Center of new leaves/new growth turning yellow/white....

HighlanderNorthJune 20, 2011

Hi, just joined up tonight......

I planted my 3 tomatoes back in 5-2-11, then 5 more small plants on about 5-27-11.

They all grew fine at first, then 2 weeks ago, I suddenly noticed that on all plants but 1 had what appeared to be almost a straight yellow stripe going across all the top, newer growth leaves and new center shoots coming out on both the tops of the main stem, and tops of all lateral stems. Then at the very center of the yellowing, it turned white.

I used a soil mix containing about 30% peat moss, 30% aged manure(bagged), 20 used Miracle Grow garden soil from last year, and 20% native soil(clayish). The after about 3 weeks, I also added Miracle grow from a hose end sprayer. I've used Miracle grow from a hose end sprayer for years, but not on vegetable crops, just trees, flowers, shrubs, etc., with no problem before.

Also, about 2 - 2.5 weeks before the yellowing began, I sprayed with Roundup 41% Glyphosphate and a small amount of Diquat-Dibromide in the mix. I've also used Roundup and Spectracide for 22 years, with no previous problems, as I worked for a Lawn Doctor franchise for 7 years in the 80's and early 90's, then my own landscaping co.

I didnt get the Roundup under the tomatoes where the original planting holes were dug, so the new soil didnt get any roundup on it, neither did the leaves, or the affected leaves wouldve died, especially near the bottom of the plants, and not at the tops.

This yellowing, and some whiteness at the tops of the branches has completely stopped the plants from growing, and even the new flowers have white petals instead of yellow, and are falling off in some places on the plants.

I decided to prune the branches below the yellowing areas, but I am unsure whether tomatoes will now grow additional branches(2 or more) from the spot where pruned like most plants do(?)

I also will replace a few of the smaller plants which arent growing with new plants and new soil.

Also, it seemed to have temporarily affected a few of my cucumbers too with yellow leaves at the end of the vines, but most have grown out of it. Also a Dahlia growing in the garden had its top leaves turn yellow, and I topped it, but the new laterals are very slow to grow, and are slightly yellow as well.

I have lots of experience with growing flowers, shrubs, lawns and ornamentals, but not with gardens, so I'm baffled as to whats going on. So is the local cooperative extension, who I brought samples to. I also paid for a soil sample, but it wont be done for a week or so.

What could be happening here? Too much nitrogen or P or K?

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First can you post pictures? It might help to better identify what is wrong. Next, why did you use roundup? For weeds? It sounds like there are a lot of chemicals being used. Like I said though pictures would help.

Happy Gardening,
-Kristina K.

Here is a link that might be useful: Urban Farm Wife

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 12:42AM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

As always a picture sure would help. I aaume these are in a container ?Holes in the bottom ? Your soil mix is too water retentive.Peat,manure,and old soil (compacted) and clayish soil all hold too much water. You are drowning your plants ,keeping the roots constantly wet will result in root rot and makes it so the plant cant take up water even tho there is plenty available.A soil mix with larger particles will allow better drainage,allowing air to get to the roots.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 12:55AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

The yellowing/white at the base of the leaves is due to drift from the glyphosate in Roundup. Tomatoes are affected by very small quantities!

Here's an image and discussion from Clemson University.

Here is a link that might be useful: effects of glyphosate on tomato

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 1:41AM
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First of all, how do you post pictures here?

Second, the link 'effects of glyphosate on tomato' left above by jean001a has a picture of a glyphosphate effected tomato plant and it looks just like mine do.

To: dickiefickle, all my garden plants are planted in a garden, in the ground, except for a cucumber and a pepper.

One problem I had, which is why I'm having such a bad weed problem, is that when I first decided to plant this garden, my plan was to use the rear-tine tiller owned by my landlord to till all the soil in the garden area, then to till in some bulk combo soil. However, the tiller has both a seized transmission and engine, so its useless.

This meant that I had to plant the garden in what was currently a lawn area, with grass and weeds. So I planted the plants just like I would plant a shrub or perennial. I dug holes about 14"-16" in diameter, about 14" deep, then I mixed my soil up and filed these holes, then planted the plants in the holes. Before planting, I didnt spray Roundup on the garden area, because I figured my landlord would want it to be a lawn again in the future, after the garden was picked. But later, she agreed to allow me to spray it, but by that time the garden was 3 weeks old.

However, the grass and weeds are still growing, so I first just weed-wacked them, but as the veggies grew larger, I couldnt take the chance of weed wacking the veggies by accident. But there are too many to pull every few days, so i did what I would normally do in an ornamental bed.

I first pulled the weeds under the drip line of the veggie plants, then I carefully sprayed Roundup to the other weeds, with the wand very low to the ground, on a non-windy day.

Also to dickiefickle: As far as my soil being too moist, the holes I'm growing in are 14-16" deep, and we live on the East coast where we have a drought just about every summer, where it wont rain for weeks at a time. Most watering is done by hand, and I never water too much or too often. Usually every 3 days or so, unless it rains, so the soil is never too wet for very long.

However, I planted a Dahlia, a 40" variety called 'Contraste' back on about May 5. It already had a long stem growing out of the tuber, so once I planted it, it immediately was 3" above ground and started growing leaves at once. Then on about May 20, we had an extremely rare 7 day long rain spell, where it rained on and off every day, and was constantly overcast. It actually rained about 3-5 hours per day. One day after the rain ended, the sun came out and some plants were wilting a little initially due to the bright sun for the first time in 8 days, but then most plants perked back up, except for the one Dahlia. It continued to wilt for 8 more days, til I dug down to the tuber, and discovered that it had rotted from the bottom up and was slimy and easily crushed in my hands.

****Anyway, my most important question at this point is: Now that I've pruned the tomatoes back below the yellowing areas on top of main stem and laterals, will those tomatoes grow new stems from the area where pruned like most plants do(2 or more new stems), or will no new growth start where pruned, and only new lateral will grow from between the main stem and leaf branches? How do tomatoes normally react to their stems being pruned?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 11:15AM
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This is happening to me too, its my first year ever doing tomatoes. They're on a deck, with mostly sun. I'm moving them down to the lower yard once the weather smartens up. Rain and rain for a week. I've read lack of sun and warmth can do this too... could that be the problem? Too much water? Help! I don't want to kill my first crop!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 10:42PM
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Round up or any weed killers are deadly to tomatoes.... just consider them tasty weeds next time ;)

But if it didn't completely kill them and you and your neighbors stopped trying to kill weeds with chemicals, they will grow new stems... from everywhere, they don't call those new stems suckers for nothing ;).

They will just be set back a few weeks, which can be a problem for people with a short growing season.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 11:13PM
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valereee(6a SW Ohio)

Wow, that's exactly what's happening to one of my tomato plants, too! They're up against the fence that separates my yard from my chem-using neighbors. Should I leave the affected areas alone, or should I prune them off? Is the plant a goner, or will it survive? None of the other three tomatoes seem to have been affected, including another growing in the same earthbox.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 6:59AM
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High North. For future reference, Laying down a couple layers of cardboard and holding it down with some rocks or something would have killed the grass and weeds in a chemical free way. In fact, many people use cardboard or newspapers as a water permiable weed block under normal mulching circumstances, not just for killing off a large area of lawn.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 8:36AM
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