Diseased Tomatoes EVERY YEAR!!

For 3 years, maybe 4?, I've had a problem with my tomato plants. For sure, they have a disease, but I don't know which one.

I described my problem via email to U of I's agricultural ext., but I think they misdiagnosed my problem: bacterial spot/speck. I don't think it's this because after viewing images on-line, I don't have raised bumps/specks on my tomatoes.

My symptoms are a brownish spot/marking on lower leaves that eventually yellows the leaf and stem, which makes it easy to break off at the main stalk.

Eventually the disease on the leaf spreads to other leaves, and moves higher up the plant, etc. May appear as a spot or brown marking on the stem as well. I do get fruit, but nothing like the yields I had in the 3 previous years. They're smaller too.

I do rotate the crops yearly, pull out all dead material in the fall. In spring, I add peat moss, and mushroom compost and roto-til the soil and rake even.

I start my tomatoes from seed at home with clean containers. Problem doesn't present until plants are growing in the garden.

I do fertilize with miracle-gro tomato fertilizer, as well as vegetable miracle-gro for the other vegetables.

I don't have any pictures to send otherwise I would.

Please help if you can....I am so over this problem and putting in all the hard (yet fun) work that goes with gardening, to have such a small yield (and fruit size)....it's frustrating.

Thanks much,


Comments for Diseased Tomatoes EVERY YEAR!!

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 21, 2011
Tomato Problem
by: Natalie

Carol - Thanks for your reply. I will get my soil tested. Will this be able to detect any disease-causing spores? If I do have these spores in the soil, how can I get rid of them? I've read on-line about sterilizing the soil....are you familiar with this and/or the success of it? I think I will go this route if I have another problematic year. Any other advice? Thanks again

Apr 20, 2011
Yellow tomato leaves
by: Carol

Natalie -- sounds like your soil may have too much of a good thing going nutrient-wise. Have you had you soil tested by a lab to see what you have in it? Miracle Gro plus compost almost seems like overkill. You may also have spores from the disease in your soil that continues to reinfect your plants.
Much of the current thought on soil health is to not rototill but to add compost to the top and not disturb the mycorrhizal fungus growth in your soil levels.
For midseason tomatoes a loamy soil is ideal.

Apr 12, 2011
Tomatoes and lucerne
by: Iris

Don and myself have had a good crop of tomatoes in the early part and then like you the leaves went yellow and brown and it is the tomatoe bug I think its babies are the little black beetles and as they grow they turn green as broad as they are long and they get in to the tomatoes as well and leave little yellow spots we do not use insectisides so next year we will wait and see and watch early in the tonmatoe season

Nematodes we had trouble with that read in the paper lucerne pellets. you can not buy them so went to a fooder place and he said Rabbit pellets have lucerne in them also I thought we were buying Poo not rabbit food so home we go with a 30 kg bag of rabbit food dug it in at 5 kgm per 6 X 6 plot and well no nemotobes How it works I do not know

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask a question about tomato plant problems.

Burpee Gardening

Gardener's Supply Company