Tomato leaf problem

Litchfield Park , AZ(Zone 9b)

I have several tomato plants in my vegetable garden and all have fruits and were growing well until....

About a week or two ago I noticed that one of my plants had numerous dried up leaves and this is getting worse and has spread to a second plant. I don't notice any major yellowing or spots on the leaves that I would expect to see with late blight, just the totally dried out leaves, really crispy dried! So far the tomatoes look good and are ripening.

Any ideas or suggestions? Is this some kind of blight that I am not familiar with? I am new to the area, moved here in July 2014 from Wisconsin and there is a huge difference in gardening from there. Got a lot to learn

Gilbert, AZ

How much water are you giving your tomatoes? One possibility is that moisture the roots get from the soil isn't able to keep up with leaf transpiration. Though most people aren't putting sunshade over their tomatoes yet, it might be a thought to reduce stress until we figure this out.

And welcome to Arizona! Yes, gardening here is a whole different beast! Have you hooked up with the Phoenix Permaculture Alliance or the county extension office? Both places have excellent info on gardening in our area. But, please keep asking questions here as well and we'll do our best to help you out!

Mesa, AZ

I find that heavy mulching, -straw is very good- helps to keep the moisture from drying up. I also have heard of people taking a soda liter bottle or 3 lb coffee can, puncturing a couple holes in it, then placing next to the plant (stuffed down to the earth under the straw) then putting the water in the can/bottle. Allows the water to slowly seep in while the mulch keeps it from evaporating so quickly.
Mine have also done the dried leaf issue, just a couple, and I noted that I may not have watered them as much as the others, or perhaps the wind dried them up faster as they are less protected. I added straw and things are better. Check your local feed store about buying some straw.

Susie

Fort Worth, TX

I think I need to do this too (north Texas and the heat is on) is hardwood mulch as good as straw?

Mesa, AZ

Hi Gypsi,

I am not sure, but I think just about anything that can protect the soil from heat and slow water loss would work just fine!

Susie

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

The only problem I see is if you pack the mulch too close to the stems you might have rot problem or if you have vermin they might borough in the mulch if it is too thick.
Good luck.

Rodica

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