Ask a Question forum: Melbourne/Australia - tomato leaves giving up life

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Melbourne, Australia [AU zone
whoatemylettuce
Jan 30, 2018 4:55 AM CST
Hi guys,

I got 3 Lycopersicon esculentum or Rouge de Marmande from my father in law. I planted 2 in ground and 1 in pot in the same place with my 2 other wild tomatoes (different type).
These 3 all got their leaves dying. I'm not sure if it's blight or something wrong but I do water everyday in the morning. Clay soil. It's summer now in Australia and highest temperature seen for the past 2 months is 41 deg. I also apply soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks.

Can someone please let me know what went wrong please? Although the fruits still seem doing ok.
Is it just because of aging? Generally this happens to leaves at lower level.

Thank you very much!

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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Jan 30, 2018 11:40 AM CST
It looks like sunburn.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jan 31, 2018 5:06 PM CST
Clay soil from ground, in pots, watering everyday. There drounding.
They need potting soil, at least a five gallon bucket with drain holes.
Soil needs to dry some between watering's, so roots get some air.

When tomatoes are young, they need even watering. When mature, they need to dry some between watering.
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
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ZenMan
Feb 2, 2018 9:09 AM CST
whoatemylettuce said: I also apply soluble fertilizer every 2 weeks.

Just out of curiosity, what is the Phosphorous content of that soluble fertilizer? Old leaves dying like that is a symptom of Phosphorous deficiency in many plants.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.
Melbourne, Australia [AU zone
whoatemylettuce
Feb 4, 2018 4:17 PM CST
ZenMan said:
Just out of curiosity, what is the Phosphorous content of that soluble fertilizer? Old leaves dying like that is a symptom of Phosphorous deficiency in many plants.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.


Hi Zenman, thank you for your time.
it's Nitrogen : Phosphorus ratio – 5.3:1
Melbourne, Australia [AU zone
whoatemylettuce
Feb 4, 2018 4:18 PM CST
Thank you guys for your kind reply. I think the plants are still doing ok and the fruits still get to ripen.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 4, 2018 5:49 PM CST
Could be that you used clay soil in pots and the soil has compacted too much that the roots can't get nutrients. I would unpot, loosen the root ball, add a whole bunch of light, porous potting mix and give the plants some extra inches of soil in the bottom of the pots. The fresh soil and more room will invigorate them to keep producing well into fall for you.

Tomatoes develop very deep roots, and are demanding of water and fertilizer to keep producing. If the soil is compacted and depleted by this time of the season, refreshing the soil is needed. Some handfuls of alfalfa meal or pellets (horse food) really invigorates the soil. They also may slow down setting fruit in the hottest times, but will resume when the nights are cooler again.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
Annuals Keeper of Poultry Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Dragonflies Garden Photography
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 2
ZenMan
Feb 5, 2018 12:02 AM CST
whoatemylettuce said:Hi Zenman, thank you for your time.
it's Nitrogen : Phosphorus ratio – 5.3:1


I think that explains why your tomatoes are showing Phosphorus deficiency symptoms. Many, perhaps most, of the available nutrients in Australia have very low amounts of Phosphorous. That is probably because there are widespread myths that Australian plants can't tolerate or use much Phosphorous and that Phosphorous can be harmful to Australian plants.
http://www.abc.net.au/gardenin...
As a result, Australian gardeners are misinformed about how much Phosphorous their plants need.
http://sesl.com.au/blog/the-my...
Here in "The States", our tomato nutrients contain a much better balanced amount of soluble Phosphorous. For example, Miracle-Gro Tomato Food has N-P-K percentages of 18-18-21. It also contains micronutrients: 0.5% magnesium, 0.05% copper, 0.10% iron, 0.05% manganese, 0.05% zinc. I think you need to find better soluble nutrients for your tomatoes. Admittedly, that may be a bit of a problem in Australia. But Super Phosphate is available in Australia, and you could apply that in addition to your present nutrients, to solve your Phosphorous deficiency problem.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Feb 5, 2018 11:59 AM CST
Hay there πŸ˜€ : Hi again.
@ZenMan . Talking about deficiencies of nutrients in soil, sparked up something I forgot to mention to you. Google : Using Epsom Salt for fertilizer. You can see the benefits of, and how it works. It is beneficial to roses, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and all other niteshade vegetables.
There's many hear on site that disagree.
I started using it years ago, just because. Because everyone told me it makes for better, bigger vegetables, and roses. Which it does.
Then I joined NGA . Told a member to use epsom salt. BOY, OH BOY !
I got slammed 😭 !!!
So I googled it, and found that it is beneficial, and does not harm the soil.
Hundreds of Fresnians can't be wrong !πŸ‘!
Try it ! Mikey likes it.

I get "F's" in spelling. But I get "A's" in gardening !πŸ˜€!

Oh ! Just one more thing ?
Throw a small, piece of rag over any Tomatoes that start to look like they are starting to sunburn. They still, get ripe.πŸ‘

Ta Ta 😎😎😎





Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
Annuals Keeper of Poultry Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Dragonflies Garden Photography
Hybridizer Region: United States of America Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 2
ZenMan
Feb 5, 2018 4:10 PM CST
Philipwonel said:Google : Using Epsom Salt for fertilizer. You can see the benefits of, and how it works. It is beneficial to roses, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and all other niteshade vegetables.

Hi Philip,

I don't need to Google Epsom Salts for fertilizer. I already use it, both outdoors in the garden and indoors in my nutrient formula for my indoor zinnias. Epsom Salts are chemically Magnesium sulfate crystals. Magnesium is a component of chlorophyll, and plants can't live without chlorophyll, so plants can't live without Magnesium. I also use Calcium nitrate in my indoor nutrients to add soluble Calcium, another of the secondary elements that plants can't live without. Hydroponic growers use a lot of Calcium nitrate for that reason.

Thanks for the tip on laying a rag on a tomato to prevent sunburn. I'll try that this Spring.

ZM
I tip my hat to you.

Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Feb 5, 2018 5:21 PM CST
Yea ! Yea ! Hurray! Hurray! πŸ‘πŸ‘
Someone that knows about Epsom Salt.
The rag over, or around tomato, works great !#πŸ‘πŸ˜€.
I really, hate to waste any of my tomato ! Cutting out sunburned spots ###!!! 😭

😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 6, 2018 12:33 PM CST
I use it all the time too, Philip. It's good for my orchids as well as roses, tomatoes etc.

BUT it is not a "fertilizer", since it only supplies magnesium. Fertilizer must contain the macronutrients Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium to be called that. Magnesium is a micronutrient so the plants certainly use it and benefit from it but you can't JUST use it to feed your plants. They need all the other stuff too.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Melbourne, Australia [AU zone
whoatemylettuce
Feb 8, 2018 6:03 AM CST
Thank you everyone and Zenman for your clarification on phosphorous deficiency.

About Epsom Salt, I think it would be better to get the soil test first because by increasing too much the amount of one nutrient (which could have been more than sufficient in soil), it may lead to the case whereby plants won't uptake the other ingredients.

For reading,
https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/...

Anyway, luckily my tomato fruits are still doing ok.
and Happy gardening everyone!

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