Tomato – Sun Scald on New Plants

Q: I’ve been starting my tomato seeds indoors in preparation for spring planting. Since the weather here in Marietta has been steadily warming, I decided to plant the tomato plants outside in mid-April. Ever since, I’ve noticed that the leaves have been turning more and more yellow. Eventually they shrivel up and just hang off of the stem. Any idea what is causing this and how to correct?

A: Looks like sun scald to me. It takes at least a week (preferably two weeks) of gradually increasing sunshine to transition tomato plants from indoor light level to outdoors.

It’s best done in four stages, with your young tomatoes 4-5 days in each spot.

1. bright shade with no direct sun.
2. bright shade with an hour or two of direct sun
3. bright shade with 2 – 3 hours of direct sun
4. Full sunshine

tomato sun scald 1

tomato sun scald 2

tomato sun scald 4

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