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Old June 2, 2020   #1
sjamesNorway
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Default tomato plants won't sun-harden?

This hasn't happened to me before. I've been trying to gradually harden-off plants to UV. So far 1 hour more every day for 5 days, plus three more days of 5 hours in shade. I don't dare to leave them out longer, because they wilt every time. Under artificial lights they recover, but I'm starting to wonder if they'll ever tolerate full sun. Any thoughts or suggestions. (The varieties are EM-Champion and Pervaya Lyubov.)


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Old June 2, 2020   #2
Labradors2
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Are you bringing them back inside the rest of the time? I know that Carolyn advised against that, but didn't say why IIRC. My tomatoes were fine but I'm having trouble with my peppers (which I HAVE brought inside due to some cold night time temps). Every time I put them in the sun, they wilt.

I hope someone can explain it to us.

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Old June 2, 2020   #3
zipcode
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Wilting is more temperature than anything. My guess is they have a fairly high amount of fertilizer, and once the temps rise, they can't cope. Flush or wait for them to use some of that fertilizer.
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Old June 2, 2020   #4
slugworth
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Shade them with cheesecloth, like in Godfather 1
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Old June 2, 2020   #5
ddsack
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Could they possibly be too root bound and the soil dries too fast? I've had some that I've needed to hold for too long before planting out and the cup is basically a ball of roots, no soil to hold the moisture so they need water two or three times a day if they are out in the hot sun and wind.
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Old June 3, 2020   #6
RJGlew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjamesNorway View Post
(The varieties are EM-Champion and Pervaya Lyubov.)


Steve
I find the Siberian hearts EM Champion, Danko, Pink Honey, & Mazarin all have wispy foliage and all wilt quickly when they dry out. They also quickly grow thick roots so if they are root bound the pots will be very slow to pick up water, especially if you bottom water.
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Old June 3, 2020   #7
sjamesNorway
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Thanks for the replies! They're very likely root bound, and the temperature has been high. I've been bottom watering. Here's my plan:


1. Flush.
2. Water often from the top.
3. Transplant out in cooler weather
4. Use cheesecloth after transplant if necessary.


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Old June 3, 2020   #8
kr222
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Once they are in the ground, my only suggestion would be to avoided the top watering you mentioned. That'll just encourage fungal problems on already stressed plants. Water the soil, not the foliage. Once the roots get out if the cramped pots and into soil, they'll likely perk up.
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Old June 3, 2020   #9
slugworth
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I always cut the roots on root bound potted plants so the roots grow straight out.
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