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Author Topic: Curled Tomato Leaves - Too Much Water??  (Read 22128 times)
IR Newby
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« on: May 30, 2009, 07:49:41 PM »

If this posting is redundant, I apologize. When I tried to previously post & performed a preview I didn't see the attached pictures. I didn't get an email confirming the post, nor did I get an indication that my post was accepted, nor could I find my post or an indication that the post would be available at a later time, etc. If this is redundant let me know ASAP and I will delete it ..... sorry. On the other hand what do you expect from a newbie?  Smiley

According to the local nursery and other sources, it appears that my tomato plant's leaf curl is due to too much watering. The two plants are Better Bush and Early Girl. To the best of my knowledge I followed the Earth Box instructions. When I used a moisture meter to measure moisture in the Earth Box, at the top surface, the meter was pegged all the way to WET.

I don't understand how the plants can be getting too much water since I only water through the water tube and stop watering after water passes through the overflow hole. I live in the East Bay area across from San Francisco. I have to water nearly every day, according to the overflow hole.

The plants look very green and bushy, they have multiple blossoms, and already have some green fruit. Although the plant looks healthy, for now, I am concerned that it can go down hill over night.

My wife suggests that perhaps I didn't pack the plant mix tightly enough.

Any suggestions and comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanking you in advance.


* P1000236.jpg (98.34 KB, 576x432 - viewed 2936 times.)
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IR Newby
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2009, 07:56:09 PM »

My second picture didn't show. Here it is now.


* P1000237.jpg (75.58 KB, 432x576 - viewed 2177 times.)
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LavendulaFleur
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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2009, 08:18:54 PM »

Did you happen to have a weather change?

I got the following off WikiAnswers:

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_causes_leaf_curl_on_tomato_plants

Cause of Tomato Leaf Curl

Symptoms / Characteristics: The rolling or curling of tomato leaves can be a symptom of environmental stress, herbicide damage or viral infection.

Physiological leaf roll may be associated with environmental stresses such as excess moisture, excess nitrogen, and transplant shock. Leaf roll may also be related to moisture conservation during periods of extreme heat and drought. Improper cultural practices such as severe pruning and root damage during cultivation can also cause leaf roll symptoms. Physiological leaf roll involves an initial upward cupping of the leaves, followed by an inward roll. In severe cases, the leaves roll up until the leaflets overlap. Symptomatic leaves become thickened and leathery. Symptoms typically appear first in lower leaves but may spread to the entire plant, depending on the severity of the condition. Leaf roll is more commonly associated with staking varieties of tomato, such as "Early Girl" and "Big Boy", rather than bush types.

In most cases, the condition is temporary and will have little or no affect on plant growth or fruit production.

Hopefully, this will be the case for you!

« Last Edit: May 30, 2009, 08:20:50 PM by LavendulaFleur » Logged
cushman350
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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2009, 04:29:25 AM »

My second picture didn't show. Here it is now.

Four pictures per post can be uploaded one at a time by clicking on (more attachments).



« Last Edit: May 31, 2009, 11:26:28 AM by cushman350 » Logged
gardendoc
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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2009, 06:37:33 AM »

I would not worry right now.  Don't get overly concerned with every little variation in leaf growth.
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kittyhawk63
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« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2009, 06:49:20 PM »

My mom, who was a terrific gardener, told me that certain insects can cause leaf curl. She had a small spider that would "roll" the leaf to protect its young, whether egg cocoon or live born, I'm not sure.
I am not certain on what I am seeing on P1000237.jpg, but it looks like small, light green dots on some of the leaves. Can you identify what these are?
kh63
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gardendoc
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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2009, 07:13:40 PM »

Generally speaking leaf curling from insects is in a downward direction. 
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A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have. Gerald Ford

Be the fountain, not the drain
IR Newby
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« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2009, 09:25:14 PM »

LavendulaFleur,

No we haven't had unusual weather lately. Thanks for your input.
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IR Newby
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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2009, 01:54:53 AM »

cushman350

Thanks for your well illustrated information on uploading multiple pictures. Some how I overlooked the "more attachments" option.

IR Newby
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IR Newby
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2009, 02:06:17 AM »

kittyhawk63

I can't identify those dots. There was a lot of debris blown by the wind such as pollen from some weeds from over the fence. I'm quite confident what I believe you are referring to are not insects. I have, however, seen some extremely small flies that were not on the leaves but down on the main trunk of the plant.

I took several leaves to the nursery and they examined them under a large magnifier and didn't see any evidence of insects or disease.

Thanks for your response.
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cushman350
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« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2009, 08:58:27 AM »

cushman350

Thanks for your well illustrated information on uploading multiple pictures. Some how I overlooked the "more attachments" option.

IR Newby

You're not the first nor the last. I too overlooked it in the beginning.
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emilysf
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2009, 11:38:15 PM »

My early girl tomato looks like that, too!  I have not been able to figure out what the problem is, but whatever it is, it is not stopping the plant from growing and flowering.  I suspect the problem is a combination of cool weather and too much water.  It doesn't look like any kind of fungal disease or pest.

I live in a sunnier area of San Francisco and have the plant in a large pot on my deck.  This is my first year growing tomatoes.  I watered every 2 days when the plant was smaller, and now I'm watering every 3 days.  I was told at the nursery that over-watering is the most common problem. 

Watering every day would definitely be too much for me, but you are probably in a warmer location than I am.

I'm not sure whether this post has been helpful.  I'd like to hear how things go for you.
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Deb
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The Pacific NorthWE'T - Sunset - W. Climate Zone 6


« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2009, 06:59:54 AM »

You can't use too much water in an EarthBox.  That eliminates one variable.

Many people find they have to water two or three times a day when their plants start producing.

Your big pot might be different, but I always found that the non-EarthBox containers I've used would develop channels in the soil/potting mix and the water would run right through.  I thought I was watering enough and the plant was dying of thirst.

Deb
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JB
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Springfield, VA z7 New AWS - it's working! 8/13/09


« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2009, 09:28:28 AM »

I noticed you have some of those same small "white things" (like small pieces of thread) on your leaves I've been referencing in a couple of threads.  Pollen or some airborne object is interesting.  Is it on the back of the leaves too, or just the top?

There was a thread on curling leaves last year, too, so obviously it's common.  I recall some varieties just curl.  Mine are curling this year (they didn't last year).  I took a leaf to the clinic for the microscope and they didn't see any insect cause--I think you'd see them if that was the problem.  My curled plants are doing fine.  My tomatoes in my other three boxes are not curling and they're all in the same area.  I vote variety and weather.

JB
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~~ thought it was time to add a picture of my pooch to the ranks :-)  ~~
cushman350
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2009, 10:24:03 AM »

I can't help but believe there is some effect, maybe not enough to cause harm. The leaves collect energy and when curled wouldn't that be like having a solar panel curled instead of flat?
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