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My tomato plants are turning yellow - help!

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
by tiger lily on September 14, 2004 03:11 AM
I planted a large number of tomato plants this year (100 Early Girl and about 350 Ace 55) in an area where we previously mostly had only weeds. My plants are watered via drip tape, they are planted about 2' apart with rows about 4' wide, and are not caged or staked. We have had lots of beautiful, juicy tomatoes. However, about 3 weeks ago the leaves started turning yellow. About 2 weeks ago I fed for the first time, about 1/2 cup diluted fish emulsion per plant, thinking maybe they needed something. I have tons of fruit still, but as the leaves yellow and droop the fruit is becoming exposed and sunburned. Not nice enough for the farmer's markets. A week ago we had a hot spell (over 100 degrees) for 3 days that cooked a lot of the fruit on the plants. A few people have said (without seeing the plants) that they are probably just at the end of their lives. However, they still have green tomatoes and blossoms. Usually my plants don't look bad until the end of October when we start getting frosts. Can anyone help? PS - I'm in central/southern California. Daytime temps are about 78, nighttime I'm guessing is about 55. THANKS in advance for any and all advice.
by weezie13 on September 14, 2004 05:43 AM
*****Tiger Lily,
I first too think it's the end of their season...
Have you had a funny weather season?
Hot then cold, long stretches of rain, or none?
That can put some stress on a plant and cause that.

Might be another disease like thing, not tooooo sure, either Papito or Phil could come thru and give you some hints>??? [dunno]

But one suggestion I'd make is get a huge bag of Epsom's Salt or Magnesium Sulfate
Here's some info on it and the yellowing leaves.
Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulfate)
This may be your problem..??? Not 100% sure..
The Epsom's will help the plant absorb nutrients in the dirt/soil and calcium too!!!
Give it a try on a handfull of plants and see if there's a difference in a few days or weeks????
And if you see an improvement, use on all of them.

Keep us posted will you...
We [Cool] love updates [gabby] [critic]

And come back often, just to chat even,
got lot's of Calif's here!! Just join in!!!

Weezie

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by tiger lily on September 14, 2004 06:57 PM
Hello Weezie13, and thanks for your suggestion. I've heard of using Epsom salts before, although what I had heard was to put a handful in the ground and then add your plant. I've never tried using it - do I just sprinkle a handful near the emitter for each plant, and then water? Do I need to worry about 'burning' the plants? Sorry for the dumb questions - as you can tell, I don't know a lot about gardening. I did have a fair amount of blossom end rot, mostly towards the beginning of the season. If Epsom sales helps with the absorption of calcium then it sounds like something my plants need. Some of my plants are getting some new growth near their bases. This may be from the fish emulsion I gave them a couple of weeks ago?? The cherry tomatoes that came up volunteer don't look yellow - just the Ace & Early Girl that I planted from pony packs. Again, THANKS for taking the time to help!!
by weezie13 on September 15, 2004 07:00 AM
I think for tomato plants, it's one tsp, per foot tall...ie; 3 ft tall = 3 tsp's...
Sprinkle around the base and drip line of a plant.

Or for a foliar spray 2 tsp spoons to 2 gallons..

Weezie

* * * *
Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

 -
 -
 -

http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by tiger lily on September 15, 2004 11:33 PM
Weezie - thanks so much for your help. I will definitely try the Epsom salts. Also, my daughter asked her horticulture teacher about the plants. She said that the sudden high heat wave has killed the plants. I do have new growth near the base on some plants, and will try the Epsom salts to see if I can revive them. In the meantime I'm throwing away hundreds of tomatoes that got cooked on the plants. :-(
Again, thanks for the help!

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