tomato disease

Asked September 30, 2018, 4:25 PM EDT

Starting early in September, the lower branches of my tomato plants die and the problem works it way up the plant. The tops branches remain green and bare tomatoes but they are not good. Can you help me? Thanks

Washtenaw County Michigan

1 Response

If the disease does not cause blemishes on the fruit of the tomato plant and it starts at the bottom it is likely septoria leaf spot disease. The fungus attacks the leaves, and plants are left with few leaves and the fruit. Fruit gets sunburned and do not develop will, since leaves provided protection from the sun and are needed for photosynthesis to give the plant the needed carbohydrates for growth and fruit development. Septoria survives in the garden from year to year in debris from previous year. It is important to remove all tomato plant debris and dispose of it. When watering tomato plants do not wet leaves. Water at base of plant to avoid wetting leaves which can spread the disease. Never water in the evenings which causes wet foliage through the night making the plant more susceptible to the disease. If this disease occurs from year to year you can apply fungicides registered for use in the garden, early on in the summer to management this disease. For more information please read the following article from Extension on Septoria leaf spot: