yellowing of bottom leaves but creeping up plants #191399 - Ask Extension

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yellowing of bottom leaves but creeping up plants #191399

Asked June 15, 2014, 9:38 PM EDT

What to do about what is assumed to be poor water causing excess salt to result in yellowing leaves on otherwise healthy tomato plants? Plants are in a wooden planter--3 plant varieties.The patio variety shows no sign of leaf yellowing, just the other two.

Wake County North Carolina

Expert Response

It's hard to say for sure what would cause the patio variety to be doing fine while the others are yellowing. If they are indeterminate (not bush tomatoes) they may have higher nitrogen needs than a patio bush variety. If lower leaves are yellow that can sometimes mean nitrogen levels are too low.  You could water them with a dilute solution of fish emulsion and see if you get some improvement, in which case, you may want to do it again in 10 days. 

You have concern about salts, so perhaps you have fertilized plenty, and indeed it is a salt problem. In this case, the best thing to do is the water until it comes readily out the bottom of the planter. Do this two or three times over a week or ten days, to wash some of the salts out. 
Jeana Myers Replied June 23, 2014, 10:40 AM EDT

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