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Avatar for samman
Sep 6, 2021 4:14 PM CST
CT
Region: Northeast US
Hello,

My tomato plant was growing with little problem, but recently the leaves have started yellowing, and some of the leaves tips have turned purple. Looking online it seems like its a nutrition issue. This is reused soil that I've added a bit of 3-4-4 fertilizer to a 6 months back, and then again recently a month ago, so I don't quite know why the plant seems nutrient deprived. Attached are photos.

Any suggestions or ideas would be immenesly helpful!


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Sep 6, 2021 4:19 PM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
GROW ORCHIDS!!!
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Because it is the end of the season. They love warmth and sunshine. The days are getting shorter. Sunlight is not as intense. Temperatures are dropping. This is a completely normal occurrence.
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
Avatar for samman
Sep 6, 2021 5:33 PM CST
CT
Region: Northeast US
BigBill said:Because it is the end of the season. They love warmth and sunshine. The days are getting shorter. Sunlight is not as intense. Temperatures are dropping. This is a completely normal occurrence.


But I didn't have this occur last year. The growth was stunted, but the leaves never started turning colors and dying.
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Sep 6, 2021 6:26 PM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
GROW ORCHIDS!!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
Every season is slightly different but there comes a time where diminished light and warmth stops them.
There isn't anything you can do. Look forward to next year.
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
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Sep 6, 2021 8:30 PM CST
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Bee Lover Bookworm Cat Lover Composter Container Gardener Herbs
Region: New Mexico Salvias Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Samman, give your plants more fertilizer. If you have a balanced liquid, use it every 7-10 days from now until the end of the season. Your plants' roots have completely filled the pots by now and are basically surviving on the water you're providing. What sized pots, 4-5 gal?

Don't worry about lower/older leaves turning yellow.

There is a virus that causes purple leaves that I've read about but I don't know how widespread it is. You can read this article and google more info, but I think your plants just need a shot of nutrients to get them to the finish line.

How did everything else do this year?
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
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Sep 6, 2021 8:32 PM CST
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Bee Lover Bookworm Cat Lover Composter Container Gardener Herbs
Region: New Mexico Salvias Enjoys or suffers hot summers
PS, days are getting shorter. Be careful to reduce watering proportionately.
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Avatar for samman
Sep 7, 2021 6:30 AM CST
CT
Region: Northeast US
NMoasis said:Samman, give your plants more fertilizer. If you have a balanced liquid, use it every 7-10 days from now until the end of the season. Your plants' roots have completely filled the pots by now and are basically surviving on the water you're providing. What sized pots, 4-5 gal?

Don't worry about lower/older leaves turning yellow.

There is a virus that causes purple leaves that I've read about but I don't know how widespread it is. You can read this article and google more info, but I think your plants just need a shot of nutrients to get them to the finish line.

How did everything else do this year?


I have solid fertilizer, which I added to the top of my plants a month ago. I assume via watering they'll go down into the soil. This is 5-gallons, so I just added a small handful of 3-4-4.

As to the virus, I keep my plants in a balcony on a 2nd floor, away from everything else. So it'd be a bit difficult for them to get a virus from anything nearby.

Everything else went great. The herbs (cilantro, parsely, and basil) grew without issues. And I didn't even get any bugs trying to eat my basil this year, so I was able to keep it outside the whole time and it's even flowered! My spinach died, I didn't realize it would get so big, and thus i planted waaay too many close to one another (treated it like a herb). My eggplants have taken forever for some reason, they are finally starting to sprout little fruits and flowers. I presume eggplants are a fall plant, so hoping by the next month or 2 to have an eggplant (although, seems like its just 1 eggplant per seed, which is terrible for all the work you put into it).
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Sep 7, 2021 6:49 AM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
GROW ORCHIDS!!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
Eggplants are not fall plants. They are full sun, warm weather plants.
I got fruit on them in the past by early July. They never produced a lot of fruit for months and months. I was growing them on Long Island just south of you.

It sounds to me that you might not be getting enough sun and warmth for the tomato's and eggplant. I always found 6 hours of full sun, minimum, is what they love.
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
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Sep 7, 2021 6:57 AM CST
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
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Viruses are often spread by insects. The one I'm thinking about is spotted wilt virus, which is spread by insects such as leafhoppers and stink bugs. Several of my tomatoes have this virus, and yes, the leaf edges are purple. I would advise dumping that soil and starting next year with fresh. And you might want to look at larger pots.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
Avatar for samman
Sep 7, 2021 7:24 AM CST
CT
Region: Northeast US
BigBill said:Eggplants are not fall plants. They are full sun, warm weather plants.
I got fruit on them in the past by early July. They never produced a lot of fruit for months and months. I was growing them on Long Island just south of you.

