Help! tomato plants yellowing with pale areas?

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by justalittlegardenobsessed, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. justalittlegardenobsessed

    justalittlegardenobsessed Active Member

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    Hi there -- my tomato plants are suddenly going yellow. It seems to start with pale areas on the leaves. Any ideas? I'm terrified of losing all these plants I've nurtured for so long. Thanks so much for any suggestions.
     

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  3. Greerish

    Greerish Active Member

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    there are a lot of things that can affect tomatoes.
    The distorted leaf and patches of discolord patches in the last picture look like symptoms of a virus posably tomato/potato mosaic virus.
    If it is I'm affraid that the only control is to get rid of the plant either bin or burn do not compost it as the virus will spread.
     
  4. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    Is it just the leaves at the bottom of the plant or are all the leaves turning yellow?
     
  5. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    I have tomato leaves turn yellow all the time, and I just remove them, and another sprouts in it's place. It's too soon to make the judgement of throwing the plants out.

    Remove the yellowing leaves - this will make the plants look better also. Then just wait and see what happens. Too much water or too little water can also yellow the leaves.

    I bet your plants will be ok, just wait and see what happens after you remove the yellow ones. I also like to fertilize my tomato plants to keep them looking healthy and green - with tons of fruits.

    : )
     
  6. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    I was told they need to be fertilized frequently, and as mine were doing the same right after purchasing a bearing hanging basket variety I used a high-nitrogen, low phosphorus, high potassium fertilizer as noted on a web page or two... Mine are hanging basket tomatoes, Tumbler variety, and they improved immediately [they were purchased with leaves somewhat dried out and yellowing] and are producing new growth. Messy leaves are par for the course, I THINK -- I remember growing garden tomatoes in NS and noting the less-than-attractive leaves. I think all tomato plants have a lot of messy leaves, I just clip the worst off.
     
  7. justalittlegardenobsessed

    justalittlegardenobsessed Active Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. I talked to a plant disease expert and she suggested fertilizing as well ... She seemed to think that as long as the fruit was not affected I didn't need to panic. So I'll try that and see what happens. Thanks again!
     
  8. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    All veggies are heavy feeders, so yes they benefit from regular nutrients. I am downright fanatical about fertilizing all of my plants, including my flowers.

    'Blood and Bonemeal' is one of my all-time favorite fertilizers.

    : )
     
  9. justalittlegardenobsessed

    justalittlegardenobsessed Active Member

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    Awesome. THanks again for all the tips. D.
     
  10. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    You're welcome. Good luck.

    HAPPY GARDENING 2009!

    : )
     
  11. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    I do not fertilize anything unless it is growing in a pot. And I have never heard of anyone fertilizing tomatos. They grew before Woman arrived - I used to say "Man" but my daughters explained to me that Woman had to come first since every man has a mother - and therefore they grew without fert and therefore they can still do so. Not a very complex syllogism.

    But then I have been composting my garden for 30 years. And my parents were depression-era folks who would have fainted at the idea of spending money on fertilizers.

    Right now my tomato plants - four varieties of cherries - are about 5' high and flowering. A few tomatos have appeared. I normally harvest until about Halowe'en.
     
  12. Greerish

    Greerish Active Member

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    soccerdad most of the plants in peoples gardens and almost all of the fruit and veg we grow have very little resembelance to their wild ancesters unfortunatly like you and me they wouldnt do very well under wild conditions.
    I prefer to feed mine with alliquid seeweed fertaliser i dont eat meat and using fish blood and bone on my veg just feels weird if i think about it lol
    You can grow your own fertalisers like comfry, collecting liquid from your compost, you can even collect seaweed if you live near the coast and compost it or make your own liquid fetaliser fro it if you stick it in a barrel with water fo a while, ash from fire is also good or my favorite dried used coffee grounds are high in nitrogen
     
  13. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    Somewhere along the way humans discovered fertilizer, like computers... I wonder if there are any parallels. We are certainly better off in accounting, with computers [just imagine what it must have been like without one, I sort of do, everything in pencil first]; with life in general, I don't know... they make a lot of space in one's schedule for communicating! Fertilizing is a whole new job, finding the right one, or making it, for sale or use, etc....
     
  14. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    I used to review accountant's products before computers were in use outside universities, and everything was indeed in pencil. That wasn't too long ago (by my standards). I don't recall any problems.

