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Some problems with tomatoes

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

I'm having a horrible time with my tomatoes again this year. We had blight last year and we did plant in a diff place this year, and still having troubles, the first 5 plants really need to b e pulled now, I tried to cut them back and spray with this solution that my neighbor told me about, part bleach, part dish soap and water. but it's not working, or either I burnt up the leaves using too much bleach in the water, itwas 3 oz bleach, l oz dish soap and l gal water. I am using a baking soda solution now, with oil, dish soap, baking soda and water mix now. I have a few plants who's tips of the plants will curl up like this picture here, during the heat of the day all the tips look like this. but in the early morning, I only have a few tips like this, I just wondered if it was something to worry about. I have put in a pic of the one that has blight also, i'm ready to pull up thse first 5 plants and call it quit, they are half the size of the others because i've cut on them so much. I wish we could get through this problem with the tomatoes. WE've decided not to plant tomatoes at all in our regular garden next year to let the ground recoop from the blight, None of the other plants related to tomatoes are affected with blight and we have peppers planted inbetween each tomatoes, and they are not affected with the blight either.

WE've had a wonderful spring here, not overwhelmed with rain , but we had a mild winter, and hot weather then cool weather, it's been strange but nice, nothing that I think would cause all this trouble wtih the tomatoes, We're not having any other troubles in the veggie garden, except our squash is tiny, i think the soil in that area is poor though, we've not planted squash in that area before. So we replanted in a better part of the garden to see if that would help.


The second picture is the one I think is full of blight, first pic is the tips are curled up and the third pic is the whole plant with the curled tips.

Thumbnail by kathy_ann Thumbnail by kathy_ann Thumbnail by kathy_ann
Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

Although it appears you have other problems, I think the deformed and curled leaves are from contaminated compost. Did you add any manure this year? If you google "contaminated compost" you will find some real scary info on herbicide contamination- I had it 2 years ago and it nearly wiped out my garden.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

Well, we did as a matter of fact, but it was purchased from walmart, I do have blight too lol Is that the other problem you were talking about? Is there anything I can do to help these tomatoes with the contaminated compost to survive?

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

When you say "blight" - that is a pretty broad term- did you get a definite diagnosis from someone? Sometimes the tomatoes will outgrow the contamination problem, but yours look pretty far gone, sorry to say. According to the info I've read, it can take a year or more to get leached from the soil. Ever since my bout with it I do NOT buy any more manure at all. Even organic farmers have the problem, because it is impossible to control the chemicals that get sprayed on roadsides, etc. near where their animals graze.

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

The second picture looks more to me like a systemic disease problem, not contaminated compost, especially since it was puchased commercially. And that would mean Fusarium or Verticillium or one of the other systemic diseases that are found in the soil in your area.

So spraying something on the foliage can't help.

You said you had the same problem last year as well. As was noted the word blight is just a general word many folks use to describe a sick tomato plant, but in order to know what to do and what the prognosis is one needs to make a definite diagnosis.

I know I've linked to several diagnosis sites here at DG, several times, especially the Cornell and TAMU (TX) ones. Do you have them as well, and/or can you contact your local Coop Ext and take them samples and see what they have to say?

Carolyn

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

The contaminated compost I used was purchased from a garden shop, so that is not necessarily an assurance of safe product.

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

True, but since Walmart and Lowes and HD have a huge US distribution, I would like to think that they exercise more quality control than a single garden shop, or if problems do arise to fix a situation ASAP.

Carolyn, ever the optimist until proved wrong. LOL



Carolyn

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

I hate to comment after Carolyn, because I'm no expert and she is. First thing, though, I'd quit spraying homemade "remedies" on my tomatoes. Chlorine, baking soda, and soap can't be good unless you're scrubbing the bathroom tile, maybe. I'm real glad we have our own well so my plants don't even get the relatively tiny dose of chlorine in city water.

Second, when I see tomato plant tips curling in the springtime as in your first picture, I generally find that the cause is aphids.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

Well, I did not pull that home remedy recipe out of my head, they came out of a book strictly said they were for blight on tomatoes. I know i'm not the only one that uses home remedies .

I will do what Carolyn mentioned. thanks for all the help, I i will take part of the plant to the extension office and make sure it's blight on the ones that look like they need to be pulled up and take a wilted tip or two down there also . I'll get my definite prognosis and know what to do about it then.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Can you let us know what the extension office says? Many people don't go, or know to go, to their extension office. By taking your plants there maybe you can help let people know what diseases are in your area. Especially since you said you planted in a different area. Good Luck!

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

sure will, i have a piece of the tomatoe that I think has blight and some ends that are curled up. going to day at noon, the piece that has blight on it, has what looks like warts all over the stem, weird looking, i've not seen that before. maybe that has something to do with the problem,

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

I finally got some results back from the lab. The extension office didn't know what the problem was so they sent it off to the lab. here's what it states, i'm not really sure what happened to them . I think maybe the manure? but not sure.

