It has been five years that I have started planting in my own indoor garden space, and I love growing, nurturing, and caring for them. However, I have become more interested in growing fruits and veggies outdoor such as healthy tomato plants.
We can figure out healthy tomato plants by checking on various signs such as proper spacing, plumpy and smoothness, absence of brown leaves and sunscalding in tomatoes, a large number of tomatoes with regular shape, and more.
The tomato plant is one of the common fruits that every gardener loves to grow. Growing healthy tomato plants can be the goal for many of us.
Let us go through the signs in detail to inspect whether your tomato plants are on the right track of giving you delicious fruits.
Table of Contents
- 1) Proper Spacing Between Tomato Plants:
- 2) Plump and Smooth Tomatoes
- 3) No Suncalding on Tomatoes
- 4) Absence of Brown Leaves
- 5) No Deformity on the Shape of Tomatoes
- 6) Plenty of Tomatoes
- 7) No Rolling Leaves
- 8) No Leathery Black Patches
- 9) No Wilting Leaves
- 10) Are There White Powdery Substances on Leaves?
- 11) Are the Tomatoes Hollow Inside?
- 12) Healthy and Strong Flowers
1) Proper Spacing Between Tomato Plants:
Spacing is the foremost cause that indicates if your tomatoes will be growing healthy or not. It is one of the initial plantation mechanisms to sow your plant correctly.
The usual spacing of tomatoes ranges between 24 – 36 inches, which depends on the type of tomatoes you are growing.
One of the problems that I see in many houses is that the tomatoes plants are usually crammed up in a bucket; as a result, leading it to bear tiny fruit sizes.
Similar was my own experience during the early period.
Planting tomatoes seeds too near on another is not a good sign of healthiness.
Proper spacing in between your plants help them in:
- Less competition between the plants
- Less congestion
- Adequate sunlight
- Healthy and Enriching tomatoes with optimal production
- Staying out of diseases/ pests
- Good air circulation
Let’s check it out.
You can go and have a look at your tomatoes in the garden to inspect the spacings.
2) Plump and Smooth Tomatoes
Another reason for you to be happy would be plump, smooth, and bright tomatoes.
No signs of cracks mean that you are having your plants thrive. These cracks are not good since they welcome insects and bird attacks unwantedly.
Why do my tomatoes have cracks?
These cracks are one of the indicators of your unhealthy tomatoes.
An extreme watering condition such as heavy rainfall followed by dehydration can cause cracks.
If you supply water evenly to the plant, it will prevent cracks in the fruit.
3) No Suncalding on Tomatoes
Do you see white and paper-thin patches on your tomatoes? If there is not any, then it is a good sign.
Sunscald is caused due to the harsh sun rays creating blisters and burns on the fruit, leading to yellow patches and ultimately turning into white ones.
How to prevent your tomatoes from sunscalds?
You should not prune the leaves too much. It results in more exposure of sunlight in the tomatoes having sunscald.
It is great if your plant leaves are thick and optimally bushy. It helps not to be completely bare to the scorching sun, protecting your fruits with some shade.
WATCH OUT on those patches, peeps!
4) Absence of Brown Leaves
It is an alert signal if your tomato plant leaves are starting to have brown patches. If you don’t have them, then it is just great.
Firstly it might start with the spots. Then the yellowness circling the brown spots eventually turns the whole leaf brown and falls off.
Why are there brown leaves despite proper care?
The brownness is caused due to early blight, a fungal disease.
It usually happens during the winter season, and the soil might get affected likewise. The disease will stay in the soil, affecting the new plant in the same spot again.
However, it would help if you are careful in monitoring your tomato plant leaves.
5) No Deformity on the Shape of Tomatoes
Do you have catfacing tomatoes?
Catfacing is a physical disorder that gives tomatoes a similar shape to a cat’s face. Fruits turn into weird forms. The name well describes itself. It could be cracking of the tomatoes, lumpy, bumpy, gross looking, or dimpling on the tomatoes.
The absence of Catfacing/ deformities gives us one less reason to be concerned about.
It is good to be aware of the following causes of catfacing to prevent the problem:
- Temperature below 60 F. or 16 C. (The optimum temperature is 18.5 – 26.5° C).
- Extreme nitrogen level in the soil.
6) Plenty of Tomatoes
If you have few flowers on your tomato plant, then the fruits will also tend to grow less in number.
Alongside, it is also not a good sign if your tomatoes are tiny and bland in taste.
The number of flowers determines the number of fruits.
However, if your tomatoes are big in size and many in number popping up on your plants, then you are on the right track to nurturing them.
