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SunnysideUp
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Diseased plants or fertilizer overload?

First year growing tomatoes in containers in the midlands area of SC, I am using MG potting Mix and roughly 5 weeks ago I added a center strip of Tomato Tone.
Not long after adding the tomato tone I noticed mold growing and then the tomato stems turned a brownish/copper color and leaves starting at the bottom started dying and it has now spread towards the tops of the plants,.
The copper color has stretched upwards of 6ft and only the new growth is a nice green color.

I will say the plants are still growing and producing flowers/tomatoes so I have no idea what the problem is.
I did buy some daconil last week and sprayed on the plants and also on a nearby container with 2 cherry varieties as a precaution as it does not appear to be affecting the cherry varieties.

The plants are a beefsteak and celebrity if it matters.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Diseased plants or fertilizer overload?

Your pictures are pretty, but they don't really show much of what is wrong with the plants. Maybe try a couple more with different lighting?
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applestar
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Re: Diseased plants or fertilizer overload?

From the description you gave, this is almost certainly caused by Tomato Russet Mites (TRM).

As far as I know Daconil is a fungicide and will not help.

I'll see if I can find some threads in which remedies were suggested since I am only relying on existing predatorial mites in the garden. If I recall, most effective method that had been mentioned was miticide combined with a small amount of Dr. Bronner's liquid soap.
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applestar
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Re: Diseased plants or fertilizer overload?

BTW, TRM are microscopic and can only be verified with magnification as described below in an older thread:

Subject: Unidentified tomato desease -- maybe russet mites?
applestar wrote:Not positive as this is a new pest on tomatoes for me as well, but it's possible they have russet mites. You need to look at the leaves with high power jewelrer/geologists loupe or low power (50x to 100x) microscope. They look like dust to unaided eye and microscopic rice grains magnified. And they shift and wave around like underwater polyps.

I looked at mine through my kid's handheld lighted magnifying loupe (probably 10x) aided by 5 MP iPhone camera at full magnification:
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Their life cycle involves dropping to the ground and emerging from the soil so the plants are affected from ground up and isolated infestations on tender new growths. They are resistant to sprays and can be spread by air movement and on clothing.

Best defense is predatory mites.
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SunnysideUp
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Re: Diseased plants or fertilizer overload?

Thx for the reply rainbowgardener!
My cell phone does not take the best detailed pictures,I edited the photos with red arrows/ovals to try and show the dark coloring moving up the main stem and into the leaves.
The leaves do not get any spots on them but they eventually just dry up and i then clip them off.
The new growth is always nice green color for about a week and then it turns into the darker copper color.

If these pics do not help,i will wait a few days until some more leaves die off and snap a picture and post,i have already clipped them off and burned them.

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Last edited by SunnysideUp on Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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applestar
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Re: Diseased plants or fertilizer overload?

This was the thread in which miticide + soap was discussed but looks like not conclusive with regards effectiveness :
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applestar
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Re: Diseased plants or fertilizer overload?

FYI -- Here's a picture of a plant that I know has TRM infestation:

image.jpg
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SunnysideUp
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Re: Diseased plants or fertilizer overload?

applestar ,thanks for the info.
I will have the wife bring a microscope home from school Monday and check my plants for these critters.
I do have 2 unaffected cherry tomatoes in a container within a foot of the infected container.
If it is mites they must not have learned how to pole vault yet.

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SunnysideUp
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Re: Diseased plants or fertilizer overload?

After checking the plants thoroughly with a magnifying glass and the wife checking some pulled leaves on a microscope at work,neither of us found any mites/bugs.
I still believe it had something to do with the mold from the strip of tomato tone.
Cheers!



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