What's wrong with my tomatoes? - Knowledgebase Question

Va. Beach, Vi
Question by luvbooks987
July 29, 2010
Every year, my tomatoe plants start out doing great, then, after about 8 weeks, the leaves start turning yellow, and curling under. What should I do?


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Answer from NGA
July 29, 2010

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Yellowing leaves on tomato plants is quite common and can be caused by a variety of things, including transplant shock, over or under-watering and lack of nitrogen. Tomato plants will often shed the lowest, oldest leaves as the plant grows. You can simply pull or clip these leaves off. In general, tomatoes like rich, moist soil that has plenty of organic matter and drains well. Tomatoes need nitrogen for green healthy leaves. Try fish emulsion for an organic source of nitrogen or use a balanced fertilizer, e.g., 10-10-10. Follow package instructions for application rates. Water well before and after applying. Tomatoes are moisture sensitive and need a regular supply of water to thrive and produce fruit. How often to water depends on your particular soils characteristics. You want to keep it uniformly moist, but not soaking wet, to a depth of 12-18 inches.

Curling leaves are also quite common. The shapes of tomato leaves vary depending upon variety. Some leaves are smooth and look like the leaves on potato plants and others are wrinkled and more 'tomatoey' looking. The weather can also have an affect on how leaves look. Unless the leaves are distorted, thick, or curl upward, I wouldn't be too concerned about their appearance. I hope this information helps with your tomatoes!

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