Answer: While in principle it is a good idea to return organic matter to the soil, if there is any chance at all that your plants are diseased it is important to remove and destroy (do not bury or even compost) all of the plant debris, including any fallen tomatoes. A number of diseases can overwinter in old roots, stems, leaves, and even seeds. Some diseases are also soil-borne and thus the further recommendation for rotating tomato plantings are important. Unfortunately, based on your description I can't tell what (if anything) is wrong with your plants, but if you have had disease problems in your garden be sure to look for resistant varieties in the future and pay careful attention to garden clean up both during the season and in the fall.
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