have you fertilized the plant and if so with what and how much? The yellowing looks like a lack of nutrition. Tomatoes require full sun at a minimum of 5-6 hours per day. When you water, water very very slowly until the entire pot is saturated. Then DO NOT WATER at all until the soil is DRY, not moist, about 3 inches deep. Throw that moisture meter in the trash and use your finger. After you do this you can tell by looking at the plant in the AM hours if it needs water or not. If it is wilted it does. If it isn't wilted in the AM it doesn't. If wilted in the PM hours this is normal.
 
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Hi Chuck! Thank you :) Okay, I water most of my plants with water from my freshwater tank because I was always told that was healthy. That being said, I don't know much about fertilizing. Once every two weeks or so when I do a proper water change on the tanks then I use a bit of that water in each of the plants since it's more concentrated with the fish gunk. If you think yellow is a lack of nutrition that's probably what it is because I haven't added anything. Recommendations for fertilizer? I can also see about getting a bigger container if I can figure out how to punch holes in it.
 
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Hi Chuck! Thank you :) Okay, I water most of my plants with water from my freshwater tank because I was always told that was healthy. That being said, I don't know much about fertilizing. Once every two weeks or so when I do a proper water change on the tanks then I use a bit of that water in each of the plants since it's more concentrated with the fish gunk. If you think yellow is a lack of nutrition that's probably what it is because I haven't added anything. Recommendations for fertilizer? I can also see about getting a bigger container if I can figure out how to punch holes in it.
You have one of the best nurserys in Texas in Austin. It is called the Natural Gardener. They will have small bags of everything you need. The people there are extremely knowledgeable and can help you immeasurably. Your fish water is a good amendment but not nearly enough for a fast growing plant. The address is 8648 Old Bee Caves Rd.
 
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Wow that's a short walk from where I grew up and have never been to that nursery (yet!).

cpp, we don't quite yet need to water every day here. It's been wonderful spring weather with a few warm days so far.
 
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Big plant, small pot.

Alright! I got a muuuch bigger pot. Ikea doesn't list the capacity in gallons but I'd say it's easily 10 gallons.

How often do you water? With your weather, you should be watering every day. A plant that big in that size pot uses a lot of water.

I had been watering every other day but I didn't think it was enough, so I've been watering every day for the past 3 days now. I was always told that yellow leaves = overwatering. I've also purchased some fertilizer that should be arriving today.

Any other tips?

Thanks everyone!
 

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It's also not the case that you're better starting with a bigger plant, "because it's established."

A small plant is easier to handle, so easier to transplant, and will also suffer far less from transplant shock or the stress of settling in its new home.

Sometimes small is better, like in onion sets (Dutch onions)
 
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It's also not the case that you're better starting with a bigger plant, "because it's established."

A small plant is easier to handle, so easier to transplant, and will also suffer far less from transplant shock or the stress of settling in its new home.

Sometimes small is better, like in onion sets (Dutch onions)

Oh man, ok. There are so many parallels between fish keeping and gardening, I had no idea. I'll leave this one in this pot now. Hopefully it's big enough and the shock is minimal.

Yellowing leaves can be either over or under watering. It has to do with damage to the roots from whichever conditions occur.

Noted! Any idea which is which in the case of my photos?
 
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Your plant is root bound. Transplant NOW into at least a 5 gallon pot. Being root bound is the reason you have a hard time of watering. And this is why nutrients are not getting to the roots.
 
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Hopefully that'll get better then because it's now in about a 7 gallon bucket.
 
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Hopefully that'll get better then because it's now in about a 7 gallon bucket.
when you water go very slow. Just a small drip. It will take a couple of hours or more. Once you get the soil saturated about once every 7-10 days is about all you will need. The plant will tell you.
 
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More than likely, the plant was root bound from the store. You might have a iron deficiency. Give it some time in the new pot. It will probably recover if root bound. The grocery store is usually a poor choice to buy plants. Walmart is just as bad.
 

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