Why are tomato plants suddenly turning brown and wilting?


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My tomato plants were doing really well. They were in direct sunlight for most of the day and so I was watering them daily. Suddenly, they started wilting. Thinking that I was overwatering the plants, I reduced my watering to once a week. The plants continued to wilt. At this point, animals started to eat the tomatoes, so I moved the plants to a crop cage in an area that was shadier but still received sufficient sunlight.

After the tomato stems began to turn completely brown and the leaves started drooping severely to the point of nearly falling off, I tried transferring the plants from the root pouches they came in to self-watering pots. The plants didn't improve.

Attached are a few pictures of the current condition of my tomato plants.
 

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When you transplanted to the self-watering pots, did you notice if they were rootbound? I can't really tell the size of the pots in the pictures, which is why I ask.

I've had 2 toms in direct sunlight this year, and they look like crap. 2 toms under old "green" greenhouse panels that are way, way better off. I would personally try to give them some midday/early evening shade, check each plant's moisture levels and watering when the top 1 to 2 inches are dry.

What are you feeding them? When I see leaves start to yellow, that usually tells me that I didn't fertilize them on time (again).
 

gardenfunction

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Did you water those plants regularly? You need to use right fertilizer and care about your plants.
 
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When my tomatoes get a case of the uglies I prune them back. I also have a second crop started from the suckers. The suckers are planted in with the established tomatoes. I keep thinning out the weak branches until the frost comes.
 
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My tomato plants were doing really well. They were in direct sunlight for most of the day and so I was watering them daily. Suddenly, they started wilting. Thinking that I was overwatering the plants, I reduced my watering to once a week. The plants continued to wilt. At this point, animals started to eat the tomatoes, so I moved the plants to a crop cage in an area that was shadier but still received sufficient sunlight.

After the tomato stems began to turn completely brown and the leaves started drooping severely to the point of nearly falling off, I tried transferring the plants from the root pouches they came in to self-watering pots. The plants didn't improve.

Attached are a few pictures of the current condition of my tomato plants.

If you kept the toms in "the root pouches they came in" that may be the start of the problem. A tomato plant needs (usually) at least five gallons of soil to thrive. The pots shown in the photos look pretty small and I gather that's after you transferred the plants. As well, overwatering can do this. (I have had tomatoes drown when planted in ground with poor drainage that then suffered repeated heavy rain.)

These plants are a loss by now (and this is one month after your post so....) but anyway, next time think, five gallons of soil, six hours of sunlight per day, keep soil most but not soggy. Enrich the soil with compost or composted manure! that will help also. Sorry you lost your plants, that's always rough.
 
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