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Tomato Leaf Curl

I don't know what is happening in your tomato garden but I am having this problem and here is what one of the local nurseries called Hilltop Gardens sent in their weekly newsletter last month. I thought some of you may need the information or can share it with someone you know who does need it

We’ve had a few calls about some tomato leaf curl. 

The symptoms:  all the leaves on the plants have just curled up on themselves.  Many varieties seem to be effected, both heirlooms and hybrids.  In some gardens, only one variety showed symptoms; in other gardens all the plants seemed effected.  Some plants came from us; some came from other sources.

What is the cause?  The leaves that have been brought to me to look at appear to be free of aphids (a common cause of curled/distorted leaves.)  The leaves also appear to have a healthy green color; no yellow spots or blotches were evident.  (This rules out virus.) I think it is just a physiological reaction to the week of warm temps, showers, and very high humidity.  They should right themselves once the weather moderates.

Here are some tomato care basics:

  • Keep the foliage dry (as possible)to prevent leaf diseases.  Either water in the morning or be sure to water the ground and not the leaves.  Don’t splash mud on the leaves ; it could spread fungus blights that way.
  • Do NOT over feed your tomatoes.  If you do, you will grow the most awesome lush plant, BUT have no fruit!
  • Keep plants evenly moist to prevent “blossom end rot” on the fruit. 
  • If a big rain is forecasted, be sure to adequately water your plant 48-24 hours BEFORE the rain.  By keeping the vines well watered, you will minimize the fruit cracking that happens after a big rain.
  • Keep an eye out for hornworms.  These voracious eaters can do a lot of damage in a short period of time.  They are a large caterpillar, but still hard to see sometime because they are green.  Look for eaten leaves or “pellet” droppings.  If you see either , search for your critter.
  • As fruit ripens, keep them picked.  A plant that goes un-picked will cease to set fruit. 

A well-watered, well-harvested plant should produce up into the fall.  Enjoy!



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