AZ-Heat
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Mom's Garden - Tomato Troubles, leaf curl spreading! (pics)

Mom's a long time gardener. She's to old to manage a garden but still wants garden vegetables. In the pic below you can see the 3 tomato plants I put in are now taking a turn for the worse, like something is spreading from left to right. This area also has 2 rose bushes and 1 Honeydew.
Any suggestions how to fix the tomato plants is appreciated?
Image
Click images for larger view, then again for full size.


PLANT HISTORY:

The 3 plants were 5" tall when purchased and planted.
Planted into holes 2.5 ft. wide x 3ft. deep, 70% Miracle Grow Garden Soil, 30% dirt.
The first 5-6 weeks all plants did great, no signs of issues, grew fast.
It's still 95-100 degrees in Arizona. Plants getting sun about 10 hours/day (6AM-4PM).

ISSUES:
Plant #1 - Bonnie Select Hybrid (Left plant)
This "was" the fastest growing and most healthy plant. It seems to now be dying.
Two weeks ago leafs suddenly started to curl "up". This happened fast.
There are only a couple tiny green tomato's on the entire plant. No flowers anymore.
Some leafs turned yellow. Some leaf edges have turned brown.
Image Image

Plant #2 - Bonnie Solar Fire (Center plant)
Last week this plant also started leaf curl and is getting worse every day.
Still has some new flowers. It does have about a dozen green tomato's.
Image

Plant #3 - Bonnie Heatmaster (Right plant)
No Issues. This plant is thick with foliage, lot's of green tomato, no leaf curl.
Image


WATERING:
  • M-F each gets 10 minutes at 5AM. Saturday 20 minutes. No water on Sunday.
    Three sprinkler heads at the base of each plant. About 4" diameter of water per head (see pic).
    Every 2-3 days I use a watering can to add water around the perimeter of plant.
Image


REMEDIES TRIED:
  • Last week I cleaned #1 leafs with water sprayer, 1" green tomato bug fell off, crushed him :).
    I held off watering for 3 days on #1 to see if it was just over watered. No signs of improvement.
    When leaf curl first started I applied small amount Miracle Grow Tomato Plant Food.
    10 days ago all treated with Bonide Tomato spray (Insecticide, Fungicide, Miticide). No change.
    SUNBLOCK - Around 2PM we now cover #1 & #2 with netting, blocks 70% of sun. No change.
Image

Dillbert
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Re: Mom's Garden - Tomato Troubles, leaf curl spreading! (pi

the first time I encountered leaf curl I was flabbergasted - started trimming off leaves/branches etc - wound up with naked tomato plants.

the good news is, it generally does not affect production.

here's a link with the basics
https://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/h ... _roll.html

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gixxerific
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Re: Mom's Garden - Tomato Troubles, leaf curl spreading! (pi

unless it's this.

https://www.oisat.org/pests/diseases/vir ... virus.html

I pray that it is not, been there and don't want to go back. :twisted:

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applestar
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Re: Mom's Garden - Tomato Troubles, leaf curl spreading! (pi

I don't have a watering system like this, but
M-F each gets 10 minutes at 5AM. Saturday 20 minutes. No water on Sunday.
Three sprinkler heads at the base of each plant. About 4" diameter of water per head (see pic).
Every 2-3 days I use a watering can to add water around the perimeter of plant.
Doesn't sound like they get enough water -- is 10 minutes really enough to soak down?

A couple of my indoor potted tomatoes ended up with the watering related leaf curl and I know they were suffering from being dried out too often.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

AZ-Heat
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Re: Mom's Garden - Tomato Troubles, leaf curl spreading! (pi

applestar wrote:I don't have a watering system like this, but....Doesn't sound like they get enough water -- is 10 minutes really enough to soak down?.
I don't think it's lack of water. The soil is pretty damp down deep. Remember, one of the plants is doing awesome. I have seen several small transparent winged bugs. These might be whiteflies...and that virus mentioned above. Damn!

imafan26
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Re: Mom's Garden - Tomato Troubles, leaf curl spreading! (pi

I know you tried a lot of things to fix it. Did you fertilize? The tomato leaf damage looks kinda like what happens when it gets burned especially from manure fertilizers.

If it is a disease, it may just be cultivar resistance. I planted solar fire before, it is heat tolerant but not tolerant to as many diseases as some others.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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applestar
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Re: Mom's Garden - Tomato Troubles, leaf curl spreading! (pi

FWIW -- White flies are chalky white -- nothing transparent.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

AZ-Heat
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Re: Mom's Garden - Tomato Troubles, leaf curl spreading! (pi

imafan26 wrote:I know you tried a lot of things to fix it. Did you fertilize? The tomato leaf damage looks kinda like what happens when it gets burned especially from manure fertilizers.
The bags of Miracle Grow probably have manure in them...smells like it anyways.

Taking a forensic approach, everything was fine until week 6 of plant growth. It can't be a water issue because the other tomato plants did fine. I suspect it's an infection or overfertilized.

