Disfigured tomatoes

volkovJune 17, 2014

I seem to be having a problem with my tomatoes this year. I have 10 plants. A couple of them started out really slow when I transplanted them into the garden. I noticed their leaves were growing all curled up and disfigured (see photo). The color on one of the plants was more lime green than deep green. I took pictures and a sample to the local garden center and they suggested wilt caused by the weather and said it should get better with heat. The problem is the weather has been much better and it only seems to be spreading to new plants. New growth is twisted up and deformed. Any help/thoughts/ideas would be much appreciated!!!

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couple more pictures

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 9:02AM
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last one

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 1:48PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Herbicide damage.

Via drift, inadvertent overspray, or herbicide carryover in organic matter (e.g. mulch; amendment' manure).

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:13PM
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it is 100% not herbicide drift. the garden is secluded. there has been no herbicide sprayed, and the condition is spreading to new plants. also, I gave a couple plants to my father 200 miles away and he is having similar issues. I am leaning toward a mosaic virus as I have also had a aphid problem. if anyone has ay other ideas I would very much appreciate it. thx for the help everyone!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 11:57AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Herbicide can drift for 2-plus miles.

Questions for you to rule out carryover herbicide in organic matter:
- How many tomatoes do you have?
- how many are affected?
- at what stage did you notice the distortion?
- re the plants your dad has-- were they ok when you gave them to him?
- have you added any amendment? e.g. straw; compost? manure? packaged product?
- have you added any mulch? e.g. straw; compost? manure? packaged

For info & images of distortions/problems that follow carryover herbicide in OM see these sites:
1. http://puyallup.wsu.edu/soilmgmt/Clopyralid.html
2. http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/aminopyralid/

Here is a link that might be useful: herbicide contamination of OM

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 8:37PM
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It's not drift. These plants are now in 4 different gardens in three different states and they are all showing symptoms and spreading to other plants in the gardens. So unless herbicide can drift for 200 miles and then spread to other plants then I think we can cross it off this list. I get that people hate herbicides. I agree. But this is not my problem so id love other ideas that fit the fact pattern more if anyone has thoughts.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 11:05PM
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There are 2 ways that herbicides can injure plants if they are not used carefully:

1. Drift from nearby applications (lawn services, a neighbor who got a bit carried away with spraying for weeds on a property line, etc).

2. Other types of herbicides, such as 2,4-D, that are applied to lawns, meadows, and the like. They are very popular for use on farm fields to control weeds. If this herbicide is consumed by grazing animals, it passes unchanged into the manure, which is then used for composting or fertilizing. Unfortunately, that herbicide is in the manure and can cause failure in plants that are sensitive to those herbicides.

We've seen lots of people get manure from their favorite famer, and then either compost it or side-dress their gardens with it, and then the plants have problems. It has even shown up in hay and straw, and caused problems when those were used as mulches.

So it has become the variable to eliminate when looking at distorted plant growth, because it is the most common problem.

I am not against herbicides, which are very useful for controlling noxious, invasive weed, especially in a large area. Most of us don't have time to make weed pulling a full time job, because we have lives. :-)

I know there's a big woo movement against herbicide, so I understand your frustration with that.

Assuming you haven't been using manure or someone else's compost or soil in your garden, have there been any more changes to the plants?

The monitor I'm using right now is not high resolution, but I don't see the mosaic pattern on any leaves. It's hard to differentiate subtle shadowing from an actual mosaic leaf pattern, so do you see any mosaic pattern in any of the leaves?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 12:34PM
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the only compost I use comes from a commercial distributor and comes pre-tested so hopefully I am ok there. The plants have continued to deteriorate, and frustratingly it appears the problem may be aphids. I had aphid problems last year but was able to control them after I noticed with neem oil. This year they seem to have done far more damage - I didn't realize aphids could do such a number on tomatoes. I am currently treating with pyrethroid spray and hoping thry battle back, though they appear to be losing...

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 4:50PM
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