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Tomato leaf curl
Posted: Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:59 am
Hello all and thank you in advance. I have six different varieties of tomato plants planted in my raised bed. I noticed last week that the leaves had curled upwards. This week I noticed now that the leaves appear to be a little wilted as well as the blooms. The growth also seems somewhat stunted. This week I noticed now that the leaves appear to be a little wilted/shriveled as well as the blooms. The growth also seems somewhat stunted. I did start them from seed and now they are about 3 feet tall. Although I can't recall the specifics right now some of the seeds were marked VFW I think. I'm at a loss. I did get two small tomatoes but they had blossom rot so I cut those off. Is my tomato season over before it even starts? Is there something I can do to fix this or should I just pull the plants and wait for next year? Thank you again for any advice.
Re: Tomato leaf curl
Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:30 pm
Are the leaves a healthy green color or are they beginning to yellow? Are all the leaves curling or just the lower, older leaves? Is the new growth affected? If it is affecting the whole plant, it is probably not a fungal disease.
Several things can cause tomato leaves to curl.
- It could be a physiological response caused by weather conditions; too hot, too dry, too wet, too windy. Growth of the plant is usually not affected and the symptoms usually disappear when conditions improve. Be careful not to over-water your plants. Mulching your plants can help maintain a more even moisture content in the soil and also helps to maintain a more constant soil temperature.
This could also be signs of herbicide damage. If you or a neighbor have been spraying an herbicide like Roundup or a product containing 2,4-D, this could cause the damage you are seeing if the herbicide drifted onto your plants. Herbicides can drift quite far if caught by the wind and tomatoes are very sensitive to herbicide damage. If this is the case and the plants survive, they will eventually outgrow the damage. Herbicide damage can also occur if you mulch tomatoes with grass clippings from a lawn that has been treated with a weed and feed product or a broad leaf weed killer. There have also been some problems lately with some mulches or compost made with hay or manure from fields that have been sprayed with the herbicide Grazon causing herbicide damage to plants.
Several viruses (like curly top, yellow leaf curl, and mosaic virus) can cause curling of leaves, stunted growth and pale leaves. There is no cure for viral diseases and the plants cannot be saved.
Keep an eye on the plants to see if they improve/if the new growth seems normal. If they continue to decline, you may want to remove them.