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tomato leaf/stem curl/atrophy

Posted by lcwp SJ9 (My Page) on
Tue, May 14, 13 at 17:05

Help! This started soon after planting the seedlings. Now it's much worse and infecting most of the 20+ tomato plants plus the nearby eggplants. What is it and how do I get rid of it? It's mostly at the tops of the plants.

Background: I live in south Alabama. This is a new field, plowed in a field previously used for grass/hay. The tomatoes were planted next to potatoes. We put somewhat composted cow manure into the soil before we planted.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: tomato leaf/stem curl/atrophy

Serious case of herbicide damage. Probably 2,4-D.

RE: tomato leaf/stem curl/atrophy - more

Take steps to rule out contaminated organic matter such as manures or compost. Do a bioassay as explained on these pages.

Here is a link that might be useful: rule out clopyralid

RE: tomato leaf/stem curl/atrophy

  • Posted by lcwp SJ9 (My Page) on
    Wed, May 15, 13 at 8:13

Thank you Jean! Based on your response (and other research I've done on the web) and the fact that our local feed store also suggested herbicide damage, I think the problem is due to the fact that we used composted manure from my husband's cows when we planted the vegetables. He grows the grass/hay that we feed them and he confirmed that he uses weed killer to control weeds before cutting and rolling the hay. (Makes me rethink eating any beef other than organic beef, that's for sure!) Any suggestions for how to fix it? I saw something online that said the person cut off the damaged parts and fertilized to encourage healthy new growth.

RE: tomato leaf/stem curl/atrophy

The pages I linked you to have all the info you need.

- To verify the manure was the source, do the bio-assay.
- The damage won't be reversible.
- The plants may or may not grow out of the damage. It depends upon the "dose" of the herbicide.
- If the herbicide is clopyralid or one of its close relatives, it exits the animal intact.

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