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It can't be overwatering.  The leaves are turning brown from the bottom up.  I've been trimming them off, trying to keep it from spreading, but it keeps moving up the plant.  The fruits don't seem to be terribly affected, it's mostly the leaves.

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aaaaakkkkkkkkkkkk...I don't have any of that going on right now but I have never had a tomato season where it did not eventually show up on some of my plants. I would love to know what causes it too.
I'm thinking it's possibly tomato russet mites. I can't even see them with a magnifying glass (probably not powerrul enough), but the symptoms are consistent with the damage. I went to Harper's to buy some sulpher, but they didn't have any. I used some SafeTCide I had at home, rather than purchase even more chemicals, but I'm starting to think that sulpher is going to be the ultimate answer. Guess I'll be on the hunt again tomorrow ...
I think you nailed it Anita. I am going to try and raise the humidity and see if I can ward them off in my garden this year since mites seem to like it dry. Of course by doing that I could induce a different problem. It isn't easy being a farmer is it.
I'm considering raising the humidity as well, at this point, it can't hurt!
It is what they are, I just did a major trim of leaves, and the stalks are a rusty brown. The only saving grace is that my passive-solar house is keeping my "bald" tomatoes in the shade. I think the SafeTCide made a dent on the mites as well as the little black fly things that were getting pretty heavy on the newer growth. Now it looks like what's left of the plants need a good bath. I'm seriously considering wiping down the leaves with a microfiber cloth and some Dr Bronner's soap and then rinsing. I'm not sure if the sticky residue is from the spray, or slime that the mites were leaving. I do, however, believe there's hope for the plants. "See, there's a difference between mostly dead and all dead." :)
lol...I like that Anita...never give up...never give up...never give up.
So I went to Home Depot this a.m. to get some sulfer. There was not one orange apron available, and we couldn't find any, so we decided to try another Home Depot. There was an orange apron there as soon as we entered, so I asked for sulpher. He said he wasn't sure, he'd have to ask, so I looked around the nursery while he found someone else to ask. Well, I came up on them just as he was asking another clerk if they carried any "soul food." Needless to say, they didn't carry either. So I'm waiting for Whitfill Nursery to open ...
while you are there, pick up a moisture reader, about $10.
I am always amazed when we check the soil around the yard. It can be a real lifesaver on telling if your plants are too wet, or too dry. We test at different depths in the soil. In the past when we lost a tomato similar looking to your issue, the soil was dry down in the root area.

While you may indeed have mites, bugs tend to attack weak, sick, or old and on the outs plants. Maybe the bugs are there to tell you something. Maybe the shade is too much for the tomato, and the bugs are the clean up crew. Something to ponder, as sometimes the cure is worse than the cause. Sulfur dust will kill all bugs, is that really a cure?
Thank you for the suggestion about the moisture reader, I'll go for it.

Interestingly enough, Erica, there are two different varieties of tomato in that space. One variety has been viciously attacked, and even though the two plants touch one-another, the other is completely resistant to the mite. They have the exact same environment in terms of water, because they are in the same planter box. You can see the difference between the plant on the left and the one on the right. I HAVE considered what sulfer dust will do, and am considering the best way to apply treatment to the plant itself, without spreading the contamination to nearby areas. I don't really want to remove the offending tomato plant, because it has the biggest tomatoes of any variety I put in (all from seed), and I've been salivating, waiting for the first one to ripen ...
Maybe the one tomato plant that has been attacked is acting like a trap plant then, sort of a sacrifice. Obviously the one plant that hasn't been attacked has benefits since it has managed to keep clean.

What are the two varieties? Are they indeterminate or determinate? Because they are in a planter box, the type could effect growth and fruit ripening.
I'm with both of you, Chris and Erica. Having read the MSDS for sulfer, I DO know that having sprayed my plants with oil only yesterday, it would be imprudent to dust my plants with sulfer for another two weeks. Erica, I thank you for making me double check, but I can also say that I spent a good half-hour at Harper's reading labels before I decided NOT to purchase anything, in favor of the chemicals I already have on hand. I was surprised at the condition of the plants at Harper's and their lack of customer service. Chris, I appreciate the benefits of sulfer, but I also see that one must take super precautions with handling the chemical, and I will plan accordingly. Thanks, y'all, for making me really think about what I'm doing, and asking questions that make me take pause, wonder and observe ...


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