Drowned tomato plants

shancait

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Mar 23, 2023
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Hi everyone,
I am in Cairns & we have just a quite a few weeks of heavy rain. My tomato's were doing well before it & started to get 4 tomatoes however during the rain they got alot of leaf rot which I removed & tomatoes have stopped growing or ripening, they kept flowering but would just drop the flowers. Will the tomatoes come back from being drowned by the rain or should I just give up on these plants.
 
Welcome to the forum @shancait !
Oh no! I hear you - we've had quite some rain too. Thankfully most plants spring back to life again, especially tomatoes. They likely dropped their flowers as the plant knows this isn't the right time. There is too much water, which could cause issues. The plant is stopping production to reserve energy.
Depending on the species, tomatoes can be quite hardy and have a fair chance of recovery. The main thing I tend to check for is if it didn't become diseased. I would cut off diseased leaves and see if it spreads too much. If it does, restart, if not it could just as well spring back alright. So long as there is no root rot.
Also, it doesn't hurt to start another crop alongside it regardless. That way you can have tomatoes year-round and replace them once they finish (also depending on if it's determinate or indeterminate).

But yes, your plant could spring back to life, especially if you have well-draining soil.
 
Hi and welcome to the Forum!
The thing with tomatoes is, that their roots can reach down as far as the plant can grow up in length, so about 3-5 metres. So thea are as a species especially adapted to dry conditions with less rain. Their leaves show that in the same way, as most varieties have hairs on them that helps to lower the amount of water evaporation.
So if you live in a very humid climate it is essential that they can dry up fast. That includes their leaves but also their roots. Building them a shelter/roof is an option, so they don't get wet from dirctly above, But the sides would have to remain open that way there is enough air flow to let the plants dry. Their roots should still be able to reach far enough down for you not to have to water them more than already. I attached some pics of shelters that are in use in our region.

With the rest i agree with mandy. Leafrot can kill a tomato plant but it also is quite hardy and may be able to spring back to life. It may be wise to start a second crop aside in case they do fail. You could also create a cutting from the uppe 15-40 cm (depending on where the last leaves with rot were) make sure you have enough of the stem to replant it around 20cm deep. It should grow new roots and continue as before. That way you woudn't have to wayt for a totally new plant to mature.
Cheers
 

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Thank you both, I will keep trooping on with them & fingers crossed they come back & the rain stays away. I already have some seedlings growing now to keep the tomatoes coming.
 
If the tomato plants are not too large, would you guys recommend removing low branches to prevent them getting wet? I think mark once said it will cause disease if they are constantly wet. Like a silver colour mould or something to that effect.
 
I do indeed remove a couple of the bottom leaves. I generally remove until I'm sure nothing is touching the dirt, even after a little bit of rain. This can help to prevent soil-borne diseases from spasling onto your leaves. Or so I've been told. And I find that my plants really don't care those leaves are gone. I usually see them getting diseased otherwise anyway.
 
Yes thats right. I do remove the lower leaves up to 40cm. depending on the variety of tomato you have you might also consider thinning them out on top. mind you, don't remove all or too many because then the plant can't support the production of fruit, but if the leaves overlap too much or are standing too tight it also prevents airflow, so thinning them a little bit out helps with that in the upper region. Had a tomato plant last year that had so many and big leaves, that you couldn't see the fruit without removing some leaves 😅and I usually try to raise them 4-8 stems on one plant. that way they get wider but also not as tall. If you planted them too narro you can reverse that and just ceep the middle stem and remove everything else...
 
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