Vegetables and Fruit forum: twisted new growth on tomato plants

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Name: Kim
Seguin, TX (Zone 8b)
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blueeyes
Apr 1, 2016 9:29 AM CST
Hi all,

Been doing some research on this. Plants looked fine until the other day, and now I am noticing varying degrees of twisting on the new growth of my tomatoes. They are in a new raised bed with other plants. My mom has the exact same plants, and sees nothing so far with hers. My neighbors have not done any spraying as far as I have seen, just the occasional mowing. My backyard backs up to a vacant field, and believe me no spraying has happened there. They really need to mow it down. We have had a lot of very windy days (like today for example) and temperature fluctuations (e.g. yesterday 85F, today 60F, lows have fluctuated from high 30s to 60) this month. I still have leftover seedlings in the GH, and they show none of this either. So I am fairly sure it is related to the new raised bed, although then it has to be something that only affects tomatoes. I have cucumbers, cilantro, basil, and peppers in there too and they are all fine. Any thoughts on what I can do here? I added a picture to show the plant with the worst twisting. Older growth is fine, no yellowing or curling at all. Plants are setting blossoms as well.

Thanks, Kim


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Name: Kim
Seguin, TX (Zone 8b)
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blueeyes
Apr 3, 2016 5:29 PM CST
Just wondering if anyone has ideas on this. I have sprayed the plants with insecticidal soap in case that is an issue, but I do not see anything on them.
Name: Judy
Simpsonville SC (Zone 7b)
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I helped beta test the first seed swap
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SCButtercup
Apr 3, 2016 5:46 PM CST
wow i have no idea. how long have they been in the beds?
Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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farmerdill
Apr 3, 2016 6:24 PM CST
Posible herbicide damage. Any one been treating lawns for weeds in the vicinity? Tomatoes are very susceptible to 2-4D.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Apr 3, 2016 6:31 PM CST
I agree with farmerdill. When we had a community garden our tomatoes did the same thing. No one spraying, or so we thought.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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Newyorkrita
Apr 3, 2016 6:46 PM CST
Or too much fertilizer?
Name: Paul Fish
Brownville, Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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PaulF
Apr 4, 2016 8:20 AM CST
Most likely it is chemical drift, but in Texas there may be another problem. Curly top virus vectored by a leaf hopper beetle can cause tomatoes to appear like yours. There is no cure for curly top and it could spread to other plants. The best way to find out for sure is to water well your affected plant. If it is chemical drift the tomato should recover even though it will be set back a bit. If it is curly top, the plant is doomed. After a few days it will start to die. Then you should remove the tomato plant from your garden, put all parts in a plastic bag and discard in the trash, not in a compost pile or in the garden area. At this point you should be able to see if it will live or die.
Name: Kim
Seguin, TX (Zone 8b)
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blueeyes
Apr 4, 2016 6:05 PM CST
Thanks all. There is no crop field anywhere near where I live, so I am not sure how I would get the herbicidal drift. I have also not seen my neighbors doing much in their yards. However, this does seem to be the most plausible cause at this point. The plants are otherwise doing very well, no yellow growth, still flowering. I will leave them for now and hope they grow out of it. Thanks!
Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Anderwood
Apr 13, 2016 7:08 PM CST
what are they mulches with, if anything?

Did you use compost from the city? Sometimes herbicide residue is still in the compost.
Name: Kim
Seguin, TX (Zone 8b)
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blueeyes
Apr 18, 2016 8:04 AM CST
The compost mix I got is from Maldonado's nursery here in town. The growth is still coming out twisted, still no discoloration of the leaves and I am seeing some fruit set. I have potted up some backup plants, from the exact same flat and no twisted growth is seen on these. So either something drifted to them while they were planted in the raised beds, or there is something in the soil of the raised beds causing the issue. I would have expected herbicidal drift to have worked itself out by now, so I am inclined to think it is something in the soil mix I got. I plan to ask them the next time I am at the nursery. At least the backup plants are flowering now so hopefully I'll still get tomatoes this year. Everything else in the raised beds is growing and producing like gangbusters.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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Newyorkrita
Apr 18, 2016 8:35 AM CST
blueeyes said:The compost mix I got is from Maldonado's nursery here in town. The growth is still coming out twisted, still no discoloration of the leaves and I am seeing some fruit set. I have potted up some backup plants, from the exact same flat and no twisted growth is seen on these. So either something drifted to them while they were planted in the raised beds, or there is something in the soil of the raised beds causing the issue. I would have expected herbicidal drift to have worked itself out by now, so I am inclined to think it is something in the soil mix I got. I plan to ask them the next time I am at the nursery. At least the backup plants are flowering now so hopefully I'll still get tomatoes this year. Everything else in the raised beds is growing and producing like gangbusters.


Still a mystery.

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