tomaote leaf curl

Ettenna1(Z3)July 22, 2011

Each of the tomato plants -- those from seed or store bought starts--have hit the same growing pattern. Great healthy developed leaves on the bottom part of the plant, lots of flowers that are not fruiting and then the top part of the plant looking withered. Not wilted, the stems are plump but the leaves are curled. Reminds me of immature leaves. One is in my green house in a 15 gallon plastic container and five are in the garden. I believe they are getting enough water but Oh! do they look distressed.

If any one has any ideas I would be most appreciative of your knowledge and time.


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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

That looks like herbicide damage. Drift from weed killer spray can travel a long way.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 10:09AM
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Bets(z6A S ID)

Hi Ettenna1,

I agree with Dave and I hate to say this, but that looks like herbicide damage to me, although it is remotely possible it could be viral since the thickend curling type of leaf and stem growth are exhibited by both. Herbicide damage is a lot more common that we like to think since so many people use yard maintenance services and they don't always wait for a perfectly still day to spray like they are supposed to do. (If they did, they might have to go out of business since they are so far and few between, LOL!)

If no one near you uses a yard service, are you using grass clippings for mulch? That could also transfer a herbicide to your plants, since the half life of many herbicides is pretty long. Years ago I think I killed some small bushes I planted and then mulched with copious amounts of grass clippings that I had been gifted with (free for the hauling!) I no longer use other people's grass clippings unless I know for sure they don't have any herbicides on them.

The good news is, that if it is herbicide damage, they will probably grow out of it. If the source is drift, talk to the neighbors because if you know when they are spraying, you can protect your plants (and be sure to share some tomatoes when you have some ripe ones.) If it is from grass clippings, pull them away from your tomatoes.

I hope that helps.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 10:20AM
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herbicide damage and what it looks like.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 10:21AM
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Dang Me! those picts are huge. I have been searching for how to smaller them up...

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 10:35AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Ettenna1, have a look at brandon7's post in this thread:

Normally, what you see in the Preview is what you will get in the final post (including whether pictures can be seen, links work, etc.). I assume that's also true for photo size.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 10:44AM
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Name of Thread: Tomato Leaf Curl Sorry about the typos.
I Thanks each of you for responding. I am surrounded by hay and alfalfa fields plus some Lawn Tech customers. And I admit my own use of herbicide to control noxious weeds.
I am am pleading forgiveness from the Tomato Gods and vowing to be mush more attentive. Again, Many thanks

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 10:49AM
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Bets(z6A S ID)

Hello again Ettenna1,

It has been my experience that the Tomato Gods are remarkably forging, as evidenced by the fact that although tomatoes are sensitive to herbicide drift, they often do recover from it.

As for the photo size, if I recall correctly you can resize them when you upload them to photobucket. Alternatively you can use a free photoeditor like GIMP.


Here is a link that might be useful: GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 2:29PM
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On the same subject, I have a question. I used glass clippings as mulch on my tomatoes as well, grass was new grass that grew and I dont think any herbicide was used by previous owner as grass was dead when I bought home. I used turfbuilder fertilizer that Costco sells and grass clippings came out after two weeks of fertilizing lawn. Now I am thinking that is it the grass clippings that is causing curl in my tomato plants as well? Turfbuilder has built in weed control so it could do the damage.

any comments on this? should I remove the grass clippings? again, some plants got curl while others didnt.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 2:34PM
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Bets(z6A S ID)


Yes, get those clippings away from your tomatoes!


    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 10:25AM
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