It states

Herbicide injury: exposure, abiotic disorder(confirmed)
Tomato, lycopersicon esculentum is the host name what does that mean?

recommendations: review any chemicals used such as 2-4-d or manures from a pasture source. Plants may not fruit properly.

now on a good note. We did replant some more tomatoes, only to find out that a few days ago the second row of tomatoes leaves started to go back to normal. and so are all the leaves on the purple hull pea plants, and now the first row of tomatoes of which the plants are up to my waist now, have all started to go back to normal. We now have about 95 tomato plants since we replanted, and all look like their going to be fine.

Not sure why they are going back to normal. any ideas? if it's fertilizer poison or exposure, then maybe the fertilizer such as the manure we got at walmart is finally starting to loose it's potency , I haven't a clue, but I'm happy that my plants are getting back to normal. Even the sunflowers that we transplanted to a row had deformed leaves on them.

What does Abiotic disorder mean?

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

Quote from kathy_ann :
I finally got some results back from the lab. The extension office didn't know what the problem was so they sent it off to the lab. here's what it states, i'm not really sure what happened to them . I think maybe the manure? but not sure.

It states

Herbicide injury: exposure, abiotic disorder(confirmed)
Tomato, lycopersicon esculentum is the host name what does that mean?


What does Abiotic disorder mean?


Abiotic means not biological. That means it doesn't have a "disease" as we think about it. You could say it was poisoned.

The second line just identifies the species you sent them.

Is there any chance that they were exposed to herbicide drift. A Neighbor or neighbor's lawn service spraying or the highway department spraying the road side could cause a problem.

I'd be looking for the source of herbicide.



This message was edited May 30, 2012 8:54 PM

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

Not that I know of. Not any crop dusters anywhere around and nobody close to us sprays their pasture with anything other than watered down chicken litter and their 2 miles down the road. I also used triple 13 in my rows too so I'm sure. Don't you think, that it's just too much fertilizer?

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

Did the experts at the lab who said your plants were damaged by a herbicide know that you'd sprayed chlorine bleach on the plants? If not, I bet that information would change their guess as to what chemical was responsible.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

No they did not know that. I didn't spray the purple hull peas and the sun flowers and the egg plants though. they weren't even close enought to get overspray. and i didn't spray the plants untill the leaves were already severely curled up. They were already curled by the time I used the chlorine bleach solution on them.

Ozark, MO(Zone 6a)

Good. Well, I'm glad the problem has passed and your tomatoes seem to be fine now. 95 plants - that's a lot!

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

It looks like you may have gotten manure/compost that was contaminated with herbicide, like Jo posted above. If the concentration wasn't too high it may have leached out and that's why your plants look better.

At least it's not a disease and I'm glad you got an answer. It makes me feel bad for the people that don't know any better and just toss the plants add more manure and the cycle goes on...

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

FYI- In the future if you want to test to see if your compost has been contaminated, you can plant any kind os bean (beans are very sensitive to the condition) Plant some seeds in a control sample of soil that you know is OK, and some in the suspected soil. As soon as they acquirs their first set of true leaves they will start to show the distortion and curl. I have done this several times and it proved true each time. Some of the links concerning the problem have photos of tests, also.

Lake Elsinore, CA

This is one of the best threads I've ever read here.

And thx. Jo Parrot for the tip on testing. It's practical, too. Doesn't take long to find out with a bean, they pop right out in a few days.

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

I should pop in here and mention, the heat and drought took it's toll on all the tomatoes this year, I have no idea if they would have done well with the problems they had, they didnt get a chance. lol we had 26 days with no rain, and weeks in between rains now. Their deader than a door nail lol

Carmel, NY(Zone 6b)

Did you at least get to sample some of the fruit? My plants have been miserable this year, but I've gotten at least 2 from each plant.

This is today's crop - the biggest by far for the season, and most likely the only "haul". Not many plants hanging on out there. Very sad, but I'm grateful for what I've got!

Thumbnail by Sequee
Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

I did get probably a 5 gallon bucket full off the ones up front that had something wrong with them, before the heat got to them. they tasted just fine.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Mine are all smaller than usual and I have three plants that are doing well,etc I did lose a few to the heat but not the ones thar were composted just right.I was lucky it turned out that way
Still it has not been one the better seasons ,although it had started rather nicely.

Carmel, NY(Zone 6b)

Fortunately the taste has been good on most of them, so I am enjoying what I'm getting. The Dr. Carolyn Pink and Three Sister's are very watery - too washed out in flavor - I'm thinking too much rain for the size of the tomato. The larger ones were all better, though only one at a pound, which is very unusual. The Dad's Sunset has 2 at a pound, Cherokee Purple had a few at 12-14 ounces, as did the Cherokee Chocolate. It's "funny" when you go to this spent plant that looks like death plus - and you pick off an incredible large, perfectly flavored tomato. Odd.

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