Intok
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Tomato and Bell pepper problem

Hey everyone. I'm pretty new to hyrdro, but have been growing in soil for years. I've recently started my first batch of tomatoes and bell peppers. The tomatoes have been getting deep indentations in the lower leaves and eventually dying off from the lower leaves up. I've checked all the normal things. Air temp, lighting hours, nutrient temp, aeration, ventilation, ph. I'm sure someone here will recognize the pictures. I can't figure it out even with all the research I've been doing. Any advice would be appreciated.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Tomato and Bell pepper problem

the marks left behind by some kind of sucking/piercing insect. Thrips and spider mites can be very tiny and difficult to spot. Try shaking the leaves over a piece of paper, see if you see any tiny dots.

In the meantime, your baby tomato plant looks a bit spindly and stretched. It may not be getting enough light and/or nutrients. I can't see in the picture what kind of lighting you have, but it needs to be right down over your plant(s). Being spindly will make them more attractive and vulnerable to whatever insect pests are around.

You want them looking more like this:

Image

short, stocky stems, lots of leaves, not much space between leaf nodes, darker green.
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Intok
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Re: Tomato and Bell pepper problem

Thanks for the reply. The tomatoes I planted are a variety that should only grow to 12" tall. I've been all over the plants with a magnifying glass and can't find any insects at all. I'm wondering if its some kind of nutrient deficiency. I'm using a General Hydroponics veg mix at about 25% strength or less. Unfortunately I don't have the gear to test for PPM. Insects aside, could there be a PH or nutrient issue here? I'll post a pic of my bell pepper leaves that have just started to exhibit similar problems on its lower established leaves.
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applestar
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Re: Tomato and Bell pepper problem

Can you show the underside of the puckered leaves? Maybe it’s edema? — physiological condition resulting in water bubbles.

If I’m not mistaken it’s a mineral deficiency or inbalance that can also show up in soil-grown solanacea.
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Intok
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Re: Tomato and Bell pepper problem

I've included three photos of the plants. As you can see the lower leaves begin these symptoms then proceed to dry up and die. I know the plants are lacking light. Its my first attempt at a grow. I'll get a better light later. Right now I'm trying to nail down the dying leaves problem. It looks like these spots develop in to a necrosis type of lesion and proceed to dry up and die. I've increased the nutrient mixture in an attempt to provide more minerals that they may be deficient in. I'll let you know how it goes.
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applestar
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Re: Tomato and Bell pepper problem

Ooh I don’t think INCREASING overall fert is the answer. Does the mix you are using contain chelated minerals/micronutrients? It would be better to correct the light issue first. If a plant is stretching for light, that means cells are are not in their normal, healthy shape.

The first photo of the underside of the leaf to me DOES look like oedema, and this is a weird physiological condition that is the result of excessive uneven cell growths. This could happen from too much nitrogen. In the soil-grown plants, uneven watering could be another cause. They typically occur on older leaves.

I looked it up a bit because I wasn’t certain of the cause, and well, there seems to be a question as to why this occurs — they Don’t know — excessive UV light was also mentioned — that was a surprise. But light is also part of a plant’s food for photosynthesis, so maybe it shouldn’t be. They need a balanced diet. What kind of light are you using?

...BTW the “necrosis” could be attributed to secondary (fungal?) infection of weakened foliage.

— if this was a soil-grown tomato plant, I would trim all the affected lower leaves off, treat for fungal infection/preventive, and re-pot deeper so the weak stem is buried and the plant will grow more roots. I wonder how do you correct for elongated stem in hydro culture?
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Tomato and Bell pepper problem

I don't think the issues are separable, like oh I will deal with the light issue later. A plant that starved for light is unhealthy and vulnerable. At this point, I would get the correct light set up and then start over with a new plant. This one has been so damaged, it is never likely to do very well.
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imafan26
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Re: Tomato and Bell pepper problem

I think Applestar may be right it looks like edema.

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant- ... plants.htm

In your hydro system are you running nutrient solution through the pot and out again or are you intermittently flooding and draining like an ebb and flow system. How far up the pot do the roots sit in solution.

In all hydroponic systems I can think of, the nutrients just go past the roots but the roots are not submerged for any length of time, at least not the air roots. Only water roots are submerged. Otherwise if you are bottom watering but the solution stays in the saucer for a long time, then like most other plants, they don't like that. I don't think your plant needs to have nutrients cut. If anything it is looking small and lanky. Not enough light exposure or if you are using an LED and not a fluorescent light, you don't have the full spectrum of light.
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