Tomato – High Soil pH

Q: I need help! My tomato plants have something that is spreading from one to the next fairly quickly. The stems are turning chartreuse then yellowing and spreading out. It’s on the top stems. The leaves are then curling under and shrinking. There are 4 different varieties affected, and came from different sources.

I’ve limed every year except this one to prevent blossom end rot but we tilled in manure and mushroom compost though.

A: By liming so frequently I think your soil pH has risen so high that the tomatoes can’t absorb iron. Adding a teaspoon of garden lime yearly around a plant will be enough to insure it has enough calcium available. More, and you limit the nutrients your plants can absorb.

A similar effect would happen if you added sulfur around each plant to lower the pH. Different nutrients would be restricted and the leaves would show a different set of symptoms.

Your best bet is to have the soil tested and then do what the report says to do.

Details at

See a whole panoply of tomato nutrient problems (including yours) at
Plant Physiology Online.

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