Tomatoes with yellowing leaves

VermontCathy Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭✭✭

My tomatoes aren't growing as robustly as I would expect given the heat. Some stems and leaves seem to be dying back, and the leaves are more yellow that usual.

My first thought is lack of nitrogen, so I put some 10-10-10 in water and sprinkled a little on. (Usually my garden is organic, but I'm not fanatical about it.)

My second thought is that the soil may be a bit acid between the peat moss and compost. So I sprinkled a bit of lime on the tomato, cucumber, and legume beds. Hard rains last night should have washed much of this through the soil.

Other soil deficiencies are possible. I've been growing tomatoes and other stuff in these beds for years, rotating plant families regularly, and adding homemade compost. But it has been several years since I bought and added top-quality compost. Pea and beans in a different bed with the same soil mix look great, which would support the nitrogen-poor hypothesis.

Any other thoughts on tomatoes that are not in great shape?


  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,396 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What about some Epsom's salt or baking soda water. Also, have you had a lot of rain or very little. I think both can turn leaves yellow.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Rain has been unstable this year, with long dry periods followed by intense periods of hard rain. We were edging toward a drought, but now seem to be at the normal average. Average, of course, can be full of highs and lows.

    The tomatoes look healthier now. I think the nitrogen from the 10-10-10, the high pH of the lime, or both have helped with the problem. I will keep an eye on them. As the plants get large and spread out their root system, I expect fewer problems. Young plants can be very vulnerable, especially right after being transplanted.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @VermontCathy I'm glad that they are starting to do better!

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,396 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @VermontCathy Glad they're doing better. This winter I had something weird happen to my broccoli. It all wilted and looked like it was dying. I babied it with all kinds of things and then a couple weeks later it was looking good again and produced broccoli until a month ago when it flowered and I took it out. I never figured out what happened so who knows what goes on these crazy days! It's just good yours turned around too!