JoyousFaith08
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Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:02 pm
Location: Appalachian Mountains - Hardiness Zone 6a/6b & Sunset Zone 36, 2,375 ft. elevation

What do these leaves mean?

I am SO confused about how to determine what is wrong with a plant by its leaves. I can't seem to find anything online that exactly matches what I see. Or a database of leaf issues that I can scroll through. If anyone doesn't mind, could you help me figure out what is going on with my garden? I have attached pictures:

1) Tomatoes. The two plants are in the same planter and started out as the same size. I feed them the same food and water them at the same time, but the plant that is on the left is much shorter and just developed those weird veiny leaves. My research seems to indicate that it needs chelated iron?

2) More Tomatoes. Is this blight on the tomato? The leaves develop brown spots and edges then yellow fills in the leaf. All five of my tomato plants develop this on their bottommost branches. I cut them off when that happens, but if I keep this up, I will have naked tomatoes! Should I be applying a fungicide or is this just life with tomatoes?

3) Squash. My squash leaves are turning yellow. It starts out on a healthy green leaf as a splotch and then the entire leaf turns yellow. There are a few tiny brown/rusty spots. Is this a fungus?

4) Cucumbers. At first it was the bottommost leaves on my cucumber vines that developed the weird points and then yellow splotches, but now it is moving on up the plant. I cut them all off this morning, but don't know if more will develop. Do the older leaves just die off? Or is this a fungus, too?

5) Bee. The happy bee paused for a photo op. I had to share her with you.

Thanks in advance for any help.
Attachments
Maybe Tomato Iron Deficiency.jpg
Maybe Tomato Blight.jpg
squash.jpg
cucumber.jpg
bee.jpg
Last edited by JoyousFaith08 on Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bri80
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Posts: 282
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:12 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: What do these leaves mean?

My opinions...
JoyousFaith08 wrote: 1) Tomatoes. The two plants are in the same planter and started out as the same size. I feed them the same food and water them at the same time, but the plant that is on the left is much shorter and just developed those weird veiny leaves. My research seems to indicate that it needs chelated iron?
It's definitely a nutrient deficiency. You typically can't grow tomatoes in the same planter (unless it's huuuuge!). The smaller one that got out-competed is probably just unable to feed much in the soil since the other one is dominating.
2) More Tomatoes. Is this blight on the tomato? The leaves develop brown spots and edges then yellow fills in the leaf. All five of my tomato plants develop this on their bottommost branches. I cut them off when that happens, but if I keep this up, I will have naked tomatoes! Should I be applying a fungicide or is this just life with tomatoes?
Looks like it could be blight, to me. The best thing to do to prevent blight is to keep the leaves dry (water the soil, not the plant), and water "gently" - less splashing water on the soil = less spores in the air.

If you want to treat, there's a product called Serenade Garden Spray that you can spray on the leaves that helps to stop the fungus.
3) Squash. My squash leaves are turning yellow. It starts out on a healthy green leaf as a splotch and then the entire leaf turns yellow. There are a few tiny brown/rusty spots. Is this a fungus?
Doesn't look too bad in the pictures you provided. It would help to know what they're planted in, what fertilizer you use, watering, etc. I suspect that maybe you have them in planters too small for them (tomatoes, squash and to a lesser degree, cukes are all BIG, BIG plants that are difficult to grow in containers, and will tend to develop issues over time when they run out of root space), and they are either nutrient deficient OR they are deficient/weak from being in a small space and thus more prone to disease. I think the latter is likely.
4) Cucumbers. At first it was the bottommost leaves on my cucumber vines developed the weird points and then yellow splotches, but now it is moving on up the plant. I cut them all off this morning, but don't know if more will develop. Do the older leaves just die off? Or is this a fungus, too?
See above.
5) Bee. The happy bee paused for a photo op. I had to share her with you.
Cute!

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applestar
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: What do these leaves mean?

What Bri80 said about competition -- that's true, tomatoes are such bullies and if the bigger plant has wrapped its roots around both sides, then the little one could be struggling. It might help if you add dry organic fertilizer like tomato tone along the little one's edge of the container, though the big one might still try to steal it. You can also try foliar feeding the little one.

Another thought -- I'm kind of suspicious that the yellowing could be aphids or other sucking pests under the leaf. ALWAYS look under the leaf if anything seems to be wrong.

