Spotted Leaves, Pale Green Leaves & Spotted Leaves

kenyadenola(z8b CA, Sunset 17)July 12, 2006

Below are pictures of some of my tomatoes that are having issues. All of my plants have some of these issues to some degree, most starting to have pale green leaves, while the lower leaves on others are starting to have the mottled look. The funny thing is that the plants with the mottled leaves, have the darkest leaves, while the newer plants have a pale green (almost flourescent green, as opposed to the deep dark green I am used to) almost yellowish tint to them.

I was thinking that the the mottled leaves could be signs of a magnesium deficiency, especially since the spots are starting to turn yellow and the vein is staying green, but then I discovered that it could be a lack of iron as well. I don't know. The plants that aren't deeply green I thought could need some nitrogen, but I don't want to over do it and have that not be the problem. They all seem to be growing well, but I would like to correct whatever the problem may be before I lose my plants.

I have invested a lot of time into my plants and I want them to be okay. My husband thinks I've flipped my wig when it comes to my tomatoes, I'm almost as attached to them as I am my children!!

By the way, I grow them organically, so if there any solutions I would like them to be organic or at least as close to organic as possible.

When I planted them, I amended my clay soil with chicken manure, compost and a blend of greensand, kelpmeal and rock phosphate. I have feed them with a fish/seaweed emulsion and monty's joy juice (once with the 4-16-15, and once with 2-15-15). They are in various stages of growth, a few are almost 6 feet and the rest are between 3 & 4 1/2 feet.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


Here is a link that might be useful: Pictures of Tomatoes

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torquill(z9/sunset15 CA)

It does look like nutrient deficiencies, which have the twin benefits of being slow and correctable.

The interveinal yellowing, where the veins stay green, is more likely magnesium than iron... but the real way to tell is where it's happening. Magnesium starts at the bottom, iron starts at the top. The pictures make me guess it's the former; you could mix up a tablespoon or so of epsom salts in a spray bottle and spritz down the plants, and see whether the leaves color up again.

The yellow leaves probably are nitrogen, and a light foliar feed is very unlikely to give them too much nitrogen. Spray them down with fish emulsion and see if they green up. If they do, start giving them light doses of nitrogen regularly. Clay soil can be very rich in just about everything... except nitrogen; your amendments weren't with anything that would boost that N level for any length of time, particularly if the chicken manure was old.

Best of luck -- the plants should be fine once you can give them what they need.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2006 at 12:23AM
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