Tomatoes planted in pasture are sick

by BrownDog
(Camdenton, MO, USA)

Cherokee purple before

Cherokee purple before

Cherokee purple before
Cherokee purple today 5/23
Brandy Wine 1
Brandy Wine 2

I recently started an organic garden in Mid-Missouri. The land was previously pasture for cattle.


I planted half of my tomatoes in this new garden and half of them in a raised bed. The plants in the ground garden are not doing well. The ones in raised beds are doing great, all purchased from the same farm.

The sick tomatoes are stunted and the bottom leaves are yellowing or have brown spots the have died and rotted away parts of the leaves. Some of the leaves are curling.

The Cherokee Purples are almost completely without leaves, they have either shrunk so small, rotted off with the petiole still intact, or something has chewed them.

I have seen a few aphids on them, but nothing else. I did one treatment with Neem Oil, and have seen a huge reduction in aphids. The problem is effecting 18 plants, not one seems to be growing well.

I would really appreciate some help with diagnosis. Thanks.

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Jul 24, 2013
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Thank You
by: BrownDog

You guys were right! I treated them as if they had too much Nitrogen and everything came back and looks great. I'm even getting fruit! Thank you for the help!

Jul 09, 2013
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Needs soil conditioning
by: Tracy

I agree with the previous commenter. That soil looks questionable for tomatoes. When you plant there, condition the soil before you plant to help balance the nutrients. You can add in a mix of ready compost and semi-broken-down compost. You can even purchase organic Scott's Miracle-Gro soil or potting soil to mix into each plot where you plan to plant the tomatoes. If you mix the organic matter into the soil that is already there, and maybe even remove some of the top cow manure layer, your plants will have a more balanced mix. I also recommend an organic product from Gardens Alive called Tomatoes Alive, which, once you have conditioned the soil as I stated above, you add to the soil. Great stuff. Good luck! Looks like you have a great piece of land!

May 23, 2013
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Keep leaves from contact with soil
by: Anonymous

I'm thinking there is too much nitrogen in your soil from all the cow manure. Perhaps it wasn't a good place to plant without fresh soil.

Another minor point is I cut off the bottom stems to keep the leaves from touching the soil directly which helps.

Thanks for the pictures. Maybe another gardener has encountered this problem. Good luck.

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