The spots are early blight or septoria or other leaf disease. Cut them off. The tomato will grow more leaves every week. But if really concerned about stripping them naked, just clip the leaflet with the spot until you see spots on entire branch/leaf, then cut the entire thing off before the infection moves into the main stem.

Cucumber and squash -- my experience has been that those light colored spots followed by wilting is indicative of stinkbugs and squash bugs, leaf foots, too. They are either mating and dining before laying eggs -- you will find adults and possibly eggs -UNDER THE LEAVES- :wink: or a hatching event has taken place and you will find a bunch of nymphs. Either way, GET RID OF THEM. I "snatch, throw on ground and stomp" the adults and clip off the leaf (it's a goner anyway) fold over the nymphs and ... yep stomp on them. ....hmmm.... I guess on the deck you may not want bug and leaf juice all over the nice wood.... well, have a container of soapy water ready and drop them in.

I hear duct tape works great for catching them, too. I plan to try that when I start seeing them in quantity.

...love the bee photo... :D
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

JoyousFaith08
Full Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:02 pm
Location: Appalachian Mountains - Hardiness Zone 6a/6b & Sunset Zone 36, 2,375 ft. elevation

Re: What do these leaves mean?

Thank you for your responses. Just a few follow-up questions, please.

1) If I use the Serenade, can I put it in my pressure sprayer? I've tried doing it with a spray bottle a couple of times, but it is such a tedious and painful (for my hand) process that I haven't been consistent. Can I just go to town and spray it all over the plant? Is it possible to get too much liquid on the leaves and cause more problems? Is there a time of day that is best (I've read conflicting reports on that)? I think I read somewhere that it isn't possible to treat fungus and the leaves have to come off, but the key is to prevent it ahead of time with a fungicide?

2) I am beginning to realize that overcrowding is an issue - especially with my squash plants. I'm wondering if it would be better to remove some plants from the planter to let the remaining plans thrive. I HATE the idea of pulling up a living plant, but it seems like it is taking a toll on the health of all of my plants.

3) Thanks for reminding me that bugs can be a problem. I haven't randomly seen any so it hadn't occurred to me that that could be a problem.

bri80
Senior Member
Posts: 282
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:12 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: What do these leaves mean?

JoyousFaith08 wrote:Thank you for your responses. Just a few follow-up questions, please.

1) If I use the Serenade, can I put it in my pressure sprayer? I've tried doing it with a spray bottle a couple of times, but it is such a tedious and painful (for my hand) process that I haven't been consistent.
I don't see why not.
Can I just go to town and spray it all over the plant?
Yes.
Is it possible to get too much liquid on the leaves and cause more problems?
Always a possibility when spraying anything.
Is there a time of day that is best (I've read conflicting reports on that)?
Yes - do not spray when the sun is shining on the plant, or you will most definitely cause more problems. Early morning or late evening is best.
I think I read somewhere that it isn't possible to treat fungus and the leaves have to come off, but the key is to prevent it ahead of time with a fungicide?
I don't agree with this sentiment, as long as you're smart about it. If you keep the leaves dry, water gently, and intervene with Serenade when you notice small problems as you are now, you can stop the spread and don't even need to remove the leaves. Additionally, spraying anything can cause more harm than good, so I believe in only spraying when you have a visible reason to, not as a preventative that you may never need. You, however, do have signs of blight so you can go ahead and spray.

I have tomato plants that got early blight this year, and I followed that protocol, and there are still shriveled, blighty leaves on the plant but it is not spreading. Check out these photos of tomatoes from my garden this year, you can see the blighty leaves on the bottom in the first and the middle-right on the second, with all the lush growth after I intervened with Serenade and the weather turned (stopped raining on the plants, letting them dry out).
IMG_1173.jpg
IMG_1174.jpg
If it is super humid where you live, though, you might have more problems. Another factor may be the overall strength of your plant, weaker plants will succumb more, so fertilize with a slow-release organic fertilizer. I feed my plants plenty of carefully crafted, slow-release organic fertilizer with trace minerals.
2) I am beginning to realize that overcrowding is an issue - especially with my squash plants. I'm wondering if it would be better to remove some plants from the planter to let the remaining plans thrive. I HATE the idea of pulling up a living plant, but it seems like it is taking a toll on the health of all of my plants.
You have to thin. Or you will lose BOTH plants.

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