Tomato Gray Leaf Spots

tomato gray leaf spot

If your tomato plants have unusual brown or gray spots on the underside of leaves, then you may have a gray leaf spot problem. The spots begin as small black or brown specks on both young and mature tomato leaves, resulting in unhealthy and diseased looking plants.

Causes and Symptoms

The cause of gray leaf spot disorder usually begins on tomato seeds in the form of a fungus. The spores of the fungus travel to other plants by rain or wind. Once they find a wet leaf, the spores grow and develop. Warm, moist climates encourage this type of fungal growth.

Symptoms include tiny black or brown spots or dots. As the disease grows, the leaves become yellow and the spots turn to a brown or gray color. Numerous spots or holes appear all over the tomato plant leaves. Plants look unwholesome and sick.

Treatments and Control

Treatment is important when you first begin to notice a change in your plants. Check them periodically for any signs of spots or specks. If you do find evidence, begin treatment as soon as possible.

Fungicides for tomatoes are a good choice in treating gray leaf spot. This safe and effective method stops the spread of the fungus in its tracks. Although fungicides prohibit the spread of the disease, they do not cure already affected leaves. Effected leaves die and fall off.

Before applying any fungicide, read the instructions carefully. The application times vary with each product and you must follow instructions to prevent the death of other leaves. Turn off lawn sprinklers and use a garden hose instead. Water encourages fungal growth and interferes with some fungicides.

Another alternative is weed control. Keep gardens free of this destructive plant to eliminate the spread of the disease and promote healthier tomato plants. Pull weeds out completely or use a safe weed killer product. Many people choose an organic option, which is safer for the environment.

Also use a selective weed product that only kills the type of weeds you have in your garden. Nonselective killers attack all plants and have the potential to destroy your tomato plants. Ask a store professional about the different products available. The safest way to remove weeds is to do it the old-fashioned way and pull them out.

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