Whats wrong with my tomato plant?

Z24Dawg89May 28, 2012

My tomato plants (parks whopper and goliath hybrid) have something wrong with them and I don't know what. I do not see any bugs. The leaves are curling and just shriveling up. The problem is only near the top of the plant, not the lower part. This is my second year planting tomatoes and didn't have a single problem last year. I have attached a picture to try and help out with diagnosing my problem. If any further information is needed, just ask and I will do my best to provide an detailed answer. Thank you for the help!

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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Has anyone used an herbicide in the area, particularly Roundup (glyphosate)? Have you mulched recently with grass clippings or straw? Is the new growth yellowish or only twisted?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 5:20PM
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Z24Dawg89

I have used roundup around the edge, as the plants are in a raised bed. I only used a very light application, but do you think that is the problem? (you can see the wood in the picture). If I recall, I did the same last year and didn't have any issues. The new growth is sort of twisted, see below. Does not appear yellowish to me.

Thanks for the help by the way!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 5:41PM
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Bets(z6A S ID)

I agree with mto, it definitely looks like herbicide damage. Tomatoes are very sensitive to it and it is surprising how far it drifts when sprayed and some of it has a pretty long half life in grass clippings or water run off.

Have you or any of your neighbors had a lawn service come out and do any spraying?

Betsy

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 5:54PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Tomatoes are particularly sensitive to Roundup (as are daylilies -- BTDT). The spray can travel on the air; it can also evaporate and travel on the air.

Foliage emerging in the next week or two should look normal. The twisted leaves will stay that way. The plant will survive, and most importantly -- you can eat the tomatoes!

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 5:57PM
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Bets(z6A S ID)

Ok, that is the problem. You got lucky last year, but not this year. The good news is, they are likely to grow out of it if the damage is not too extensive, and it doesn't look as though it is.

Betsy

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 5:58PM
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Z24Dawg89

Wow... Thanks for the comments! No one has had any lawn service in the area and it definitely was not over spray. The damage was either through the roots soaking it up or what MTO said, evaporation.

Thanks again for the comments. I will refrain from the round up usage around the bed.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 6:07PM
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Bets(z6A S ID)

Hmmmm, there appears to be a lot of posting while someone else is typing, LOL! The good news is that we are in agreement that it herbicide damage and the tomatoes will grow out of it. This is a bit of a set back and you may or may not see lower production than last year. No way to tell since we don't know how it was for you last year.

If you feel you must use roundup in the future, use it before you transplant the tomatoes or make sure you tent them well. As I said before, you were lucky last year. Also if there is a chance it is in your compost or mulch, don't use it for at least a year. Glyphosate has been shown to have a half-life of up to 130 days in the soil. As sensitive as tomatoes are, you'd want to compost or hold mulch at least twice that to be sure you didn't have a problem with it.

Good Luck.

Betsy

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 6:12PM
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Z24Dawg89

Good info Betsy... and I will certainly do that.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 6:38PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

That is herbicide damage. That's Roundup damage. It's from either 2,4-D or dicamba.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 8:19PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Oops! Meant to say, that's *not* damage from Roundup.

When it comes to 2,4-D versus dicamba, it's most likely 2,4-D.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2012 at 8:26PM
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dhromeo

jean is right, that is *not* glyphosate damage, that looks like 2-4D damage. My first year of gardening I listened to my grandpa and he said "aw hell just spray roundup around the plants to keep the weeds down. Well, my tomatoes looked like this afterwards:

2-4D causes plants to basically grow themselves to death, it causes the plant to grow in all kinds of weird directions and shapes, it makes them curl.

If it is herbicide damage, then My vote goes into the 2-4D type of chemicals. Are there any farm fields next to you that might have gotten sprayed?

Another thing no one has mentioned yet is disease, I was scolded and scared by my dad and grandpa when getting advice "you never never never plant tomatoes in the same dirt year over year" they said. Eggplant, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, and tobacco are all in the nightshade family. They will be vulnerable to the same sets of diseases.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Garden

    Bookmark   May 30, 2012 at 10:30AM
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