Tomato leaves turning yellow

Last year my tomato plants were doing fine and then the bottom leaves started turning yellow and it moved up the plants. I did not get many tomatoes out of the deal
The same thing appears to be happening this year. I took a leaf to the local garden center and they said aphids and sold me some poison dust (Bonide?). I would prefer not to use it since it says that it's bad for humans and pets, and my cats roam the backyard.
Is there anything else I can do? Is it likely that I have aphids? I thought that I would see those but I don't see them anywhere.
Any suggestions appreciated.
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Mine were yellowing with spots. Needed a good shot of fungicide suitable for vegetable use. Frank
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wrote:

The thing I bought is for insects and fungi. Maybe I should just get something for fungi. That's not likely to kill cats (or me!).
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dgk said:

If it were aphids, you'd see them. Do you?

What are your watering practices? Over, as well as under-watering will cause what you describe.
Do the leaf veins show any sign of turning purple (a sign of psyllids)?
Pull back a bit of soil at the base. Do the roots show any sign of rotting (a sign of Fusarium oxysporum)?
Are the plants VFN (disease-resistant variety)?
Are you growing the plants in the same location as the ones you had trouble with, last year? (REAL bad idea)
It could be a lot of things. Watering practices can mimic other problems, which is why it was my first question. =)
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On Mon, 16 Jul 2007 16:08:40 -0600, Eggs Zachtly

Thanks, much to check out when I get home. I do pretty much grow them in the same place though I move the exact spot around. I have a small yard and outside of ripping up some bushes and such, I am limited since these pretty much need lots of sun. There just isn't that much room. I'm thinking of running a path of tomato plants right through the middle of the lawn next year but I get flack from the Significant Other when I mention it.
Watering is a concern. I just read a whole bunch of tomato watering tips and apparently watering from the top, as I've been doing by sprinkler, is a bad idea. Everyone says water at the roots. I think I'll put a soaker hose back there and limit the sprinkler to the grass.
I've been trying to water in the morning but mostly water in the evening. Another bad idea apparently. Hopefully the soaker hose concept will take care of that.
I was out sick the last two days; yesterday as I lay in bed I listened and watched a thunderstorm dump three inches of water in two hours. I won't water for a while I think. Good deep watering there. Some of it ended up in my basement.
I think perhaps you're very right about the watering situation. I'll worry about that first. No, I have seen no aphids. I'll look with a magnifying glass but I don't see any on the plants.
They should be VFN. I think that's all they sell at Garden World. I have two cherries, one grape, two Big Boy, one Beefsteak, one Early Girl, and one Roma (plum), The grape and roma are looking the worst. The cherries are all over the place and look very good. Early Girl has one turning red. Beefsteak looks good but I have a lot of trouble with them; they seem to rot easily and grow weird. But they taste great if you trim off the bad parts.
The Big Boys are lagging behind this year but have started to have fruit and I have high hopes.
I'll check the various problem areas you highlighted but I think you hit the water can.
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dgk said:

Something to keep in mind, with limited space, is that tomato plants do very well in containers. I've grown them in 5gal pickle buckets before, and they did great.

The roots take up much more moisture than the leaves. About the only time that I top-water things is when feeding with a liquid fertilizer.

I water my tomato and pepper plants via a soaker hose buried in the bed. =) You can also pick up a cheap hose timer. I use a 4-gang valve at the spigot, and off one of the gangs I use one of these: http://www.dripirrigation.com/drip_irrigation_info.php?cPath4&products_idg It's relatively cheap, and is fully programmable (7 day). Something to think about. =)

Ack!
You won't need a glass. They're not solitary insects. If there's aphids, there'll be a bunch of them. ;)

Are they rotting at the blossom end? That's quite common. This may help: http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/3000/3117.html

All of my toms are lagging this year. I thought I was doing something wrong, but after a visit to the local farmer's market, you'd think tomatoes were gold.

Ya, it sounds like a big part of the problem, but it also sounds like you know how to correct it. There's still hope. =)
Good luck.
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Just look at the answere there for some good advice.
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valvejob said:

WTF are you talking about? The OP's post is the newest thread in this group. There are no other recent threads dealing with the same problem.
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On Mon, 16 Jul 2007 18:57:56 -0600, Eggs Zachtly

Oh good, I didn't find it either. He must mean another group. I do search the newsgroups before posting and was surprised that the question didn't seem to surface before.
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Copied for alt.edible.gardens
Here is a link to pictures of my tomato's. I was wondering if the brown leafs are normal or if I am doing something wrong. Maybe they are the determinate and starting to die? http://kevinandrews.com/Tomato%20pics.htm
thanks
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That looks a lot like mine.
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I sounds like Early Blight to me. Get a good general purpose fungicide and mist the leaves late in the evening once a week . If you water just water the ground not the plant. Add 1/2 aspirin per gal. of spray also. Next year start with the spray every week after you plant.
From Mel & Donnie in Bluebird Valley
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On Tue, 17 Jul 2007 16:05:44 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Mel M Kelly) wrote:

Asprin? Good for hearts, good for tomatos. Spray the leaves or just the base?
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Just mist the leaves with the fungi and aspirin late in the evening. I do mine once a week all season.
From Mel & Donnie in Bluebird Valley
http://community.webtv.net/MelKelly/TheKids
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Mel M Kelly) wrote:

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Steveo said:

when you gonna start blocking webtv, dood? =P
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

internet buds that still use webtv. (i know) So I can't block webtv just yet.
Googlegroups is -much- worse.
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Steveo said:

Sure you can. Just upscore your buddies' posts.

Hell ya. But, like I said, you can upscore the few that are a worthy read.
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Try varities that aren't bothered so much. First Lady II and Galioth are to good ones.
From Mel & Donnie in Bluebird Valley
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