Tomato leaves turning white
About a week ago I set out my 50 tomato plants. By the next day the leaves were turning white and falling off. (Same with the peppers.) I’m assuming it’s from spray drift from the neighboring farm as it happened last year and the leaves grew back after a week or two. Is there some way I can protect the soil next year before planting or plant differently? Maybe black plastic over the whole garden area? The 12 tomato plants that are in WOW’s in another garden are fine. Thank you for any suggestions or insights you can give on this problem.
Hornell, New York
No, I don’t think it was spray drift. It sure sounds like wind/sun burn to me. I’ll bet you didn’t harden off your plants by gradually exposing them to the wind and sun, an hour or so a day at first in a relatively protected location, then gradually increasing both the time and exposure. In Wall O’ Waters, they are still in a “greenhouse,” protected against these damaging elements. I don’t have to harden off my plants because I use Wall O’ Waters myself. Yours is a problem easily fixed. Thank goodness! — Jackie
Adding calcium to tomato plants
I have already planted the tomato plants in the ground. I know that I will need to add calcium to the soil. At this point what is a good way of doing that?
You don’t need to add calcium unless you have had a lot of trouble with blossom end rot, which is caused by a combination of a lack of calcium and intermittent watering. (Usually if you step up your watering and mulch your plants, the problem disappears.) You can either work in a calcium compound such as bonemeal or lime (unless your soil is already alkaline) shallowly around the plants. However, this takes a while to be absorbed. Some folks spray the foliage and blooms with a blossom end rot spray to get quicker results. Improving the soil and watering retention/frequency is a better long-term option. — Jackie