Dying tomato plants
All of my tomato plants have dying leaves on the bottom. They are shriveled up, and brown. Any suggestions on how to make my own treatment for this?
Howard County Maryland
It is normal for the bottom leaves to yellow and drop as the plant ages. If you are noticing browning and leaf spotting, tomatoes can be susceptible to several foliar diseases. Two common foliar diseases are early blight and septoria but it does not matter which disease it is because the management is the same. Select disease resistant varieties, remove the lower leaves to slow the upward spread of the disease, keep plants well mulched to minimize soil splashing, water at the base of the plants, provide adequate spacing, and spray with an organic fungicide (fixed copper) early in the season to lessen the spread of the disease. Fungicide treatments can help to protect new or un-infected foliage, they are not curatives. It is too late to spray. Remove infected plant material at the end of the season. See our website for more information and photos on early blight http://extension.umd.edu/growit/early-blight-vegetables and septoria http://extension.umd.edu/growit/septoria-leaf-spot-vegetables mh