Garden Problem Guide

Symptoms Possible causes Possible cures
Dying young plants Fertilizer burn Mix fertilizer thoroughly with soil
Disease (damping off) Use treated seed
Stunted plants, pale to yellowLow soil fertility Soil test for fertilizer
Poor soil drainage Add organic matter
Shallow or compacted soil Work soil deeper
Insects or diseasesIdentify and use control measures
Nematodes Use approved chemicals
Stunted plants, Low temperature Plant at recommended time
purplish color Lack of phosphorus Add phosphorus fertilizer
Holes in leaves Insects Identify and use control measures
Hail Be thankful it was not worse
Spots, molds, darkened areas on leaves and stems Disease Identify, spray or dust; use recommended rate and time
Chemical burn Use recommended chemicals at recommended rate and time
Fertilizer burn Keep fertilizer off plants
Wilting plants Dry soil Irrigate if possible
Excess soil moisture Avoid over-watering
Disease Use resistant varieties if possible
Weak, spindly plants Too much shade Move garden to sunny area
Plants too thick Seed at recommended rate
Too much nitrogen Avoid excessive fertilization
Failure to set fruit Improper temperatures Plant at recommended time
Too much nitrogen Avoid excessive fertilization
Insects Identify and use control measures
Tomato leaf curlHeavy pruning in hot weatherDo not prune; use cages
Dry brown to black Low soil calcium Add gypsum
rot on blossom end of tomato Extremely dry soil Irrigate and mulch
Misshapen tomatoes (catfacing)Cool weather during blooming Plant at recommended time
Abnormal leaves and growth2,4-D weed killer Do not use sprayer that has, previously applied 2,4-D; do not allow spray to drift to garden
Virus disease Remove infected plants to prevent spreading; control insects that transmit