Help with a diagnosis, please!

nancysil(z6 New Engl)June 22, 2005

Could someone please help identify this problem (or is it a problem?)

I have 70 plants in containers and most are very healthy.

20 plants are all in one line where I grew tomatoes in containers successfully last year. This year these 20 are not as deep green or as hearty as all the others in the garden and their leaves (mostly toward the bottom) look like this:

Do tomatoes ever recover from a less than optimum start? Should I expect to ditch all of these plants? The new growth seems to be growing out o.k. but we haven't had much sun or warm weather (today is yet another overcast day, but it should be hot).

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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)


I can't see those spots in enough detail to tell what might be going on but it looks like a foliage disease.

Could you do a sharp closeup or if not please describe the spots in detail as to size, color, shape, whether you see concentric rings inside the spots, any yellow halos around them and whether you see any lesions on the stems.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 9:44PM
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nancysil(z6 New Engl)

Thanks for your help Carolyn. Here are some new pictures:

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 8:25AM
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nctom(8 nc)

Hey Nancy,

Looks like Septoria leaf spot. You can spray with Ortho Garden Disease Control. If in fact this is Septoria leaf spot and I do believe it is then spraying with a fungicide should slow it down to the point that you can expect a good harvest. I also would recommend that you treat your other plants as well even if they do not show any symptoms.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 12:52AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)


What bothers me about those spots is that I see absolutely no internal structure, nor do I see any yellowing around the spots, which one almost always sees with fungal foliage diseases.

Do you see any dark lesions on the stems?

Do you live in an urban area?


    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 6:48PM
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nancysil(z6 New Engl)

Thanks very much nctom for your input.

Carolyn -

Many thank yous to you, too. I live in a suburban setting. There are no lesions on the stems, but the stems are pretty thin compared to those in other areas of my property. This is the only place which I have tomatoes bordering another home. Could it be due to drifting of some garden application my neighbors are using?

I picked off some of the worst stuff and the suckers are growing out. The top foliage as of the past two days (where we've had some sun and heat), are a normal darker green color, where before all the foliage was fairly light.

Still (thank goodness) the other plants in other areas of my yard are very healthy, bushy and their stems continue to thicken nicely.

Hopefully I'll have a turn around, but sadly my Sungold,Sweet Baby Girl and one of my Marianna's Peace plants are really skinny and puny.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 10:01PM
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nancysil(z6 New Engl)

Looks like my ailing tomato plants are making a comeback! I picked off most of the spotted leaves and the suckers are growing out to replace them. The top leaves are now dark green and healthy and I'm getting blossoms. This is a two day turn around with the hot sunny weather that finally arrived.

The only two plants that may not make it are the Sungold and the Sweet Baby Girl, but two out of twenty isn't too bad and I bought a replacement Sungold from a garden store.

I'll miss the sweet baby girl plant but I have many nice cherry varieties to look forward to.

So I guess that's main answer to my original question: Yes, tomato plants can sometimes bouce back.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 7:45PM
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