Why are they small and less in number?
Getting back to our small and fewer tomatoes, the reason could be due to:
Planting tomatoes very close:
The congestion hinders the speed of tomato growth and also the pollination process.
Try to leave at least two or more feet between the plants. It gives them proper space to breathe as well as provides good airflow.
If the plants are already fixated/ planted, you can shake the flowering branches for proper pollination.
Excessive nitrogen in the soil:
It only boosts more green leaves but not the fruits. For this, you can have your soil tested too.
7) No Rolling Leaves
Rolling leaves can usually be seen in mature plants.
Like older people with bent backs, the leaves curl up too from outside towards the inner center.
What causes your tomato leaves to roll?
Too much watering and pruning are some of the common causes of leaf rolls. Another possibility for bending leaves can be due to the heat/ high temperature.
The soil needs to be watered in an optimum manner. A drainage hole is a must here if you have planted your tomatoes in a container.
Although it does not affect a lot in developing your tomatoes, keeping the plant as healthy as possible is always a great idea.
8) No Leathery Black Patches
Do you see any leathery black patches on the bottom of your tomato fruits?
The leathery black patch is blossom end rot which isn’t actually a disease that many of us assume. The blossom end rot is a disorder caused due to various irregularities in soil.
What causes these black patches to appear?
Soil nutrition issues:
Lack of calcium leads to such disorder.
Calcium is an important component in your soil to avoid these blossom-end rots. Maintaining pH level is also equally important, which helps the soil to grip the calcium more.
You can also add compost matters for accelerating the nutrients, including banana peels, crushed eggshells, or potato skins.
Too much soil dryness also causes this rot. Hence, you should be maintaining the consistency of watering.
Watering them daily is highly recommended.
9) No Wilting Leaves
It’s great if you do not have droopy and wilting tomato leaves.
Having wilting problem shows various stages symptoms such as:
Verticillium wilt: Alongside the withering of the leaves, they can have yellow patches. Once spread, it slowly turns the leaf brown in blotches.
After the brownness fully takes over the whole leaf, it starts to fall off, and the disease spreads toward the stem.
Fusarium wilt: Similar to verticillium, Fusarium wilt is also dangerous. It destroys the whole plant.
The disease starts from one part making the leaves yellow and wilted. Then the fungus gradually spreads and captures the entire plant.
A tip to prevent tomatoes from wilted leaves
I would suggest rotating the crops in different areas so that the tomatoes are not planted in the same places. This is so because the remaining fungus might again attack the plant that is present in the soil. The funguses live in the soil for a long period of time.
Another option you can go with is choosing wilt-resistant varieties!
10) Are There White Powdery Substances on Leaves?
If you see white chalky mold matters in your tomato leaves, that is definitely not a good mark.
The white powder substances look like someone sprinkled or brushed powder on the leaves. This happens due to the presence of fungi on the plant.
Later on, the leaves of your tomato plant can turn yellow and ultimately brown, making them fall off.
How do the leaves create a layer of powdery mold?
Lack of air circulation inside grown plants or high humidity creates the chalky layer to accumulate on the leaves. You might experience it if you have been planting your tomatoes in greenhouses.
For a solution, you can use a spray that can prevent your plant from fungus. The fungicide, Safer is easily available.
11) Are the Tomatoes Hollow Inside?
Puffiness is another issue that might bring a concern with unhealthy tomatoes.
From the outside, the tomatoes look red and ripened but the inside of the fruit will have hollow and large pores/ spaces. It has an emptiness and feels light when harvested.
What causes puffiness inside the tomatoes?
Lack of soil nutrients, fertilizers, or adequate pollination is one of the reasons behind the issue. For natural good fertilizers, homemade composts are the best and most easily available. They could be crushed eggshells, compost tea, banana peels, potato skins, onion skins.
The tomato plants need to be fed well during their growing stages and whilst the weather is favoring perfectly.
12) Healthy and Strong Flowers
Are your flowers falling off the tomato plant without any tomatoes growing and blooming?
If there are not, then it is going well.
Nevertheless, it determines the state of your plants.
Causes of blossom drop
Following factors can trigger on weakening of the flowers leading to blossom drop:
- Extremely less or more amount of nitrogen
- Lack of pollination
- Insect attacks and damages
- Inappropriate temperature: A viable atmosphere is to have between 55 F to 75 F.
To tackle the above problems, you can use neem insecticides and fertilizers too.
The above points will help to figure out the status of your tomato plants. Hence, observation and timely inspection is the key to receiving great fruits.