    Sort of like writing English before spell chck. We used too learn the rools of grammer. Now we rely on machines.

    Pre-computers we learned to do most things in our heads - the MAA or the AMS used to say that no math more complex than grade 4 arithmetic would be needed by the average person throughout her lifetime, and we learned the "20 times table" by grade 8 - but I concede that in some cases computers are necessary. Probably in about 1% of the cases in which they are used. (I am speaking only of arithmetic calculations of course; I could hardly be contributing to this site without a computer) Of course the fact that they are available means that no one learns arithmetic which in turn makes them necessary in many unnecessary cases. You can amuse yourself by drawing parallels to many other aspects of daily life in which technology leads to atrophy if you want; a good game for a winter evening.

    But I digress. For truly original species, grown in their natural environment, we wouldn't even need compost. We wouldn't need to add anything to what nature provided. It is only because I grow "unnatural" varieties that I need compost. Why would the plants also need other types of fertilizer? Of course you can load your plants up exactly as professional athletes take steroids, but that ain't gardening.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2009
  15. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Very interesting indeed, and I tend to think there's some truth to a lot of what you're saying. Thanks for your views.

     
  16. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    One thing I have noticed regarding fertilizing: okay, buying a plant from a nursery, the item is fresh and green and ready to go. One decides to give it a dash of fertilizer and it grows even better. For a while it does exceptionally well. Then, some sort of natural brake seems to come into play and it suddenly becomes rather exhausted -- my cherry tomatoes are now seemingly coming to an end this weekend despite careful watering and fertilizing and lush production of fruit. Bang, the lifespan may be over. I may even have to withdraw my comment to fertilize regularly. If they had not been fertilized, or only once anyway, but had been allowed to grow gradually a bit and a bit more, producing 2 or 3 fruit every few days... would they be producing more cherry tomatoes now? Instead of a tired-out looking old hag of a tomato plant? My rhododendrons have warned me before about too much fertilizer: brown edges on leaves. Left alone with only the irrigation to soothe them, this year's leaves are healthy. Could raggy leaves on tomato plants be signalling too rich a diet?
     
  17. Greerish

    Greerish Active Member

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    I agree on some points but not others, where possable i i prefer not to use fertalisers or pesticides of anyform but with pot plants i do as the nutrient in the compost only lasts a few weeks. The garden here is on the edge of the forest so we get loads of leaves falling here in the autumn which instead of getting rid of i prefer to rake into piles and shred using the lawn mower and then use them as a mulch on the border that's really all the fertaliser i use.
     
  18. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    That's more or less how I operate, the potted plant needs a bit more nutrient. It seem to be working well with potted annual and perennial flowers. I think I used up the cherry tomato's productive capacity though! We'll see if any more blooms and fruit appear. We purchased the plant after the fruit had been set so I didn't see any more bloom. Hopefully I missed some tiny budding tomatoes so more may appear. I'd like to know if more flowers are likely to appear now, or whether a set amount of flowers bloom then that batch turn into tomatoes, for the year -- or whether another flowering can happen. We grew full-size tomatoes in a garden in NS but I don't remember about the flowering period. Greerish, you have a nice rural area to grow in, it sounds like... If I were younger I'd be locating with more land, but at my stage in life small is best. Next summer we'll do more hanging basket tomatoes, though.
     
  19. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member 10 Years

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    You should see many more flowers in the coming weeks.

    That is in fact a problem: flowers (at least on my plants) appear throughout September, but the fruits that follow them will never mature before the weather turns too cold, thus they do nothing useful; instead, they compete with the other fruits for nutrition. I'd start removing the flowers by the end of August at the very latest.
     
  20. Greerish

    Greerish Active Member

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    we're not that rural here really i'm about 30 miles from the centre of london so it's still fairly built up. as for green tomatos I love green tomato chutny and you can allways use the trick of sticking them in a paper bag or drawer with a banana to ripen off the plant if you dont like chutny, they dont taste as good as fresh off the plant but still better than shop bought ones
     
  21. JanR

    JanR Active Member

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    There are lots of things that you can make with green tomatoes. Like green tomato mincement, green tomato relish, and fried green tomatoes. I do try to get as many to ripen as possible. Partly ripened ones, I fry up and have on toast. The first frost comes early here so I always have lots of green tomatoes. I ate my last tomato in December last year.
     

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