Yellowing, Dying Leaves

MarkB225OwlRidgeJuly 24, 2012

I'm growing my first tomatoes in 35 years.Put them in the ground May 24. Overall all the plants seem to be doing well. Tomatoes are starting to appear on many of the plants.I've sprayed them with an organic worm casting tea fertilizer the last 3 weeks. I'm watering by hand and they seem to need water about once a week. I'm doing my best to water less rather than more. Soil is more on the sandy side and I live on the central coast of California, pretty good sun exposure. Lately several of the plants are showing leaves that turn yellow and then die off. (see attached pic). Mostly happening towards the bottom of the plant. I've been trimming most of the dead stuff off. Any ideas on what it might be and what, if anything, to do about it?

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That isn't unusual and you aren't doing anything wrong. The lower leaves deal with all kinds of issues from pests to pathogens to being shaded due to their proximity to the soil. Often splashback from the soil during watering and rain causes many of these issues.

It is usually recommended to remove the lower leaves below the fruit to reduce disease and the potential to transfer to the rest of the plant. It will also allow air to flow under the plant to reduce humidity there as well, which also helps. It's also good to put mulch under the plant, especially in sandy soil to cut down on splashback and retain moisture.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 8:54AM
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Thanks Capoman. I'll keep trimming them off and see what happens. Appreciate the tips.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 11:18PM
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It looks like a nutrient problem to me. It's hard to see the curled-up leaves, though. The curl is stress from something. It could be from the Nitrogen in the worm castings.

What fertilizer do you have in the soil? I've never been a fan of foliar feeding.

Here is a link that might be useful: foliar feeding link

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 12:59AM
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Looks like you need mulch - that will help with watering frequency and splash carrying spores.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 8:03AM
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    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 8:05AM
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