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Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

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Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  sanderson on 4/18/2014, 12:48 am

I know there are a lot of topics about rolling leaves, but I have a bad case of curling leaves in all of my 11 varieties of tomatoes and the tomatillos. These have been planted for over a month, the temps are warm/hot. Everything was started from seed in the house under lights. There were gnats or teeny flies during the first days and when they were acclimated and then planted, a few were still hanging around. I think I have a disease and not pest infestation. Any and all responses and advice welcomed with open arms. I'm worried I will have to pull the tomatoes out. Maybe even the tomatillos. (sound of sobbing) The peppers seem be be fine, both the over-wintered green house ones and the new ones from seeds.

Large tomatillo:

Small tomatillo:

Tomatoes:


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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  southern gardener on 4/18/2014, 1:25 am

what type of soil are they in?
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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  sanderson on 4/18/2014, 1:30 am

Only MM. Beds and pots.
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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  FamilyGardening on 4/18/2014, 1:57 am

white flies?

http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/tomato/tomato-leaves-curling.htm

*Curling tomato leaves may be a sign of a viral infection. Normally this virus is transmitted through whiteflies or through infected transplants*

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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  southern gardener on 4/18/2014, 1:57 am

@sanderson wrote:Only MM.  Beds and pots.
Is it the same MM you used last year? Did you make it yourself etc? Looking to see if there's something in the soil.  Almost looks like the plants have been contaminated or something?  Any over spray from weed killer?  Sorry so many questions, trying to narrow it down Smile
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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  sanderson on 4/18/2014, 2:31 am

SG and FG,  All help appreciated.  My MM made with my compost.  Some was left over from last year (a good year) and some was made new with my homemade compost.  All types of seedlings were grown indoor together under lights, together from seeds.  Toms, peppers, squashes, greens, flowers, etc.  No weed killer or pre-emergents, etc., allowed in the backyard!!  

When I look at the severity of the curling, around and around, I'm afraid it may be disease (transmitted by the little flies/gnats??).  I may have to start over with HD tomatoes and tomatillos.   sobbing 

(My canner and jars are waiting for the toms and tomatillos)

Oh, yes, I should add that all the cucumbers but one died! Likewise, the cantaloupes. I've got new seedlings of both growing outside as replacements. As least the purple garlics from last fall are looking decent. I've lifted 2. I post photos probably tomorrow, just cuz these are bigger that the first ones I grew last year, my first year.


Last edited by sanderson on 4/18/2014, 2:36 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Add last paragraph)
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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  southern gardener on 4/18/2014, 2:48 am

phew!, well, sort of. I'm sorry about your plants. Sounds like FG is on it with the white fly thing. I was afraid for a minute that you had some bad mix. We had some plants that shriveled up and looked AWFUL a couple of years ago. If you're using the same mix last year; and had good results, looks like your soil is safe. Please keep us updated with what you find.  Good luck!!
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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/18/2014, 8:53 am

The other question I would like to know is:  Were these new packs of seeds or a new supplier?

With all those varieties, I'd have to go with the infection, but...
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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  mapspringer on 4/18/2014, 11:06 am

Same exact thing mine showed last year!  Maybe no lawn spray in your back yard, but what about neighbors?  A broad spectrum weed control spray can and will drift in the slightest breeze.  An extension agent told me this may be the case, and tomatoes are most sensitive to it, and often show signs first.  I pulled some of mine last year, but left some, too, seeing what would happen, and they came through and produced fruit later in the season, so don't give up completely!
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Re: Curled leaves (severe)

Post  GloriaG on 4/18/2014, 11:32 am

I'm sorry about your plants.

Might be a good idea to have your MM tested just in case.
Some severe mineral deficiencies mimic pesticide sprays.

Also, a virus called "curly top" causes tomato leaves to curl severely.  http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/curly-top-tomato08.pdf 

Good luck

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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  grownsunshine on 4/18/2014, 12:30 pm

I'm sorry for what's happening to your toms. I feel for you!! It's obvious from your posting how much passion & emotion, time and effort you put into your garden.

I bought a pack of 3 decent size toms from Costco for $6. One of them had curled leaves. I was thinking it was due to lack of water. The curled leaves are still there after 2 weeks and good watering. If it has a viral infection, will  removing those leaves solve the problem or is it better to toss the plant all together?

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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  camprn on 4/18/2014, 12:40 pm

Do you have an Extension service nearby?

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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  sanderson on 4/18/2014, 2:14 pm

Thanks everyone

Camp, yes. I will give them a call or email. Of course, this is Good Friday and I may not get a response until next week. If it's a virus, and I discard them, can I plant store-bought ones in the same location with a scoop of compost? Is there a disinfecting or solarization process first?

Marie, Some seeds were 2013 (a good crop year), others were new 2014 from Baker Creek (rareseeds.com), and a couple saved from tomatoes.

Spray drift - From my 2 neighbors? Most likely not. The tomatoes are spread out, one or two in this box, one or 3 over there, 2 around the side of the house. The curling is in every location and is affecting all tomatoes and tomatillos.

I wouldn't mind removing upper portion of plant and letting a new sucker become the main stem, if that was a realistic option with a virus.

