Tomato leaves in containers turning brown/yellow

skeezix8June 13, 2007

I planted four tomato plants in containers around May 1..they have been growing well for the past month, hearty stalks, stems and leaves. Overall May was extremely dry in MD, but we had a day of solid rain approx two weeks ago (maybe 2 inches in one day). As a result of being so dry I had been watering in early am and in the evening, the plants sit in almost full sun on a deck off the back of the house. Just after the rain episode, I noticed one plants leaves around the base of the plant start to yellow. Soon the yellow leaves began to appear all around the plant, eventually these yellow leaves turn brown, dry up and are basically dead. I have noticed the other three tom. plants start to follow this same pattern. Is this a fungus/disease...early blight? Is this overwatering? I am confused, also concerned all four will die and never produce anything??

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Usually, the yellowing of plant leaves indicates excessive water so that is the best bet given your weather and watering pattern. But without seeing a picture of the plant it is impossible to tell for sure so check out the disease link below for comparison to your plants.

The best way to find out if that is the problem is to cut back substantially on the watering and note if the plant's color improves. Keep in mind that overwatering is far more lethal to plants than underwatering so when in doubt - wait. The roots need oxygen as much as they need water and excessively wet soil deprives them of that oxygen.

The best method to check is to stick you finger deep into the soil and check to see if it is dry deep down. Or allow the plant to begin to droop slightly before watering. They will tolerate that with no problem.

Plants in containers may also need an extra boost of food as much of it leaches out with the water or heavy rains. So try a 1/2 strength dose of whatever your favorite fert is too. Good luck and enjoy your tomatoes. Remember - they're tough AND tolerant of us! ;)


Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato Diseases

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 9:35PM
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