Help! First Tomatoes ever Weird spots!

bggarricJuly 12, 2012

Hi! First off, I've read a lot on the forums and appreciate all the help I've received already.

This is my first year planting tomatoes. I have some hybrid bush goliath that have done okay and I've gotten some decent clementine sized maters off of it, but my pride and joy is my second (and only other) tomato plant. It is a cherry tomato plant and has looked WONDERFUL until a few days ago.

It is planted in a large pot and gets plenty of sun. It has been a very nice deep green and is very bushy and very tall! It has TONS of cherry tomatoes on it and they're just starting to ripen!

I noticed a couple of days ago what looked like 'Clearing' in a few leaves. It was almost as if all of the chlorophyll was gone and it was just translucent. Those spots then turned brown and I've noticed that more leaves (quite a few) have turned w/ spots as well.

I've attached pictures. I'm afraid I've got a fungus? I didn't know to trim the bottom few stems and those had turned yellow some time ago and I feel that they may have gotten a fungus and it has spread.

What do you think this is? Is there anything I can do about it that is budget friendly (I trimmed all of the blatantly infected leaves off as well as the bottom stems to slow it down. I hope i didn't thin the plant out too much.

Sorry for the long post. I appreciate any advice/help you have to offer. Thanks so much in advance!

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another picture

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 7:37PM
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And another after the translucent parts have browned/fallen out

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 7:39PM
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I am by no means an expert on this, so hopefully some of the more experienced people will give their opinion, but I don't know where in SC you are but I am in eastern NC and I've noticed similar spots on my tomato plants (about 40 of them). The first two pics looked like the damage I had to mine and I immediately panicked as well. Well, I got to feeling the spots on my tomato plants that looked like that (brown, translucent) and I noticed I was squishing something in them. Apparently I have a tomato pinworm (not 100% sure but some kind of pinworm) and like I said the only reason I know for sure is I pulled a couple of the worms out and squished others that were still in the leaves. The last pic though I'm not so sure, maybe another insect?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 9:13PM
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turquoisegardenia(6a Toronto)

Sounds like leaf miners. That's what the first pic looks like especially. I get these so much on my chard and beets I'm about to give up on them. Get yourself a little bottle of BHT at the garden centre, it works really well on them. It's approved for organic use too, a big plus. Make sure to get the undiluted stuff and mix it with water in your own bottle, rather than buying the pre-mixed solution, which is much pricier.

Here is a link that might be useful: leaf miner damage

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 11:21PM
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tdscpa(z5 NWKS)

Does not look like any leaf miner damage I've ever seen. Does not even look unusual or severe to me.

It is the wont of bugs, insects, and varments to chew on your garden plants.

Your garden must not be large enough if you have enough time to send a photo of every insect bite-mark on one of your plants to garden-web.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 3:26AM
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@bggarric: I'm inexperienced myself, so I can't help diagnose. But I also have only a small home garden, so every plant is precious to me. And I have the exact same thing happening to one of my potato leaf plants. The advice I got was to remove all the damaged areas (I usually cut the whole infected branch off back to the main stem because in the past it seems like if one leaf gets it, so will the rest).

I have this and some other issue going on, maybe Septoria, but my extension agent suggested Chlorothalonil fungicide, and anOrganic copper soap product.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 10:31AM
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Welcome to tomato growing! Your orange one will be ripening soon!

You said you trimmed plant - some fruit can get sunscald if removed leaves reveal them to too much sunlight. You could create some light shade for it until it grows new leaves to cover fruit. Perhaps, a lightweight curtain (fabric shower curtains work great), rope, clothespins, etc. Don't touch the plant itself though. Might look a bit funky, but in your climate should grow quickly.

You asked what to do budget friendly - just keep watering, lightly fertilizing, and watch for insects that might be crawling & chewing. I prefer to tie stems even in cages like yours to keep plant supported and spread a bit to fill the cage. Also helps as it grows taller than cage and flops over to keep growing. If tied doesn't crack stems. Use what you have to make strips of soft material (old tshirts, nylon pantyhose).

~~Enjoy your 1st season of tomato growing~~

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 11:52AM
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Agree, not leaf miners....they leave trails that twist and turn like a wild tiny river in your leaves (their tunnels). Remove leaves only if diseased as they provide needed shade as your toms start to ripen. A few bug holes or hail holes in leaves just add to the charm of a plant in July.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 1:37PM
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