Forum home Fruit & veg

Tomato problems...please help!!!


Having significant problems with my tomatoes which I’m hoping a) can be saved and b) someone can offer kind advice as to what I’m doing wrong. 

Background. Costoluto Fiorentina and Cuore di Bue plants both grown from seed, plants have been growing strong and well. Transferred to greenhouse and potted up. All seemed well. Trusses appeared so I began feeding with general tomato feed. 7-10 days later and there was odd discolouration on lower leaves. I think this could be due to too much feed resulting in magnesium deficiency poss?? Have administered Epsom salts to try and balance things out. 

But, I have also noticed that a lot of the leaves are starting to curl. I’m at a loss as to what is going on and am genuinely worried that I’m about to lose the whole crop of toms in the greenhouse. 

I never seem seem to have an easy time when growing tomatoes but am determined to get it right. 

Any advice, pointers or guidance gratefully received. Many thanks in advance. 




  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 4,706
    Lower leaves often have these marks. Sometimes caused by water when watering. Other people do sometimes account for it by over feeding . Plants should be left unfed till after the first fruit, not truss appear. Then only fed once every 7-10 days.
    The curling can happen. At the moment I have two Roma side by side, one is curling the other not. As long as it doesn't get in the fruits way it's ok to leave it.
    Hope this is helpful.
  • mrtjformanmrtjforman Posts: 331
    I'm surprised nobody has answered to this so I will add my input even if I'm just an amateur. 
    I wouldn't worry about lower leaves yellowing, just snip them off. The plant diverts its energy where it is needed  most, ie fruit production so lower leaves are of no concern.

    The curling I would attribute to too high heat with too little airflow, I don't know if that is a possibility but we just had temperatures hotter than the mediteranean here this weekend and yours are in a greenhouse with no visible windows. Don't forget tomatoes grow fine at this stage outdoors. Maybe leave the door open too to see if that helps, it really can't harm imo.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,366
    It could be any, or all, or a combination, of the things mentioned.
    Certainly, if they're indoors they should have ventilation. Even a moderaterly warm day can mean high temps in a  greenhouse.
    Overwatering often causes problems. It's hard to see from the pix, but is there adeqaute drainage in those grow bags? I'm not keen on them, as they're often solid from being stacked in piles, and need thoroughly shaken before using, which most people overlook. Left in a solid state, they just act as a sump and small roots become saturated. Tomatoes should be kept on the drier side if possible. 
    There could be  far too much nutrition for them to cope with. P.allim is right - they shouldn't be fed until there's a truss of fruit. There's more than enough nutrition until then, in the compost they're in.
    The curling leaves is quite common. Unless there's red spider mites or similar, I wouldn't worry. Better ventialtion on hot days will also help with that  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • GardenGrower11GardenGrower11 Posts: 306
    edited June 2019
    Leaves look very dark green, so as per original poster's comments about too much feed leading to Magnesium deficiency, that's the most likely cause of the yellowing lower leaves.

    Interveinal chlorosis for those who like a bit of biology :)

    It's not really a lack of Magnesium, but excess of other nutrients, in this case most likely Potassium. Which has probably caused nutrient lock out of Magnesium.

    Epsom Salt is not really the answer. Too much Magnesium could in turn contribute to nutrient lockout of Calcium and increase chances of Blossom End Rot.

    Probably best in situations like this, is to feed but not overfeed, and plant health will become more optimum after further growth and getting better balance.
  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 4,706
    It always seem to happen to young plants, usually after transplanting. You may be right about feed levels, as if you think about it we have grown them on in compost which by the time of planting out is basically used up. We put them into new compost on transplanting so changing the ratio and in all probability causing the yellow mottled effect. This seems to make sense @GardenGrower11. 🙂
  • @purplerallim yes the combination of fresh compost, planting up and additional feed is the most likely cause.

    But especially the high Potassium from standard tomato food, if too much is added too early. 

    For optimum results, the most obsessive, science minded, or commercial growers will use a more balanced feed early season for this reason, then switch to higher Potassium later on.

    I achieve basically the same results with standard tomato feed, but being careful not to use too much too early.

    That and some home made compost as part of the growing medium.
  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 4,706
    Some, not all, of my toms  this year have the odd leaf with this mottling @GardenGrower11 . As I am yet to start feeding, it must be moving and compost that are the cause. 
  • Dan1974Dan1974 Posts: 17
    Many thanks indeed for all replies and good insight. This all makes perfect sense and I’ve held back on any further feeds. Leaves look the same but no further yellowing. What is heartening is that we have small fruits appearing so fingers crossed. 

    Will re-start feeding once the fruits are forming on the trusses. 

    Really appreciate all your respective comments. 


  • Thanks @Dan1974 happy to help :)

    Your excellent pictures, growing/feeding history, and speculations about the problem made it a lot easier to work out what was probably happening.
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,351
    Thats funny I got blossom end rot a few years back with my greenhouse toms, my (other) gardening mag said to water with epsom salts which I did, and it cured it.  All the advice on here very good everything covered.
Sign In or Register to comment.