I think I've grown my last tomato plant - help!

Its always something. I’m growing tomatoes on my deck in a large pot. Last year was hookworms and blossom end rot. This year I got one plant. it is Cherokee purple and it is grafted onto supposedly disease resistant roots. All was going well! I have lots of little baby tomatoes (BTW, I’m in NY). Then I noticed a branch fell over. So I tied it back up. Then another. Tied that one. Now I see grayish spots on the leave that almost look like dust. They look like water spots, but if you touch it, the leaf tears in that spot. And some of the leaves are withering. I have pulled off all the stems with leaves with the spots but the plant does not seem stable. Does anyone have any idea what this could be and what to do?

So frustrated!!! Thanks!

Like this? Or do you have a photo? I suspect your plant has powdery mildew.

How do you water your plant, does water wet the leaves?


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I have an app for the phone called tomato md, lots of pics to ID problems. You can also take a leaf to your nearby agricultural extension office (if, in fact there is such a thing in nyc?). In ct, I have 4 tomato plants, 2 cherry, 1 mortgage lifter and one big red grafted plant. Paid a lot more for the grafted plant and it is the one with all the problems. Maybe bacterial spot on the leaves. Trimmed the leaves and have been spraying with ‘green cure’ rec by a farmer friend. Lots of huge green tomatoes and a couple that are red!

I don’t know why branches would be randomly falling down unless it’s damage from an animal. Have you been fertilizing? I would put some of the leaves into a ziploc bag and take it to a real garden center (not HD or Lowe’s) or a Master Gardener. Photos would also be helpful.

I’m in Westchester, but I’ve never heard of one.

No, mine looks like a water spot. I’ll have to take a photo. I only water the soil.

I got so disgusted I tossed the leave. But I can find them and take them in. And photo!

Westchester County? http://westchester.cce.cornell.edu/


This may be it


Thanks, gourmanda

Cornell (land grant university) is the agricultural extension office for the entire state of New York .

I’m having tomato trouble this year too, albeit a different kind. My plant has produced lots of fruits, but they aren’t ripening. I think part of it may be that I planted late this year, but apparently the main problem is this damned NY heat wave - the plants need the temperature to go down below 85, and we haven’t had more than a couple of days that low in weeks.

That’s weird. I have this problem only in early autumn when weather becomes a bit too cold.

Tomatoes need hot temperature. My MIL lives in tomatoes growing region in France, the summer temperature can go up to 100ºF / 38ºC, her fruits are amazing and abundant, can’t compared to mine.

But not too hot. My sister in law (a Master Gardener) told me this, but here it is from the Cornell extension office:


"The optimum temperature for ripening tomatoes is 70 to 75F. When temperatures exceed 85 to 90 F, the ripening process slows significantly or even stops. "

I don’t have this heat for long time in here, the temperature usually fluctuates during the day … but good to know this.

I was wondering why my Fourth of July cherry tomatoes still weren’t ripe…thanks! Never grew them before, now I know :wink:

Here are a couple of pix - may be slightly out of focus. I will take a leaf to the garden center tomorrow.powdery%20leavesblight

looks like it might be the beginning of powdery mildew which is a problem in NY as well as OH If it is that then an organic Copper Fungicide such as Bonide makes might help. Hopefully you find someone knowledgeable to make a diagnosis. Good luck!

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Personally, I find that once diseases begin to show up, it is quite difficult to stop. Prevention maybe a better way to deal with fungus problem. I think what you have done was correct by getting rid of all the sick leaves, this acts might slow down the spreading of the problem. Also bear in mind the fact that the plant becomes weaker with the production of fruits. Giving some fertiliser might help to boost the overall health of the plant.

What did the garden center say?

Going tomorrow - I’ll let you know

Tomatoes are subject to a number of soil borne diseases. A good preventative is to start with new soil in a disinfected pot when planting. That said, I don’t always do this since the tomato pots are quite large and the whole process is a pita due to the size and location of my deck. But by the 3rd year there is generally a problem with wilt.


Hard to replace all the soil when you’re gardening in ground though we do had a whole lot of leaf hummus in the fall and we do not turn the soil which helps a bit.

True. But when gardening in the ground there is often room for crop rotation as a preventative!

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