Tomato Growing..what not to do

bubbaearly(Al 8)July 28, 2012

I posted a few weeks ago about overdoing my first tomatoes of the year, (which was planted way too late). When I say overdoing, I mean just wouldn't keep the teas,and the liquid humus and the fish and the ferts,and the super blooms....ect away from them. Well those plant just would not pass-away, but they began to look like MY LITTLE SHOP OF HORROR. Just two days ago I thought I heard the gnarliest one call me Seymour so I pulled them up.Some other plants that I plant around a month later I thought were going to be OK began looking and acting like the others.I pulled all but three of them up yesterday.The ones that I left are really not growing much but have all this weird growth like buds and curly stems on them. I do think that I put all the crap on these plants that I did with my first but I do know what I did do.Well I do have some more plants (8) that are a month old and doing fine, some a lot bigger than the others,but I'm letting them do it all after learning what not to do, I've cut all the additives down to the bare minimum.. except water. Maybe I be able to taste a tomato that I've grown before Halloween.

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bubbaearly(Al 8)

Little Shop Of Horror

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 9:50PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Looks to me like exposure to weed killers. Classic appearance of drift exposure.

Dave

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 10:16PM
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Masbustelo

I concur. But also perhaps soil contamination.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 4:41AM
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sweetquietplace(6 WNC Mtn.)

I've had so much weirdness in the garden this year...and I've been gardening for 25 years. Does anyone else wonder about the chemtrails?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 5:33AM
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ernie85017

ABSOLUTELY

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 12:29PM
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donna_in_sask

I've heard tomatoes are really sensitive to chemical drift and contamination. I had a potted tomato plant last year that exhibited those signs, curled, narly leaves...knock on wood, things have been good this year.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 2:36PM
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bubbaearly(Al 8)

I was so scared that the plants that I showed you before was CTV so I pull all the plants up and disposed of them, just to prevent my remaining plants from being affected .The afflicted plants were stunted and seemed that they were not going to snap out of whatever it was.This didn't begin until I had a couple of prime growing months invested in them, of course. Twenty tomato plants 8 different varieties and all that they produced was 5 very small tomatoes and a few more small ones that had something similar to BER, except on the stem end.Cat-facing or who knows what.In 2007 I planted tomatoes for the first time,a friend gave me a flat of homesteads and I ended up with 40 beautiful, healthy,high producing tomatoes.Great first time season, so I guess that's why I'm so disappointed that things have gone the way they have. Here is a picture of one of my last hope plants a ML, I have 2 along with 2 hillbillies and 2 PW's they look very healthy to me and are growing beyond my expectations, they are 8 wks and I really am hoping they don't turn on me like the ones before did. Thanks for the input from you all and if there are tomatoes here in P'ville Al ...I think everybody for miles will know and if not...well better luck next time. thanks Buford

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 6:14PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

So are you saying there is absolutely no possibility of exposure to any weed killers? They can drift for a mile. None of any kind used in your yard? No neighbors? No county spraying?

Dave

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 7:59PM
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bubbaearly(Al 8)

I haven't used any,it could be possible. I posted about all the thing that I did earlier in the season like over-tending them ,changing fertilizer to a high P-K. I'm just not sure, the first planted about got about 4 1/2' tall in about 6-8 wks and it began. I pulled my weeds.A mile though is a long way it's possible.I don't get it though the second tomatoes planted were 3 wks later than the first and they started atabout 7 wks old to do the same.Don't know why they weren't afected at the same time? I recently planted 8 plants the last wk of June.I still have all of my plant a total of 20 that have this curly spindly tops with flowers dropping and growth stunted leaves fading and stems darkening, with sparse golf ball size fruit, and most look like cat-facing or something.Whew, now if that's not enough to scratch your head and rethink about growing tomatoes.But I look over and see my 8 month old plants looking really great,I just didn't want to take any chances, so I pulled all the others up.I toned down the application of everything, spray them with neem mix and cal-mag 8 to 10 day intervals. Sorry about the rambling.... insecticide I don't know?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 3:43AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

cal-mag 8 to 10 day intervals.

You know there is such a thing as calcium and magnesium toxicity not to mention Neem that often can block photosynthesis. Lay off them!

But given the timing you have outlined above, the cycle of effect, it sure sounds like (and looks like) one of your neighbors has a lawn care service that is regularly spraying herbicides and the drift is hitting your plants.

If that is the case it won't make much difference what you do or don't do for your plants.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 10:37AM
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bubbaearly(Al 8)

Here is a couple of picture taken tonight of my remaining tomatoes.Two weeks ago these plants looked wonderful,now they look like this.I had 20 plants reach fruit bearing stage...lost now 8 like this getting lots of blooms now this. The whole time I'd been thinking that I was overdoing everything to raise tomatoes. Thanks for the herbicide poisoning that is exactly what I feel it is. My nearest neighbor lives about 75 to 100 yards from me....never talked to them, until the other day. I saw his teenage son at the gas station here in our small community. I ask him if they may have spayed any herbicides, he hesitated and answered no, I said OK just wondering see ya. I have two grown daughters, and consider myself a pretty good lie-detector...believe he might have failed.I was in my yard a couple of days ago and his father is cutting grass looks at me, I wave hello, and I get a look that tells me that there won't be anymore friendly gestures exchanged, sure don't know any reason for that. Guess I'll be putting my garden some place else next year. Oh well,think he's poisoned my last 8 plants, what a shame no wonder people build walls!!!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 4:13AM
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bubbaearly(Al 8)

another plant

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 4:28AM
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bubbaearly(Al 8)

number 3

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 10:58AM
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sjetski(6b NJ)

