Couple of garden mysteries

Asked July 5, 2017, 11:52 PM EDT

Hi there,

I have all heirloom tomato plants this year and the strangest things are happening.

1. I have a brandywine plant that has a big fat tomato on the bottom stalk, but nothing else. It doesn't seem to want to bear fruit anywhere else. Any idea what that's about? And

2. Two of my other tomato plants looked great one morning and by the afternoon, they just dried up and died (a Hazel Mae and a yellow pear). I'm concerned that whatever is killing them will move on to my two remaining healthy plants (see attached).
What's more, the leaves on my tomato plants are curled up. (also attached). What on earth???

I had no problems with my tomatoes last year, so I'm perplexed with all of the tomato drama :-). I live in Denver (Montbello).

Any insights or guesses would be so appreciated, and thanks for all you do!



Denver County Colorado

3 Responses

Tomato blossoms don't set fruit if temperatures get too hot. When the daytime temperature reaches 90ºF by 10 a.m., blossoms that opened that

morning abort. I suspect the lone Brandywine on the bottom set before the summer heat came on.

On the others, because the problem came on rapidly in one day, they appear to be grown in containers, our temperatures are hot, and the leaves are curling up, I suspect the plants are suffering from low moisture combined with heat, low humidity, and possibly wind. I do not think there is a disease or pest problem that will spread to other plants.

With temperatures in the 90's, you may have to water more than once a day. You might also check to see that the water to those plants is sinking in - try popping the plant out of the container if you can manage it without destroying the plant and check moisture levels at the roots. Sometimes containers get compacted or when the planting medium contains a lot of peat moss or the like, it can be hard to re-wet after it gets dry.

Here's a fact sheet that might be of help from Texas A&M:

Thanks so much, this is very helpful. Does any of your information change with the fact that my tomatoes are in a raised bed? I forgot to mention that.
Thanks again.


The only thing that might be of concern with a raised bed is the interface between the existing soil upon which you built the raised bed and the imported soil brought in to fill it. The two soils will be different so they need to be blended to unify the transition. You want to avoid two discreet layers because water and roots will have trouble crossing the point where they meet and that will make your plants less able to withstand heat and drought.