I have attached 2 pictures(not very good quality) of my tomato plants and their problem.
We have been planting a small garden for about 5 years now and we have this problem with the tomato plants every year.We get a very good crop any way so i never bothered to find out the problem.(garden was 8feet by 12 feet).
This year we moved the garden closer to the house with more sun and more space(15X16).I did not expect to much from the tomato plants since we did not do much to the ground.
But the plants came up strong and with lots of flowers and plenty of fruit.
But like every year,the bottom leaves started yellowing and the bottom branches also.
I have 5 plants in a row and this starts at one end and gradually manages to eventually infect all the plants.
They still continue to produce fruit and they seem to ripen ok but it looks terrible.
I check every year for any bugs or mites but cannot find any.
I would think that it is something that is lacking in the soil but what????
The plants are now close to 6 feet and 2 of them still appear normal.
Can anyone suggest a cure or has anyone encountered this before????
Are the lower leaves and branches just yellowing, or is it accompanied by black spots or other irregularities on the leaves? There are so many possibilities, but I think most diseases come with other symptoms as well.
I'm not a botanist, but I think a certain amount of yellowing and drying up of lower branches through the season is to be expected...unless you have the time to spend with your garden creating an ideal environment wich is tough to do if you work alot!
Check for other signs on the leaves, and you might try something that was suggested to me a while back- I went to my local county agriculture office and got a sample kit. I get some dirt from the garden, put it in the mail and their lab analyzes it for about 15 different elements and sends back a report detailing what I need to add and in what amounts for the predominate crop I'm growing. Cost is nominal, about 10 dollars. Local universities may also do it.
Let us know if you see any other problems with the leaves other than just the yellowing.
My tomatoe plants have some branches, leaves that are yellowing as well. I believe that these branches are in need of nutrients, because the branches, leaves which are flowering and baring tomatoes are fine. Seems that the branches with tomatoes are using the most of the nutrients, and when I cut the branches which have yellowed, I find the tomatoes ripening even better.
I think you're probably right, Acoma, in that the branches with flowers and fruit are getting the lions share of the nutrients. I have always had otherwise healthy tomato plants start yellowing from the bottom branches up about midway through the season. Doesn't seem to affect production.
I also trim off those branches as they yellow and I believe the rest of the plant does even better then. If there are no other signs of a disease, I wouldn't worry about it.
Acoma, some good-some bad. In my #1 garden that was having problems I have now found evidence of what I believe may be the root knot nematodes. About a month ago someone told me to check the roots on my dying plants, at that time they looked fine. Now, over the last two weeks I have pulled 6 or seven of them and the roots are grossly distorted and swollen with water, they look like a bundle of deformed carrots!
Okra is stunted where it is in the drip line of the walnut tree, outside the line it is doing good. Watermelons and peppers are thriving. Looking forward to getting my soil report so I'll know what to amend with for next year, all my tomatoes will be restricted to the other side of the property for the next several years, hopefully nematodes will die out?
My two other garden spots are doing great, I'm covered up with tomatillos. Of course they are so resilient and prolific- I've got them growing in my gravel driveway from last years fallen fruit! Thanks for asking, hope yours is growing well!
From my experience, with what I can see on the pics:
Irregular yellowing, no signs of reticulum or other wilt on the leaf edges, no spotting, lack of mulch, competing plants, rest of plant looking healthy, lots of branches.
Try trimming one or two non fruit producing branches from the plant in the MIDDLE, allowing for a bit more air flow and sunlight.
Keep ground a bit more moist by slow watering at the base and try mulching. While the plant may not be in drought stress, it can be at a point where the moisture is too little to allow some of the nutrients further away from the root mass to be able to transferee by osmosis.
Finally, the soil test is an excellent idea. PH and the 7 major nutrients are very delicately balanced due to ionic activity. This test will help you determine PH, nutrients, nematodes, and possibly other items depending on the testing package they have for vegetables.
Good luck finding out!
Last edited by Wolvie150; August 17th, 2008 at 08:29 AM.
Reason: spelling check