Manage Tomato Garden Problems

Dry, Dark Bottoms

The end of tomatoes can sometimes get dry and turn dark. This is usually because the weather has been too hot and dry. You can keep this from happening by increasing the amount of water you give your plants. It’s also important to be consistent with the amount of water your plants receive. Don’t water your plants if it was watered by a recent rainstorm. You can also try using a shade cloth to keep them out of direct sunlight during heat waves.

Brown and Blacked Spotted Leaves

Leaves with black and brown spots are diseased. The disease is called early blight. You can save your plant from dying by removing the affected leaves as soon as you see the spots. To keep the disease from occurring, spread mulch all over the ground around the plants. You may choose to use fungicide and/or dry leaves off when they become wet.

Dark Green Spotted Leaves

These spots signify the plant has a disease called late blight. To prevent the disease from affecting the plant, remove the leaves immediately. Place mulch at the base of the plants to slow down the progression of the disease. Before the disease happens, you may choose to spray plants with fungicide and keep the leaves dry to prevent it.

Yellow Wilted Leaves

Two diseases cause leaves to yellow and wilt, verticillium and fusarium. The process of keeping these diseases from killing a plant is the same as for the last two diseases. Make sure to remove affected leaves as soon as possible. Place mulch around the plants and dry off leaves when they become wet.

Cracked Tomatoes

Tomatoes love water and fertilizer, but too much of them can cause cracks. When you see cracks, cut back on how much you water them. You should also decrease the amount of fertilizer you’re using. Your tomatoes will still grow big and flavorful with the reduced water and fertilizer and you’ll end up saving them from the dreaded cracks.


Tomato hornworms can eat your plants and tomatoes quickly. The only way to deal with them is to pick them off. Don’t throw them on the ground because they will simply crawl back up on the plants. Many tomato growers throw them in a bucket of soapy water.

Keep these common problems in mind as you’re growing your tomatoes. Water them well, fertilize them regularly (but not too much), prevent diseases, attack the ones that occur, and keep those pesky caterpillars off your plants.