Thanks All. Because no solutions yet from the forum I will a few more days, dig it up, throw in the trash.

sepeters
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Re: Mom's Garden - Tomato Troubles, leaf curl spreading! (pi

If you still have the toms, try giving them a light watering in the afternoon/evening. They may not need more water volume, but it will benefit the roots to get a good cool down at that point. If the soil is dried out on top, then those superficial roots will likely be dying and the plants are trying to divide their energy between root growth, leaf growth, and flower/fruit production at a time when all they really want to do is grow slowly and make fruit. Keeping the soil evenly moist will help a lot. You do not need to do a full on watering like you do in the morning, just enough to cool them off. If you stood in your garden for ten hours in the summer, with only a glass of water in the morning, you'd look pretty bad, too. :( If you get the leaves wet when watering, wait til the evening to avoid sun burn. :)

If the toms are too far gone, don't sweat it! Really sickly plants won't have a high yield. It's almost time to start your seeds for winter tomatoes, anyway!

Good luck!

Dillbert
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Re: Mom's Garden - Tomato Troubles, leaf curl spreading! (pi

>> dig it up, throw in the trash.

might want to hold off on that - - - because....

you can't put in new plants now - the summer heat in AZ will toast them.

the afflicted plants - depending - could bear a decent crop.

whichever way you turn, not a lot you can put in their place and expect any success with in the heat of the AZ summer (by the time anything 'new' has developed....)

I'd let them have their shot. if they produce - great. it's never too late to rip them out . . .

AZ-Heat
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Re: Mom's Garden - Tomato Troubles, leaf curl spreading! (pi

Dillbert wrote:>> dig it up, throw in the trash. might want to hold off on that - - - because...
I'd let them have their shot. if they produce - great. it's never too late to rip them out . . .
Dilbert...thanks. I needed room for the honeydew to spread, pulled that left (worst) tomato yesterday. I rewired the fencing to make an long oval.

The center plant stopped growing around 2 weeks ago. Leaves now like leather, all of them curled up, and ZERO size increase on it's green tomato's in those 2 weeks.

In the meantime...the plant on the right side is going gangbusters, red tomato's already. I hate this confusing crap...but I guess it's for a good cause...Mom.

AZ-Heat
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Re: Mom's Garden - Tomato Troubles, leaf curl spreading! (pi

sepeters wrote:If you still have the toms, try giving them a light watering in the afternoon/evening....wait til the evening to avoid sun burn. :) If the toms are too far gone, don't sweat it!
Thanks Sepeters. That makes perfect sense. I did pull out the "left tom plant" yesterday and was surprised as how short and shallow the roots were. They went outward and not very deep. I also noticed the frickin biodegradible container it came in had not dissolved one bit after 2 months. When planting, I peeled the top and bottom off, left just a 1.5" wide area around the middle. It clearly looked like this piece had restricted growth. This means it was not getting wet enough. I should have a sprinkler head at the very base of the plant. That's how I was watering them in the early stages, right on the plant itself. As they got bigger I moved the watering away from the plant, expecting the water to seep towards the center.

It sure would be easier, and 8500% cheaper...to just go to the grocery store for vegetables.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Mom's Garden - Tomato Troubles, leaf curl spreading! (pi

You are right, easier and cheaper to get grocery store veg, but NOT the same. I broke down and bought groc store tomatoes the other day, because I don't have any ripe yet and the store ones were looking better than the pale winter ones. I was SO disappointed. They had zero flavor.

But sounds like you have learned 3 lessons:

ALWAYS get rid of the peat pots. They do NOT break down in time to do the plant any good and they do keep the roots from growing.

Tomatoes need a lot of water, ESPECIALLY in high temperatures. I don't sprinkle or drip, I stand there with hose or water bucket and pour water on the roots. Do that until the water puddles, let it soak in, repeat twice. Did you mulch? A good thick layer of mulch helps conserve the moisture.

Tomatoes are not a summer crop in places like AZ and TX. Even if you can keep tomato plants growing when temperatures are consistently over 90, they won't fruit. But you can grow tomatoes the rest of the year when I can't.
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sepeters
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Re: Mom's Garden - Tomato Troubles, leaf curl spreading! (pi

Argh! Peat pots strike again! Those things almost never biodegrade. Just about everyone on here has a story of the first time they tried to use one of those.
If any of the toms have them left I'd dig them up and pull off the pots, then plant the tomatoes deeper, as deep as the first big branches. Tomatoes can grow roots all the way up the stem, and that'll give them a nice stable base and access to the water deeper in the ground. Which will give them a good chance to make it through the summer.
You may not get fruit this summer, like RBG said, if they're getting direct sun all day it's probably too hot for them to set fruit. If they survive the summer, however, you will get a very large bumper crop in the fall and the plants will set fruit as soon as the weather cools down a bit. :)

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jemsister
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Re: Mom's Garden - Tomato Troubles, leaf curl spreading! (pi

I tried planting those "poo pots" two times now, and neither of them broke down at all--not even a little bit. I definitely take them off now. What a waste. :? Sorry about your tomato, AZ. :(

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