Tomato Seedlings turning yellow with white dots

Asked May 10, 2019, 3:18 PM EDT

Hi I transplanted 8 tomato seedlings in late April into a raised bed #1 and two other tomato transplants in a different bed #2. The bottom leaves of all 8 seedlings in bed #1 have turned yellow and have these whitish dots (and some holes). I plucked those leaves off. I'm not sure if it's a disease and if the rest of the yellowing will travel up and if there's no hope for them. The seedlings are still small and I'm wondering if I should remove the plants and plant new transplants in its place while it's still early May. There were some cold 40 degree nights here in there at the end of April and I didn't cover the transplants with floating row covers. The two tomato transplants that are in bed #2 are fine and thriving well. If I do purchase new tomato transplants, should I plant them in bed #2 in case there is a disease in bed #1. I have peppers and eggplants I transplanted into bed #2. Could I move those to bed #1 or would the disease spread there too? I grew green beans and squash in bed #1 last year.

Howard County Maryland vegetables abiotic issues spring weather

1 Response

Hi- the symptoms are largely a result of early spring weather- high winds, cool night temps, rapidly fluctuating air temperatures, etc. In addition, soil temps are relatively low and root systems are slow to grow and pick up nutrients.

Very minimal flea beetle feeding can be seen in the photo on the right- small, "shot holes" in leaves. We do not see any disease symptoms.

There is no need to move or replace your plants. You may want to lightly fertilize with a complete, soluble fertilizer later this week when the rain stops. Next year, it would be best to plant warm season crops in mid-May, depending on the weather.

Here is some additional information on vegetable seedling and transplant problems:
http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/vegetable-seedlings-transplants-problems
Jon