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Container tomatoes with curly leaves

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Container tomatoes with curly leaves

Post  mapspringer on 5/10/2013, 3:37 pm

I have 3 large containers that house hybrid tomatoes that I started from seed. They have really started to curl their leaves (new ones.) The same varieties planted in my SFG boxes are thriving and normal. I had a ton of extra perlite from a previous experiment, so I layered it about 6 inches deep in the bottom of the containers. Then, a mix of probably 8" deep compost and vermiculite went on top to plant the tomatoes. There are 4 drain holes in the bottom. It's been a very wet spring so far, and I have a feeling I know what might be causing the curls. I'd like to hear community diagnoses. Thanks!





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Re: Container tomatoes with curly leaves

Post  mapspringer on 5/10/2013, 5:50 pm

** EDIT **
It's not only the containers, but 2 of the 6 in my beds as well.
We've definitely had some colds nights and lots of rain this spring. Maybe it's that!?

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Re: Container tomatoes with curly leaves

Post  littlejo on 5/10/2013, 6:05 pm

It could be from the cold, but it will be the leaves that are most exposed to the weather. In my (not professional) opinion, I'd say calcium deficiency. Add some pwd. milk or gypsum to the soil around plant, gently stir in, and water to let it get down to roots.
Throw a old sheet over plants on cold nights will prevent frostbite. Are the leaves burnt or just curled?
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Re: Container tomatoes with curly leaves

Post  mapspringer on 5/14/2013, 10:50 pm

Answered! I conferred with the local extension agent and after taking one look at the plant, he said, "that's a classic case of herbicide damage." It turns out that (I believe) a neighbor had treated her lawn for weeds and my plants caught some overspray. The agent said that even when folks use a "weed and feed", the weed granule can vaporize and drift in a breeze. So, I've pruned a couple and am leaving the others to see if they make a return!

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Re: Container tomatoes with curly leaves

Post  littlejo on 5/14/2013, 11:14 pm

I'm sorry, I didn't even think of that! It's a d__ shame when neighbors don't think of others or our planet.
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Re: Container tomatoes with curly leaves

Post  camprn on 5/15/2013, 6:36 am

I love my Coop Extension Agent! Glad you got an answer.

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Re: Container tomatoes with curly leaves

Post  Lavender Debs on 5/15/2013, 8:20 am

@mapspringer wrote:Answered! I conferred with the local extension agent and after taking one look at the plant, he said, "that's a classic case of herbicide damage." It turns out that (I believe) a neighbor had treated her lawn for weeds and my plants caught some overspray. The agent said that even when folks use a "weed and feed", the weed granule can vaporize and drift in a breeze. So, I've pruned a couple and am leaving the others to see if they make a return!
This is a problem for me with the bagged compost used to make my MM. All kinds of junk is used on the yard waste that is collected and composted to make the bags of compost that I buy to make my mix. There is no way to (easily) know what I have until my plants react. I like to use just home-made (home-grown?) compost but in a small urban yard with very little grass to feed to it, it just doesn't go far enough. So I roll the dice and take a chance with the bagged stuff to expand my gardens. Happens every year......... did not know the tomato leaf curl was yet another victim of bad compost, so thanks for posting that.

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