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Old 06-22-2011, 10:52 PM   #1
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Spotty, yellowing tomato leaves

This is something that normally happens in August. We have had an abnormally cool and rainy stretch, and my beautiful tomato plants are succumbing to yellow spotted leaves that eventually die, starting at the bottom and going up. I pull off as many as I can, but don't want to sunscald the fruit. Of course, the tomatoes are really prolific right now but nowhere near ripe yet.

Am thinking it's a bacterial thing, due to the weather conditions. Soil is fresh Miracle Gro, massive container. Full sun (when it's not raining constantly).

Ideas?
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:00 PM   #2
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Are these heirloom tomatoes? We had that happen in 2008 when June and July were rain, rain, and more rain. Very depressing. The heirlooms were the worst hit--died off. The few hybrids we planted did okay--but we also had blossom rot. Not pretty when you have almost 300 tomato plants.
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:11 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by CWS4322
Are these heirloom tomatoes? We had that happen in 2008 when June and July were rain, rain, and more rain. Very depressing. The heirlooms were the worst hit--died off. The few hybrids we planted did okay--but we also had blossom rot. Not pretty when you have almost 300 tomato plants.
Hybrids: Early Girl, Better Boy, Sweetie, some others. I don't have 300, bet that was devastating.

I'm not sure spraying with anything will help. Would like some nice warm sun for a change. We are supposed to have an all-time low temp tomorrow, with more rain.

And for the first time ever, the deer have been enjoying the green bean plants. Poor little things keep producing blossoms with no leaves. So I will have nekkid maters and green beans.

Sigh. Life in the country.
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:19 PM   #4
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I don't know that there is much you can do to combat the impact of the rain on the plants. You need sun...Frustrating, I know, been there, done that, got the t-shirt. We haven't planted tomatoes in that garden since 2008. We weren't sure if the soil got contaminated or if it was just the weather. Have you contacted your local extension office?
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:23 PM   #5
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We put up fencing to keep the deer out. You can try other things--hanging bars of soap, mint, dog urine, dog hair, but a fence is the best to keep the deer out of the garden.
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
This is something that normally happens in August. We have had an abnormally cool and rainy stretch, and my beautiful tomato plants are succumbing to yellow spotted leaves that eventually die, starting at the bottom and going up. I pull off as many as I can, but don't want to sunscald the fruit. Of course, the tomatoes are really prolific right now but nowhere near ripe yet.

Am thinking it's a bacterial thing, due to the weather conditions. Soil is fresh Miracle Gro, massive container. Full sun (when it's not raining constantly).

Ideas?
I am having the same problem with a hanging basket of little tumbler tomaotes, lots of fruit, but I've picked off so many dying leaves and parts of vine that it is very "naked". My other toms in another part of the yard seem to be fine so far. Last year I had a terrible problem with the Heirlooms, they didn't even get as far as setting fruit. I think alot of this is weather related, we too have had wet, cool weather. Hope things improve for you.
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:34 PM   #7
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Not sure there's much more they could do. Oh well, had more tomatoes than we could use last year. Will see how this pans out.

I ended up fencing around my beans (also in containers, which have been unbothered for many years) with a combo of bird netting and wire mesh.

I have seen the culprit in action, as she has pruned all the hostas and hydrangias around the house. She is beautiful and obviously well-fed.

Thanks for the advice and commiseration!
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:28 AM   #8
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so long as the indeterminate tomatoes are producing, don't worry about the lower "spent" leaves and branches.
if your determinate varieties start dying, then you have a problem.

it ain't pretty, but lots of water - then drought - mixed with lots of heat will kill off the lower branches after they've produced.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:41 AM   #9
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Sounds like blight. I don't know that there is anything organic you can do this year, but next year you can implement some control methods.

First, don't plant tomatoes in the same spot. The disease is in the soil there. Plant tomatoes as far away from the blight spot as you can. Second. mulch your tomatoes immediately upon planting--the disease is in the soil (I think I already said that ) and you don't want soil splashing up on the leaves when it rains.)

Third, buy resistant varieties--which might eliminate a lot of heirlooms. Look on the tag or seed packet for the letters V, F, and N. The more letters the more resistant. (V--vermiticulum wilt, F is fusarium resistant, and N is nematode resistant.)

Tomato Early Blight - Steps for Control has some info on chemical controls.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:46 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by sparrowgrass
Sounds like blight. I don't know that there is anything organic you can do this year, but next year you can implement some control methods.

First, don't plant tomatoes in the same spot. The disease is in the soil there. Plant tomatoes as far away from the blight spot as you can. Second. mulch your tomatoes immediately upon planting--the disease is in the soil (I think I already said that ) and you don't want soil splashing up on the leaves when it rains.)

Third, buy resistant varieties--which might eliminate a lot of heirlooms. Look on the tag or seed packet for the letters V, F, and N. The more letters the more resistant. (V--vermiticulum wilt, F is fusarium resistant, and N is nematode resistant.)

Tomato Early Blight - Steps for Control has some info on chemical controls.
Great info, Sparrowgrass. I did plant the tomatoes in a new spot, but next year I will mulch and use fungicide. Have never had this problem this early in the season.
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