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Tomato leaf problems - help

Posted: 08/07/2012 at 20:20
Apologies for the delay in responding, it's been a busy day.

Thank you Italophile for the latter advice, especially re the watering - at last something that is logical and makes sense.

Regarding Bob's comments. I have been careful to only water at the roots (using house tap water), avoiding the leaves and any splashing, and I don't use any form of misting. However I do have gravel trays on staging for plants that I am raising from seed / cuttings, as mentioned above. I have noticed that each morning, the inside of the greenhouse is misted up and some of the leaves on the tomatoes, cucumber and other plants do have water droplets on them.

However, if this is the cause of some form of fungal infection, then why have my outdoor tomato plants (grown from the same seeds & planted in the same potting mix etc), only yards from the greenhouse, not also been affected, especially as they have virtually been drowned on a daily basis over the past few months due to this dreadful weather?

Tomato leaf problems - help

Posted: 08/07/2012 at 12:06

Sorry folks, there is obviously a limit on the no/size of picture uploads. I'll try to send the last photos again.







 Pics 3, 5 & 7 cearly show the mold I was talking about.

Tomato leaf problems - help

Posted: 08/07/2012 at 12:00

Hi all!

My wife and I have just had a good look at all of the plants. The main stems and all of leaf stems (up to the affected leaves) look in perfect health. Looking at the brown spots with a magnifying glass - on leaves at various stages - there are no halos or concentric rings. The spots seem to be made up of clusters of dots. On the worst affected leaves, they look almost like scabs. A few of the worst leaves are wilting, and look like they have small patches of fungus, but I think this a secondary problem - I don't think it's part of the main problem.

I have taken the following photos - in macro - I hope they will give a better view of the problem.

The last 6 photos are the back/front of three of the worst affected leaves that I removed.

Thanks to all once again.















Tomato leaf problems - help

Posted: 08/07/2012 at 09:45

Hi Italophile.

All of my tomato plants in the greenhouse are affected to some degree. 

I also have bell peppers and a cucumber plant growing in similar pots/compost next to the tomatoes (no signs of any problems - the cucumber is doing really well) in amongst the pots are basil and French marigolds (also doing well). On staging on the opposite side of the greenhouse I have plants grown from seed/cuttings at various stages of developement - all doing well.

All of the tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, are in large pots, sunk into the ground (sandstone) - there is next to no soil in the garden.

Are the tomatoes likely to cause the other greenhouse plants problems, or should I leave them? I don't really have any suitable places to put them.


Many thanks.



Tomato leaf problems - help

Posted: 08/07/2012 at 09:31

Following Sotongeoff's advice yesterday, I haven't watered the tomatoes since, and I understand what Italophile says...

'Geoff is right. The biggest mistake you can make with toms is watering by rote - automatically, regardless of conditions. The rule of thumb is simple: water toms when they need it. When do they need it? When the mix - in the case of containers - dries out. You can let the mix dry out. It will not hurt the plant. Leaving the mix dry for a week obviously will hurt the plant but over a day it won't.'

Assuming that the problem is overwatering (and hopefully this can be picked up from the pictures of the affected plants), and that I can recover the existing tomato plants to good health, how (and this may seem like a daft question) can I tell if the mix has dried out? I can obviously check the surface, and insert my finger into the compost, but that still leaves the best part of 12" (30cm) of compost mix in a buried pot that I can't check, which may be as dry as a bone, or completely waterlogged.

I also appreciate what Italophile says about regular watering...

'so the watering pattern needs to be regular. That doesn't have to mean every day. It means establishing the plant's requirements and watering - app'

...but (appreciating my very limited knowledge on the matter) I'm confused as to what is regular watering, as even the responses to this post gives conflicting advice.

Italophile, can you go back to basics for novices like me. How often should I water (and feed)? How much water/feed? At what time of day should I water? How do I vary any of this if the conditions are particularly hot, cold, damp (as it's been in the UK for the past few months)? How does this differ between tomatoes grown in a greenhouse and the outdoors? Likewise those tomatoes grown in pots, and those grown directly in the soil?

Thanking you in anticipation.




Tomato leaf problems - help

Posted: 08/07/2012 at 08:45

Hi All. Went to my greenhouse this morning and the problem has worsened. In various stages, it's near to the top of the plants.

I have taken off some of the worst affected leaves and taken photo's of the same, which will hopefully be attached




. Can anyone give me a definitive answer to what the problem is, and the most expeditious remedy.



 N.B. I have two other identical tomato plants, planted exactly the same way (compost, tubs etc) outdoors. Other than the fact that they are slightly less advanced than those in the pictures, they are in perfect health, even after suffering the almost daily deluge of the past few months. The only difference is that God is watering them, not me.

Sickly plants ? Try asprin.

Posted: 07/07/2012 at 16:31
Does anyone have any knowledge of using epsom salts as a spray on greenhouse tomato plants? The bottom leaves on my plants are curling, with brown mottling, before turning yellow - I'm told it's either a watering problem or magnesium deficiency. I don't know which.

I have watered in Epsom salts a week ago, but with no effect. If I spray it on the leaves, am I likely to cause other problems?

As for the rain and slugs... I've tried to be good but the slug damage has been horrendous, and I had to bite the bullet. All my susceptible plants and veg now have a liberal carpet of slug pellets around them. Works a treat!

Tomato leaf problems - help

Posted: 07/07/2012 at 14:03
Hi Tappet.

I'm not quite up to date with my GW mag, but I did try Epsom salts about a week ago - the problem has continued unabated.

Many thanks.

Tomato leaf problems - help

Posted: 07/07/2012 at 11:14
Many thanks.

Tomato leaf problems - help

Posted: 07/07/2012 at 10:55
Hi sotongeoff. Thank you for your response / advise.

I am sure you are correct and the problem is one of watering.

I water so much as having read countless gardening books, watched Gardener's World, searched online & sought advice from local fonts of wisdom, etc, etc, they all seem to advise 'regular watering', 'don't water erratically', 'water early morning & late evening - not during the day', etc. I have therefore hedged my bets & given them a little & often.

But these sources of information forget the important bit (for novices like myself) I.e. how much water? how often? do you vary watering if it's particularly hot or cold? How do you know if your tomatoes need more (or less) watering? Can you advise?

Re inserting pictures. I'm typing this on my iPad. I can't find a tree icon (or the ABC/ message bar) or anything similar. Any ideas?
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Tomato leaf problems - help

Curling, mottling & yellowing of leaves 
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