Disease ID - Curly Top? PICS

bearclaw_txApril 24, 2010

Hello. I've recently built raised beds and planted tomatoes. The transplants started off great then suddenly stopped growing. The new growth was curling and eventually curled so heavily that the leaves were not even opening. I thought at first it could be due to a virus present in the soil, but after researching my symptoms, it looks like curly top. (See Pics)

Since they had been severely stunted and were either going to die or not produce, I pulled them and replanted with larger transplants.

Do my new transplants have a shot or are they doomed? I am at a loss. I've been gardening for 10 years or so and have never seen this before.

Is my soil causing this or is it the leaf hoppers I've read about?

Thanks for any help!


Here is a link that might be useful: Pics

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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Virus doesn;'t survive in soil

Beyond that, what weed killer have you or someone else used? Those are great examples of damage following weedkiller -- most likely the active ingredients 2,4-D and/or triclopyr.

That can occur through direct hits, also spray drift on a breeze, as well as spray turbulence.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 12:22PM
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Hi, I've been a lurking reader of GardenWeb and the tomato forums for a long time(3yrs), but saw this post and wanted to contribute. This is my first year trying Heirloom and OP varieties and soon after planting out, I had some similar symptoms and was having a hard time identifying the problem. I too thought I might have Curly top, but it appears to be more common out West but I'm in Eastern NC, or 2,4-D damage but doubted that. After several days of on and off searching, I happened upon a picture that matched my poor tomato's symptoms and a good description that helped. I've attached the link at bottom to those pics and description. Looking at the Cucumber Mosiac virus a little more, I realized that my cucumbers probably had the virus late last season, and something in my garden had passed it to my new baby tomato plants :( Anyways, I think you'll know if it is a Mosiac virus or Curly top, as small plants are instantly stunted in growth. With 2,4-D the healthy limbs will continue to grow or should recover in 5-10 days.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mosiac virus pics and desc.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 10:58AM
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I have not used any weed killer, and wont be using any. I pull my weeds and discard. It is possible that some drifted over from a neighbor I suppose, but why didn't it affect any of the other vegetables less than 5' from the tomatoes? I don't think it was a weed killer unless it was specific to tomatoes.

My plants were definitely stunted. They had not put on any new growth for over 2 weeks so 2,4-D looks to be ruled out.
I'm guessing it was curly top. Not quite consistent with mosaic because the leaves weren't "fern like", they were thick, but curled so badly that they were unrecognizable as leaves.

Thanks for the responses. I've replanted now and hope the new transplants do better.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2010 at 12:34PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

You asked "but why didn't it affect any of the other vegetables less than 5' from the tomatoes? "

If it was weedkiller, it's importnt to know tht some plants are very senstitive, others less so. Tomatoes are in the *very* sensitive category.

Then too, the moving breeze can skip around in a planting, affecting a plant here & there, while missing others.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 12:15AM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Also wanted to mention, the images of the mosaic linked to above are quite different than OP's plants.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 12:20AM
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The "other vegetables" mentioned are mustard, collard, and spinach SPROUTS. Very tender 2" tall sprouts. They would have been just as susceptible as the tomato transplants, if not more so, to any "weed killer". I'm convinced that weed killer has been completely ruled out. I've seen it's effects in the past and my symptoms are not consistent with those effects.


I'm losing 3 of the 5 new transplants to what appear to be the same symptoms! See pics.

I just did a foliar feeding with seaweed extract, molasses, and medina hasta-gro hoping that it might revive the plants and help them fight this. Severe curling that I did not see in the established leaves of the last plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: PICS - 2

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 2:02PM
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Fusarium wilt maybe?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 7:25PM
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