whitish brown spots on my tomato leaves

Asked May 20, 2014, 12:56 PM EDT

I get these every year in my very small garden on my tomatoes. I would like to rotate but have no space to do do.

Washington County Oregon

3 Responses

Looks like flea beetles are attacking the plant. The damage can be important on very young transplants such as small seedlings. You’ll help the plants gain an advantage by growing them on in containers until they grow a bit larger before you plant them in the garden.

Flea beetles are metallic greenish brown to black in color and from 0.06 to 0.12 inch long. Adults survive the winter in trash around the garden margins. The adults become active in late March through May. So, it can help avoid at least some of the problem by waiting to plant in the garden until late May or even into June. By then, the weather is also usually consistently warm which encourages the tomatoes to grow rapidly.

If you want to try pesticides, azadirachtin (neem) and pyrethrins are organic options listed for home garden use. Dilute (if needed) and apply the product according to label directions.

Resource for you: Growing Your Own Tomatoes http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/14210/ec1333.pdf

Thanks so much Jean, I'll try those solutions. The tomatoes are already in the garden. What's interesting, and I don't know if it will change anything, is that the plant I got those leaves from is planted directly into the garden and not five feet away I have another tomato that is in a pot and it has zero of that on it. Does that change your opinion at all?

No, it doesn’t change what I wrote previously.