Tomato leaf brown spotting

dlowtherMarch 17, 2013

Hello all,

I put my tomato plants out about a week ago. I grew them from seed inside and did a reasonable job of hardening them off, I think. I am distressed to see the brown spots shown in attached image on almost all growth that isnt brand new. Any ideas whats going on?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts,


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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Dave

I use the link below to try to identify tomato problems sometimes. Maybe your plants were not harden enough and the change of temperature and the sun contributed to the leaf problem, sometimes we get fungal diseases too. Are they planted in the ground or in a pot? that can make a big difference in growing in Florida. We had some very cold nights and very warm days too, that can also affect the plants. What varieties did you plant? some are more sensitive than others.


Here is a link that might be useful: tomato leaf diseases

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 7:41AM
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Looks like insect damage. Early instars are too small to eat the whole leaf, and just scrape the underside. spray with bt and that should solve the problem.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 2:57PM
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Thank you both for your responses.

The plants are in raised beds. I planted Floradel, Indigo Rose, Black Prince, Sungold, and Arkansas Traveler. All varieties seem equally affected. I've not seen insects and admittedly the pictures do not allow for a clear look.

I went ahead and applied organic fungicide (Safer brand) and foliar fertilizer. Our wind speeds have decreased in the last few days and it has been a bit overcast for part of each day.

The new growth doesn't seem to be showing the same symptoms as quickly (or at all - I hope!).

I'd love to know which thing is allowing for the improvement, But that may not be in the cards...


    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 8:46AM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

Is it possible that it's damage from some type of spray? Weed killers, etc. can drift onto nearby plants.

Also, do I see pine needles & oak leaves? I understand acidic mulches &/or soils can make many veggies more susceptible to diseases.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 10:35AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Dave, I hope that your tomato plants are looking better today. That reminds me that one season the community gardens planted the tomatoes with compost in the raised bed and added black cow at the sides, they got yellow for a few days and after they went back to green, so hopefully yours do the same.

I have grown all the varieties that you planted except the Floradel, they are not the most sensitive ones, actually indigo rose is a very strong plant, the tomatoes mature after a long season and is also very productive.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 6:39PM
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Carol - it wouldn't be from a nasty spray in my yard - but of course, can't say for sure on neighbors. I did a bit of research on the pine / oak / acidity thing (never heard of that!) and found the post at the attached link. Short summary of an exhausting post? I don't think that's a problem!

Silvia - I'm growing the Floradel because it is a "recommended" variety for Florida. Hopefully I will see enough production from all the varieties to share some comparison of the Floradel with varieties you know.

Things are continuing on the upward swing. Seems like either the fungicide, the fertilizer, or just time has improved things. I'll post a pic of the same plant in a day or so.

Thanks again!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pine Straw (Pine Needle) Mulch Acidity: Separating Fact From Fiction Through Analytical Testing

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 8:15AM
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