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This is my first year with a new poly-tunnel.

I planted loads of tomato seeds (from the same packet) into trays and when they'd grown large enough I transplanted them into small pots inside the poly-tunnel.

When they were large and healthy enough I planted 11 of the tomato plants inside the poly-tunnel and the rest of them outside in a small plot of their own.

The bed inside the poly-tunnel where I planted the tomatoes had a few large bags of compost (bought from a supermarket) dug in to help the soil.

At the same time as planting the tomatoes I also planted sweet peppers between the tomato plants.

The tomato plants outside are doing just fine but 9 of the 11 plants inside the ploy-tunnel have gone yellow and died and the other two are just hanging on a bit longer

The sweet peppers are doing just fine with no problems.

I don't understand what is happening and no one else on our allotments seem to know either.

Maybe you can shed some light on why the tomato plants in the ploy-tunnel have all but died whereas the ones outside are thriving?

Surely if it was something in the soil the sweet peppers would have suffered as well?


Odd that the peppers are coping but the toms aren't. They're twins in terms of growing requirements. When you say they've gone yellow, have there been spots on the leaves? Has the yellowing been gradual or rapid? If the peppers weren't coping I'd be wondering whether the toms are getting sufficient ventilation, overheating perhaps.

Too much food maybe your acid went up and the toms cant cope but the peepers are able to withstand the high feed dosage? Tomatoes I have been reading since starting to grow them can react badly to high amounts of feed and it stops them taking up calcium as it blocks the root system so they become deficient wither and die.  I'm not diagnosing this as I have no photo and I'm only a novice but it rings a few bells with what I was reading a few months ago. This could be the problem ? Too much feed with low calcium levels in the soil? Have the soil tested at the garden center take a sample from the spot one died in


Some of the leaves started going yellow on my tomato plants, so instead of chucking nutrients at them, I had a study and found the tiniest greenflies on the backs of the leaves, I rubbed them off and no more trouble, always check for pests first.

There is an article about too much feeding of tomatoes in a mag this week. I expect you have all read it.

I'll go back later today and have a look at the ones I pulled out to see if there's any obvious spots or insects.

I've been feeding the tomato plants with tomato feed only once a week.



Did you delay feeding until the plants had visible small tomatoes or did you start feeding as soon as you planted them?

The tomatoes inside the poly-tunnel were watered with tomato feed only the once and they were about 30 cm tall by then.

The tomatoes outside were treated in exactly the same way and they're doing just fine and they're from the same seed.

I've just phoned my wife who is at the allotment poly-tunnel now and she says that the few tomato plants left inside have what looks like small grains of white salt on the stems; probably some kind of mite/insect.

I'd love to know what they could be and how to treat it.

They may have not died outside as it has been raining constantly and the feed got washed away? There may have been a large amount of feed in the compost 


Could be onto something, Dov.

Christopher, the peppers are okay in the same soil so it can't be a soil problem. 


As I said, more likely a pest of some sort.

They dont need feeding until you see tomatoes on them, 

It may have nothing to do with your problem whatsoever but my partners grandad told me if the leaves on my Tom plants start going yellow and withered I should sprinkle some Epsom salts around the base of the stem and water it in... Dunno if anybody else has heard of this but he says it works wonders!

Epsom Salts is an age-old remedy for magnesium deficiency, Dan. Richard's peppers are doing well in the same soil so the problem is something specific to the tom plants.

@Italophile But some strains of tomatoes are prone to deficiency's  like calcium deficiency.  The other plants may be able to withstand the conditions as they can pick up more nutrients. Thats what I've been reading anyway. I'm not getting Garden compost from the garden center any more as I suspect that many of them get a percentage from the sewage works and it must be full of chemicals. I got a few bags from Aldi and it smelled like it was full of chemicals. I tried to grow a few sunflowers in it as a test I grew it in that and nothing else and all of them died but one and I let it grow for a month and it looked a right sorry state it was only 1ft tall so I planted it in the garden and its slowly recovering. That looked yellow too


The first thing surely if you have a problem with plants is to look and try to find out why.  So many people chucking pellets, fertilizers and wot not on everything, I think this probably comes from mags and tv, where they are sponsered by the manufacturers.

The poster has already said they have whitefly, feed, epson salts or any other will not kill those. They are sap sucking.



Absolutely agree Lyn 

To be a gardener you have to have good observational skills - chucking one thing after another at a problem just builds up more problems.


Gardening is knowhere as easy as the tv and mags make out, just plant this or that in the ground and there you go... no not quite but it makes you buy lots of stuff.

Gardening is like parenting, needs constant attention. But not always loads of money or treats spent on them.

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