The Q&A Archives: tomato problem

Question: My tomatoes are in raised beds. The bottom leaves are turning yellow at the bottom of the plant and have spots on them. The tomatos themselves seem to be ok at this point. What's going on with the plants?

Answer: It sounds as if you are doing everything right with your tomatoes. Yellow leaves can be caused by many things including lack of nitrogen, insufficient light, water-logged soil (plant roots need oxygen to thrive), dry soil, or iron deficiency. If the older bottom leaves are yellow, but new growth is green, it's usually a lack of nitrogen. If new leaves are yellow, with green veins, it's usually a lack of iron. Lack of nitrogen is a more common problem than lack of iron and that sounds like it could be a possibility in your case. Soil should be kept moderately moist (but not wet). It's a little early in the season for a fungal disease called late blight, but yellowed, spotted leaves can be a symptom of that disease. I'd remove the affected leaves to keep fungal spores from splashing onto healthy foliage. I hope this info helps.

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