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Common Tomato Plant Problems - Let the Leaves Tellthe Story
Growing tomatoes in a home garden is a popular hobby for millions of people around theworld.
...because there is NOTHING like a fresh, juicy tomato from your very owngarden.Unfortunately, tomato plant problems are also very common. Problems may include harmfulinsects, diseases and improper care or fertilization. It doesn't matter whether you grow yourtomatoes in a garden, in a pot, on your deck, upside-down, right-side up or sideways, mosttomato plants can fall victim to any or all of these problems.The leaves of your tomato plants are a great early indicator of potential problems. Regular,weekly inspection of your tomato plant leaves will allow you to notice changes early and detectproblems while they can still be easily controlled. If a problem is allowed to go undetected, itmay become incurable and result in a total loss of the plant or crop.Yellow leaves
Yellow, uncurled leaves begin to form at the bottom of the plant and may work theirway up the plant.
Yellow leaves are a common problem and may be caused by many things. If yellow,uncurled leaves appear at the base of a tomato plant, it may just be a sign of the plant agingand beginning to die off from the bottom up. It may also be caused by a nitrogen deficiency inthe soil.Other factors may cause yellow leaves including pest, fungus and bacterial infestations butthese causes usually result in deformed or curled yellow or brown leaves. For example, if theleaves are turning yellow or brown higher up on the plant, it may be a sign of early or lateblight. Have your soil tested at a local nursery to confirm the nitrogen-deficiency diagnosis.
If the soil does have a nitrogen deficiency, supplement the soil with well-rottedmanure or compost, both of which are high in nitrogen. You can also apply a nitrogen-richfertilizer. If the soil test results do not show any deficiencies, continue to explore other causesincluding wilt or blight.Shiny, sticky, deformed leaves
Leaves are deformed, sometimes yellow, and appear to have a shiny, stickysubstance on them. Young tomato plants are especially vulnerable to this "small" problem. Donot confuse this with "rolled" leaves which is a normal occurrence and not harmful to manytomato plants.
: Aphids are small, pear-shaped insects that congregate on the top growth or undersideof leaves. Aphids damage tomatoes by sucking plant sap and excreting a sticky substance onthe foliage and fruit. Inspect the deformed leaves or normal leaves in the vicinity and youshould be able to see these insects.Whiteflies and spider mites are also nearly invisible insects that can cause similar symptoms.Spider mites cause small yellow specks and fine webs on leaves. Whiteflies will actually takeflight when you brush the plant.
Use an insecticidal soap or general-purpose garden dust to control any of these