My tomato plants are dying.

surfpnsbch(z8 NWFL)June 25, 2005

And I can't find anything that looks like what is happening. We have raised beds just put in this spring. One bed has only homestead tomato plants and the other has several varieties, big boy, better boy and celebrity.

The plants were gorgeous and full of tomatoes. Then the birds started after them and I put up netting. Then the squirrels decided to take their turn.

Now all the fruit is gone and the plants look as if they haven't been watered in a week. I water them every day. The leaves are turning brown from the edges and some have black spots and yellowing.

I know this isn't a very good description and I don't have pictures yet. Sure would appreciate ANY help.

Thanks,

Sara

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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

The leaves are turning brown from the edges and some have black spots and yellowing

If there is no wilting and the leaves do have spots and initially usually yellow halos around those spots, it usually means a foliage disease.

In terms of treatment is means hopefully deciding if the infection is bacterial or fungal b'c the prognosis and treatment for those two kinds is different.

So without a picture to go on and no detailed description of the spots, why don't you go to Problem Solver #2, below, and look for pictures of the following, which are the four major causes of tomato foliage diseases:

Early Blight ( A. solani)
Septoria Leaf Spot
Bacterial Speck
Bacterial Spot

And see if you can recognize what you're seeing on your plants and let us know.

Carolyn

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 11:33AM
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surfpnsbch(z8 NWFL)

Thanks for your advice Carolyn. I have looked at the photos and can't find anything that looks exactly like what we have but the early blight is the closest.
I've cut out as much as I can and will just hope enough survive to get a few tomatoes for our kitchen. So far growing our own has really been a losing situation.
And they started out pretty.
Thanks again,
Sara

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 11:53AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

can't find anything that looks exactly like what we have but the early blight is the closest.

It's sometimes hard to diagnose from pictures Sara, b'c pictures are static while diseases are progressive, so what you see in one picture may not totally represent what you see on your plants.

And yes, taking off and disposing of infected foliage also helps.

But if it looks more fungal than bacterial then you can treat if you wish. Ortho Garden Disease Control, Daconil, is the best there is for fungal foliage infections. If you don't want to use that you can use a good copper containing anti-fungal such as Kocide or Mancozeb or similar, and these also have some anti-fungal activity, although less good than Daconil.

Carolyn

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 2:38PM
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hunter_tx(7bTx)

Another organic treatment (although I realize Daconil is not as toxic as some organic pesticides) is to foliar spray one or two times weekly with "cornmeal tea". Soak one or two cups of cornmeal in a gallon of water for a couple of days. Strain that gallon into a two gallon sprayer and add another gallon of plain water. Spray in early am or late evening twice a week for a couple of weeks, then weekly thereafter. This is the method I have used for the past three years with great results.
Mrs H

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 11:05PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

This is the method I have used for the past three years with great results.
Mrs H

The copper containing products I mentioned above are organic, which is why I mentioned them in addition to Daconil.

The major reason I don't mention cornmeal tea is b'c the person who was doing the large study on it, I'm so embarrased b'c she -posts here and I can't remember her name, said that it was not all that effective, as tested by many different folks. She suggested using it on an experimental basis. And others who, I know also have not had good luck with it.

I'm glad it works for you, but there are few who have tried it who have found it to be good for tomato foliage fungal diseases.

And the reason I don't mention milk, or compost teas or other preps is for the same reason, that is, very sporadic results by those who have used them.

The copper containeing preps are known to work, although less effective than Daconil.

Actually most of the time I prefer to let the poster state what they want to use, organic or not, b/c it's really their choice. When nothing is mentioned I go ahead and offer one organic I know that works and the other one will always be Daconil.

Carolyn

Carolyn

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 12:43PM
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hunter_tx(7bTx)

Well, I have tried the cornmeal as a soil amendment with very poor results, but have had great results with the cornmeal foliar spray. I only mention it because I know there are gardeners that prefer not to use copper. Don't know why, but my aversion seems to stem from the fact that I have a distinct metallic taste in my mouth after handling copper coins, yuk (grin). I don't really want copper on my garden plants if I can find another treatment. I suspect that consistent application is key to success with the method I use.
Mrs H

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 10:25PM
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farkee(Florida)

Carolyn, wanted to mention that mancozeb is not organic. If it was I would go and buy a gallon and all my problems would be solved.:) You can buy mancozeb mixed with copper but not considered organic either. farkee

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 10:59PM
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Gimme3Steps(7 or 8, NE GA)

Mrs H, i highly respect your insights, an i Know that you Love Bees, even more than i do...))), Could you please state How you prepare your cornmeal teas ?, this is another approach towards fungal attack, i want to endeavor, an find out about. I already have seen how cornmeal makes a rose bush healthy, w/no Blackspot, but dont know, exactly the best way to make a Tea, suitable for sprayin. Best Wishes, Always, to you, and ya Family, includin yo Bees...)))

    Bookmark   June 30, 2005 at 1:20AM
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surfpnsbch(z8 NWFL)

Is the corn meal you are talking about just regular cooking corn meal or do you mean corn gluten meal? And which is it you use on roses and how?

Thanks to all of you for information. We've had lots of rain the last few days so I haven't sprayed with anything yet, but will as soon as I know it won't all get washed off.

Carolyn, you are so nice to take so much time to answer all of us and help with our problems. I really do appreciate all you do.

Thanks, Sara

    Bookmark   June 30, 2005 at 10:06AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Carolyn, wanted to mention that mancozeb is not organic. If it was I would go and buy a gallon and all my problems would be solved.:) You can buy mancozeb mixed with copper but not considered organic either. farkee

I guess you mean not considered organic as far as organic certifying agencies are concerned.

It's true that Mancozeb is Maneb plus zinc and it's true that Mancozeb can be purchased with added copper, and it's also true that "most" organic agencies wouldn't consider Mancozeb to be "organic" in that sense, so I perhaps I really should limit myself to just saying a prep with just copper, like Kocide, or suggest a sulfur prep, to be clearer, as an alternative to Daconil.

I do garden organically at home here and at one other place but have only used Kocide, to date, and only at the other place since I've had no folaige diseases here at home.

Carolyn, who still will suggest copper or sulfur containing preps for fungal and bacterial foliage diseases over compost teas, cornmeal teas, milk, and Neem and b'c the feedback I'm reading overall, from many websites over a many year period of time, says that they don't work for that many folks. OK to try, for sure, but I'd rather go with what has been shown to work for the majority, not the minority of folks.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2005 at 11:06AM
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hunter_tx(7bTx)

Gimme, I pretty much described the extent of how I use the cornmeal tea above. I did leave out that I strain the couple-of-day-old cornmeal tea through a pantyhose to keep it from stopping up my sprayer :) It's really pretty easy and not time consuming compared to other garden chores.

Sara, I use either cooking cornmeal or horticultural cornmeal, whatever I have handy, and being a southern cook, it's usually kithcen cornmeal.

Carolyn, I fully expect that you or anyone else would suggest whatever is known to work. This works for me which is why I suggest trying it. BTW and OT, thanks for the suggestion of Armenian cukes last year. I'm growing them this year and they are doing great. Their texture was a little unexpected, but they do taste just like cucumbers, and they go great in my Summer tomato, cuke, onion, and mayo salads.
Mrs H

    Bookmark   June 30, 2005 at 10:38PM
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