tomato leaf blotches

Asked August 19, 2015, 11:53 AM EDT

My tomatoes are doing well right now (7 plants), but I'm noticing some blemishes on the leaves. Is this anything to be concerned about and/or do anything about?

Harford County Maryland

1 Response

It is normal for the bottom leaves to yellow and drop as the plant ages. Tomatoes can be susceptible to several foliar diseases which can cause leaf spots, browning, defoliation, etc. Two common foliar diseases are early blight and septoria but it does not matter which disease it is because the management is the same. 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. Remove infected plant material at the end of the season. Next season select disease resistant varieties. See our website for more information on early blight http://extension.umd.edu/growit/early-blight-vegetables and septoria http://extension.umd.edu/growit/septoria-leaf-spot-vegetables mh