Need help deciphering soil analysis

Asked April 21, 2019, 7:43 PM EDT

I need help please! I have several plots in my yard, where I usually plant tomatoes (mostly) and other vegetables. Last year, I planted like usual.....and my tomatoes started dying. I've been growing heirloom tomatoes for years, and have never seen anything like this. I replanted, those died. I researched, thought it might be nitrogen deficiency, added nitrogen, that didn't help. It was horrible. I asked the guy who helps with gardening if he added anything - I suspected he added salt or pesticides to kill weeds, but he said he didn't. He did add a lot of compost. I had been gardening in these plots for 5 years with no problems. This year I had soil tests done, and I'm trying to figure out what to do. It looks like the phosphorus is insanely high, and one result shows high "weak bray" phosphorus and very low "NaHCO3-P" - which I've read can be a problem. I asked the lab to provide recommendations, but they basically said to add lime. Is there anything else i can do? I'm attaching the lab results. The first results were where the plants did the worst - the others weren't quite as bad. I'm still waiting for one result, where i also asked them to do a salinity test. And that was the area where ALL the plants died. I'm happy to pay someone for some guidance! (Okay, turns out I can't attach a PDF, but I do have test results. Am attaching pictures.)

Marion County Oregon tomatoes soil and fertility issues

1 Response

Oh no! That is upsetting. We will have to do a little investigative work.

First of all, we have a handy dandy guide to help with interpreting soil test results. You can find it here: https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/ec1478. This will help you rule out nutrient deficiencies.

Second, common tomato diseases include verticillium and fusarium wilt. You can refer to this tomato disease guide (https://apps.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/plant/vegetable/tomato/plantwilt.html) and compare with your plants' symptoms to rule out disease.

If you're having the same problem with multiple plantings of tomatoes in a place you haven't had issues before, my first guess would be the compost. You may want to contact the company you received the compost from to see if any other customers have identified an issue.

If you STILL can't identify what it might be, you can always send plant samples directly to our OSU Plant Clinic, for a fee, and they will do a full diagnostic on your plants: http://plant-clinic.bpp.oregonstate.edu/

If you would like to continue the conversation with me, please feel free to email me at victoria.binning@oregonstate.edu or call me at 503-373-3774.