The same thing happened to me this year, but it was mostly my own doing. I spot sprayed for individual weeds and may have gotten carried away. We get plenty of fog and mist here so i'm sure it misted over a few mornings later, there's also a chance that runoff brought some in. Tomato plants are like the canary in the coal mine, they're very sensitive to certain toxins.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 9:45AM
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bubbaearly(Al 8)

First off I want to know will the plants ever come out of this or should I go ahead and write them off and stop bothering with them. I have a lot of time and money invested this year into them to end up here.This started off very enjoyable and satisfying,but now it has just left me down and out and not liking the fact that I can't plant next season for fear that my neighbors may or may not have poisoned them unintentionally ...or not, I don't like the feeling of suspission towards my neighbors, even if they are unfriendly. I haven't sprayed any time this season any kind of poisons,and there isn't any run off.I live in a house of very good family friends that have passed away ,and I planted my tomatoes in the same place Mrs Jean planted.I thought that my first plants had CTV and finally pulled them up then took the advice of members here telling me to check out the herbicide poisoning.I did and some of the pictures looked just like my plants.I posted a different topic with pictures about my spring plants that looked even worse than these.I really thought that I had don't this myself but other members advised that I look into herbicides being spayed and my plants were catching it's drift.I do feel that is the most probable answer.I have very old and thick hardwoods on two sides of me my neighbors on one side and my road in front,very small community.the county bush hogs the road but I am sure hasn't sprayed. So now all I have left are some young cherry tomatoes that I started from seed in June that are a foot tall in pots that I have moved close to my house and have a tall privacy fence between them and the neighbors.I don't think this is what gardening is all about,but what do you do build a greenhouse?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 7:46PM
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greginnd(Z4 ND)

Definitely looks like damage from an auxin regulator herbicide. It may have come from your neighbors if they spray their lawn. Most lawn herbicides would have 2,4-D or something similar in it.

Another possibility is that it is picloram or clopyralid in your soil. Have you used any manure, purchased compost or hay on your plants?

Hay cut from road sides and along ditches can be contaminated with these long lasting and persistent herbicides. Some have even been sprayed on golf courses. If the hay is fed to horses it passes through intact into the urine and manure. Even after composting these herbicides from manure and/or grass clippings that have been treated can contaminate your garden.

Tomatoes are REALLY susceptible to these herbicides.

I had picloram contamination this year. Some of my tomatoes died. Some are still stunted. Some showed a lot of curling early on then recovered. It's possible your tomatoes will eventually grow better but not guaranteed.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 3:12PM
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bubbaearly(Al 8)

Yes, compost manure that I tilled into my beds along with outdoor garden soil and top soil before planting. The compost manure was way cheap the top soil and garden soil Scott's,No hay though I used hyponex mulch(red).But why didn't this hit my plants when they were seedlings and waited until they were mature and flowering?I stopped by a friend nursery today to see if he had any answers.He was gone but his son was there.His son like his father is a Auburn grad in horticulture I told him about the problems I have had all this season and he was interested,so I ask him if he want to take a look,I live 2 minutes away.So he came to my garden and had a look. After he looked we talked he asked if I smoked cigarettes, I told him I did.Then he asked did I wash my hand before handling my plants, I said no. Then he said I think that might be your problem.Again I didn't wash my hands throughout the whole time I have worked my garden ,unless I was watering and did then, so why didn't it do it before they were established plants and when they were seedlings?This is beginning to sound like one of my visits to my VA hospital...oh boy!Well I guess I named it right ....what not to do, the #1 what not to do for me is don't count your tomatoes before they're picked.I hope next year I can post one to 'ya ll that reads.... Tomatoes what to do.Unless these sensitive, temperamental, beautiful little lifeforms have a remarkable comeback I'm going fishing for a couple of months...so grow well be happy!WDE

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 10:00PM
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greginnd(Z4 ND)

I can't believe it was caused by smoking. Definitely an herbicide. Just not sure how it got there. Might not be the compost if you haven't had problems for many weeks with it. Must be drift from somewhere else.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 1:19AM
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Djole(6)

Using tobacco products around tomatoes is believed by some to be able to infect plants with TMV (tobacco mosaic virus, which is different in appearance than the problem you are having). However, the temperature of a lit cigarette should be well able to kill viruses within (if any). I smoke around my tomatoes while i'm working on them, and didn't have any problems (yet?).

Cheers,
Djole

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 9:36AM
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greginnd(Z4 ND)

If it was herbicide drift it would have entered the plants through the leaves.

If you have contaminated soil or compost, it would have entered through the roots. The University of Washington has a web page about clopyralid contamination in composts and soils (link below). On that page there is a link to an easy bioassay you can use to test your soil (or compost). It's as simple as putting some of the suspected soil in a pot and planting peas. You can easily see cupping of the pea leaves even at very low concentrations of clopyralid and picloram.

Here is a link that might be useful: Clopyralid in Compost

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 9:51AM
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bubbaearly(Al 8)

It may not be a lost cause after all, my plants are slowly looking better every day.If only just one plant produces tomatoes I'll truly be thankful! My mortgage lifters have flowers now and are developing new pods,if they just don't drop off like I've been seeing all year.Lots of afternoon rain now and low 80's to low 90's,probably a good thing.The stems are greening up and the dark spots dissipating.The leaves getting out of that balled up curl.I just couldn't bury them until they were dead.I am trying container next year. I have (12) 25 gal and (8) 20 gal pots and still plant a few in the ground.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 3:45PM
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bubbaearly(Al 8)

I didn't think I'd see this!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 3:48PM
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bubbaearly(Al 8)

Progression

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 3:56PM
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