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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  llama momma on 4/18/2014, 2:28 pm

Sanderson,
So sorry about those plants.  I have never seen pictures like that before on this forum, very unique and startling.  I was staring for awhile too.  Whew, hope you find an answer, please keep us posted.
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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/18/2014, 2:48 pm

@sanderson wrote: The tomatoes are spread out, one or two in this box, one or 3 over there, 2 around the side of the house.  The curling is in every location and is affecting all tomatoes and tomatillos.
.


That's just weird. I was going along with white fly infection but I see your leaves are curled under and not up. Since they are all placed in different areas in the garden I have to wonder what your seed starter mix was made of?

I'm guessing you've uncurled some of those leaves and looked inside them, right?
If the extension office doesn't think it's a major problem and tell you to pull them up, maybe it would be interesting to try different remedies and see which one works.
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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  sanderson on 4/18/2014, 3:36 pm

Seed starter was MM.

I called the Extension and they forwarded me to Master Gardeners.  Very Happy  We talked and the consensus is to remove them this year, go to HD, and use Neem oil for general leaf hopper control (after dark). I sent photos in an email so hopefully someone will confirm.

Wow, imagine being a tomato farmer and losing your whole crop to a disease or pest. I'm just throwing a fit over a few plants!

Thanks everyone.
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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  southern gardener on 4/18/2014, 3:46 pm

your plants look sort of like these. We suspect this was part of our problem a while back.

http://berksagnews.blogspot.com/2011/05/beware-of-what-you-add-to-compost.html

http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/sfn/f09Herbicide
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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  sanderson on 4/18/2014, 3:54 pm

SG, That first link stole my photo!!  Very Happy 
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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  southern gardener on 4/18/2014, 3:56 pm

@sanderson wrote:SG,  That first link stole my photo!!   Very Happy 

I know!!!  I thought the same thing. We THINK we had contaminated mix. We did the "home test" and it came back positive.  NOT good for sure!!
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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/18/2014, 4:14 pm

So does that mean there's herbicide in the compost? And therefore in the MM?  Shoot. I'm thinking of all the inorganic banana peels, orange peels, etc. that I put in my compost pile... Shocked ...
or is this particular damaging type just found on hay, manures and such? seems that that's what the second link is saying...
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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  sanderson on 4/18/2014, 4:24 pm

At this point, I'm pretty sure it's a virus from leaf hoppers.  Nothing else is affected but the tomatoes and tomatillos.  I will replant from HD and if it doesn't repeat, then I will stay with the virus theory.  I was told I could replant in the same spots if it's the virus.  And they are blooming and there are 2 green tomatoes.   Evening the Tomatillos are blooming. sobbing 

Off to turn my Berkeley pile.  It's still 150-ish after rebuilding 7 days ago.

I should add that last years 3 compost piles were made from commercial composted cow manure, farmer's market produce, Starbuck's, and plain pine/fir wood chips.  One batch had sea weed we harvested from the coast.  No fresh farm manures or hay like this new one I'm turning today.


Last edited by sanderson on 4/18/2014, 4:29 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Added)
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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  Marc Iverson on 4/18/2014, 4:46 pm

Sorry for your loss, sanderson! Gardening can be heart-breaking that way. But at least it's early enough in the season that you can still get a crop one way or another.

So did your local master gardeners give you what you felt was a satisfying answer as to what the pest is, or simply tell you to pull the plants?

Also, just a brief vote for supporting your local nurseries when possible rather than the big box stores ... One purely selfish reason to do it is that they are often hardened off to your local weather conditions rather than those that come from big-box stores, which can be shipped in from any number of far-off locations. Probably less of a problem for people from California, but potentially very important for people in colder climes/later growing seasons who might put California or Florida plants out into their colder temps and find them quickly deadified.
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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  sanderson on 3/14/2015, 5:13 pm

@sanderson wrote:Seed starter was MM.

I called the Extension and they forwarded me to Master Gardeners.   Very Happy  We talked and the consensus is to remove them this year, go to HD, and use Neem oil for general leaf hopper control (after dark).  I sent photos in an email so hopefully someone will confirm.

Wow, imagine being a tomato farmer and losing your whole crop to a disease or pest.  I'm just throwing a fit over a few plants!

Thanks everyone.

Last year I [OP] lost all my tomatoes and tomatillos from curly leaf disease.  Saw this article in the Fresno Bee and now I don't feel so bad, like I did something wrong.  Poor commercial farmers:

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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  Triciasgarden on 3/15/2015, 1:45 pm

That must have been heartbreaking for your garden tomatoes.

I just can't imagine commercial growers losing their entire crop of tomatoes!

The time and money put into your and the commercial growers crops and the loss must have been horrible!
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Re: Curled leaves (severe) - tomatoes and tomatillos

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 3/15/2015, 2:14 pm

One problem with the leaf hoppers (at least the type we've seen up here) is that they're so small they can go through window screen and fine mesh tulle so there's nothing we can do to keep them away that I'm aware of.  

Only gardeners have an idea of how hard and risky it is to be a farmer.  Hats off to those that feed the world 
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