It sounds to me that you might not be getting enough sun and warmth for the tomato's and eggplant. I always found 6 hours of full sun, minimum, is what they love.


Unfortunately since I live in an apt. complex on the 2nd floor, I can only place the plants in my balcony. Which only faces the sun as its setting. So they get probably a maximum of 7-8hrs throughout the season (rest of the season probably less).
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Sep 7, 2021 8:31 AM CST
Name: Ed
South Alabama (Zone 8b)
Beekeeper Vegetable Grower Enjoys or suffers hot summers Seed Starter Region: Alabama Garden Procrastinator
Container Gardener Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Zinnias
We all have to compromise on things and my hat is off to you for growing on your balcony!!! I tip my hat to you. That is a challenge within itself!

I agree with what Zoë suggested about using a balanced fertilizer....water soluble. This will feed the tomatoes much faster than the granules/pellets on top of the soil. Seems the plants are lacking in nitrogen, IMHO. Other than the yellowing of the leaves (which you said did not happen last year) the leaves appear relatively healthy for this time of the year...some spotting and edge browning going on, but nothing devastating. Just anemic-looking leaves.

If you could get just a small box of Miracle-Gro Tomato soluble fertilizer (you can use this for all the plants) and give it to them I would think you'd see an improvement. When we say "balanced" fertilizer we're talking about a fertilizer where the three numbers of the NPK analysis are equal...something like 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. Getting close to equal numbers is good enough.

It *is* getting toward the end of the season, so as other's have also said...the days are shorter, sunlight is coming at a lower angle, the cooler temperatures I'm not so sure about yet (still hot down here). Plants naturally begin a decline as their season comes to an end. From year to year there will be differences in gardening. This year's big difference it seems is the increased heat that most of us have experienced. This *could* be hurrying along the "end of season" symptoms. BUT...I would definitely give them some regular water soluble fertilizer before I gave up on the tomato plants. Thumbs up

Being in containers the plants definitely rely on you to keep them hydrated. But, don't let them be soggy...that can drown them. A tip on using the water soluble (mixes with water) fertilizer is to water the plants enough to get the soil moist and then add the liquid fertilizer mix after the plain water. It just seems to work better for me applying it like this.

Best wishes!
Ed
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Sep 7, 2021 10:05 AM CST
Name: Zoë
Albuquerque NM, Elev 5310 ft (Zone 7b)
Bee Lover Bookworm Cat Lover Composter Container Gardener Herbs
Region: New Mexico Salvias Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Samman, I agree with IntheSwamp about liquid fertilizer: it is faster acting which is what you need now. I use both liquid and slow release granules in my tomato pots. You really need to feed them steadily and more frequently than when growing in the ground. Doesn't need to be totally balanced...the MG for tomatoes is probably fine.

Good to hear about your herb success! I haven't grown eggplants for decades, and that was in California in the ground. I only recall I had huge plants. Personally, I can't stand the stuff, but the fruits are gorgeous.

Every year you'll learn new things. I'm impressed with your advancement! Thumbs up
For me, gardening is really just an excuse for playing in the dirt. Admittedly, plants are a satisfying by-product.
Avatar for samman
Sep 7, 2021 11:02 AM CST
CT
Region: Northeast US
I believe it might actually be the virus. The photos of my plant look similar to what I've found online.
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Sep 8, 2021 5:11 AM CST
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Tomato Heads Salvias Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Peppers
Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Morning Glories Master Gardener: Arkansas Lilies Hummingbirder
If it's septoria, that's pretty easy to control. You can use copper on it.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
Avatar for samman
Sep 9, 2021 5:32 AM CST
CT
Region: Northeast US
gardenfish said:If it's septoria, that's pretty easy to control. You can use copper on it.


Copper? Is there like a spray I can buy?
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Sep 9, 2021 5:54 AM CST
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Tomato Heads Salvias Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Peppers
Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Morning Glories Master Gardener: Arkansas Lilies Hummingbirder
Yes, but it involves mixing it with water and using a gallon sprayer. I use the one by Bonide, it's a liquid. If you can't find it where you are, I'm pretty sure it's available on Amazon.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
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