Yellowed, spotted leaves

pyrrhuloxiaNovember 7, 2012

Help! I have several varieties of tomatoes in my fall garden, and most seem to be falling prey to something that is causing the leaves to develop yellow spots (see photo). Lower on the plants, the leaves are browning. The plants have a generally unhealthy appearance, and the fruits are not ripening nicely as would be expected. I see no obvious signs of a pest (at least no spider mites, which devastated my crop this summer), but I could be missing something.

Am I over/underwatering? My garden is watered with a sprinkler system close to the ground with a timer set to water about 45 minutes in the middle of the night every third day.

Could it be a virus or fungus?

Other thoughts on causes and possible solutions?

Here is a link that might be useful:

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Please provide a few clues, beginning with these:
- Where do you live?
- What are the prevailing temperatures for day?
- What are the prevailing temperatures for night?
- Have you fertilized?
- If so, when, with what, and how much?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 1:27PM
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pyrrhuloxia

Thanks for taking the time to respond:
- Where do you live? Central Texas, about an hour east of Austin.
- What are the prevailing temperatures for day? Highs in the mid 80s during the day.
- What are the prevailing temperatures for night? Low to mid-60s at night.
- Have you fertilized? Yes. See below.
- If so, when, with what, and how much? I mixed a fair amount of compost and composted horse manure into the soil before planting. I also dropped a handful of organic poultry-based fertilizer into each hole when planting, along with some rock phosphate and some epsom salts. That was in September.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 2:36PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Nutrient deficiency. The interveinal chlorosis and yellowing, even on the new growth, is a symptom of iron, zinc, and manganese deficiencies and very likely some nitrogen deficiency as well.

Nutrient uptake is slowed during cooler weather and if the pH of the soil is out of whack they are unavailable to the plants. All the nutrients you added are organic - great in a bed with an active soil food web to convert them to plant use, not worth much in the way of nutrients if the soil lacks the beneficial microbes needed.

Dave

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 5:10PM
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pyrrhuloxia

Thanks, Dave. I have been spraying the plants and soil regularly with compost tea to boost beneficial microbes in the soil. I also spray them with liquid seaweed and molasses.

What do you recommend as a solution?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 5:24PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Personally I'd stop spraying the plants with all that stuff as it only contributes to the problems. Foliar spraying has a role in gardening but only under very specific circumstances and only when done with great care, proper timing, and well diluted mixtures.

Root drenching with your various mixes is far more effective.

There are numerous liquid fertilizer products available, both organic and non-organic, that could benefit your plants and that don't require the months of soil activity to be of benefit to the plants that all your dry or granulated additives require.

Dave

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 4:09PM
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