Vegetables and Fruit forum: tomatoes curly leaf after pinching out?

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May 9, 2016 10:30 AM CST
the other day i pinched the top of my tomato plant as i felt it was getting to tall and wanted tyo focus the growth on the tomatoes. the next morning the top two branches really close to where id pinched had curled in on itself similar to what a fern looks like as it sprouts. now from what i read i could have a virus of some sort, but the thing is there is no sign of any damage or illness. the flowers have carried on blooming, the plants got thicker and more robust,the leaves havent changed colour and the curliness is still on the top two trusses and no where else. and its been about a week since it happened. the soil is moist so its not underwatering. theres a chance its overwatered not because ive watered it too much but because the tub its in has no drainage holes and ive noticed the soil not drying out despite not having watered it for a week. given the timing of when it happened could this curliness be caused by pinching out? or is it more likely over watering, viruses or another reason? any help apreciated. its in close proximity to alot of other plants
Name: Paul Fish
Brownville, Nebraska (Zone 5b)
May 9, 2016 11:07 AM CST
It is really hard to tell even from the details in your story without a photo. But.....if you are growing in a container overwatering is one problem. Punch some holes, either in the bottom if you can or around the sides near the bottom. Let the soil get almost dry before another watering. Then remember to add liquid fertilizer at 1/3 strength every couple of weeks since watering will flush out any nutrients available in the current soil.

You may have had something on your fingers when you pinched off the leaves that caused the curling. More likely just pinching off the top of the plant will cause stress on the plant. Much of the health of the plant comes from the extremities. While the rest of the plant will provide energy the ends do a great job of keeping your tomato plant healthy. In my opinion you do damage to the entire system by pinching off parts. Just let it grow naturally.

If the plant is maintaining its color and vigor other than the pinched area, you will most likely be OK. Just get some drainage or you will see the leaves yellow and wilt from drowning the roots. Good luck.
Name: Jim Goodman
Northeast Louisiana
May 14, 2016 2:57 PM CST
Tomatoes are a lot tougher than most people think. If the plant is still robust looking all over, don't worry about it. Do put some holes in your container. Tomatoes need to be water evenly. Water them every other day and try to get the same amount of water on them. If it rains, skip a day. Uneven watering results in Blossom End Rot.

Good advise about something on your hands. If you use tobacco, wash your hands before touching the tomato plant or put on rubber gloves. I keep a box of surgical loves with my gardening equipment and put them on if I'm handling the plants.

Good luck with the tomatoes.

May 19, 2016 7:53 AM CST
Your problem is a combination of overwatering and wind. This happens all the time in the High Plains during the Spring rainy season. Don't worry about it and when the hot dry days come after the rainy season, the leaves will open back up.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database.
May 26, 2016 4:09 PM CST
Good answer!

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