by Deanna Krinn
July 6 2011 09:12
I can be a pretty stubborn individual. Getting me to admit defeat or ask for help in most situations is kind of like pulling teeth from a badger. Because of this stubbornness and strong-headedness, I now fear for the lives of my tomato plants.
When I was weeding recently I noticed that some of the leaves on the lower areas of the plants had started to develop a yellow color, and the tips were starting to curl and wilt. I also noticed the ground beneath the plants was so moist that moss had started to grow on the surface of the soil. We’ve been getting a lot of rain and summer storms in the area recently, and I’m worried that Mother Nature is actually over-watering my plants.
But after retreating to Google and searching “tomato plant problems,” I feel much more overwhelmed with what could potentially be plaguing my plants. Over-watering was on the list, but there were also images of plants with early blight and descriptions of plants with aphids that all seemed familiar to what I’m experiencing. How am I supposed to know what’s wrong and how to fix it?
Thankfully, I work in a place full of gardening experts that I’m sure can take a look at a besieged branch and give some advice on its causes. I plan on using this resource soon, and hopefully I can get some great answers from the same people who helped me pick out some awesome fertilizers at the beginning of this growing season (thanks Worm’s Way Indiana!).
County extension offices also have a wealth of information. In Indiana, they actually offer a service where you can upload a photo of your plant and they can analyze what they think might be wrong with it over the web. This is extremely helpful for people always on the go who don’t have time to stop by an office in person or don’t live very close to their local branch. Indiana residents and even non-Hoosiers can submit photos for a small fee by visiting this site.
I’ll update soon about the fate of these sickly plants. I’m seriously hoping this is something they can come back from – there is still a very large amount of pico de gallo and pasta sauce that is begging to be made!
UPDATE: My tomato plants appear to have Septoria leaf spot, a form of blight caused by prolonged damp conditions. Here's a link to a pretty complete description of the disease. Last night I removed as many affected branches and leaves as I could and applied Safer Garden Fungicide on the suggestion of one of the retail associates at Worm's Way Indiana (thanks Mike!). I'm going to apply this fungicide every week or so, and hopefully I'll have some healthy 'maters in no time! The plants already looked better this morning, so hopes are high.