Problem with deformed tomato plants

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save$

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2008
1,903
Chelsea Maine
I have 21 tomato plants which were planted in soil that was my lawn. All the plants were growing strong when out of nowhere, the middle row of tomatoes started thick twisted growth in the leaves and stems. The first part of the plant remained unchanged and healthy looking. At first I thought the issue was leaf curl related to the recent period of cool wet weather. None of the plants in the cloche or the solar space experienced this oddity. I tried to Google the tomato plant issues. The closest picture was of a plant that became deformed related to having a drift of pesticide on it. My neighbor has a professional lawn service. (I only have one neighbor. and his lawn is uphill and at least 100 ft away.) There is a dense boarder of trees and shrubs between his lawn and my garden. I know he has his lawn treated on a regular basis.

Has anyone had any experience with a condition like this. I will include a picture of the affected plant and one unaffected plant that is in the next row.


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Crane Stoves

Burning Hunk
Apr 22, 2012
209
Duxbury, MA.
thats some bazaar stuff =\
are the tomato variates all the same?
if its the middle row i highly doubt it has anything to do with neighbor.
is that some kind of mutant lettuce from jurasic park in the background o.0?
why 21 plants (could feed an army with that many)?
suggest ripping out the middle row and replanting same variety again but with a couple of another variety mixed in as well to try and see what happens?
 

basod

Minister of Fire
Sep 11, 2009
937
Mount Cheaha Alabama
You probably have/had afids or nemotodes(microscopic ground worms). There is also a canker bacteria that i've seen infest common plants from a tray.
If you added manure to the yard you could have introduced nemotodes.

The plant on the right is a healthy one? that seems like a lot of low leafy growth.

Did you plant these from seed? and was it seed you harvested from a single tomato, could very well be jacked up genetics.
 

SmokeyTheBear

Minister of Fire
Nov 10, 2008
13,363
Standish, ME
thats some bazaar stuff =\
are the tomato variates all the same?
if its the middle row i highly doubt it has anything to do with neighbor.
is that some kind of mutant lettuce from jurasic park in the background o.0?
why 21 plants (could feed an army with that many)?
suggest ripping out the middle row and replanting same variety again but with a couple of another variety mixed in as well to try and see what happens?

I suspect that save$ is going to put by some tomato sauce for one thing. That funny lettuce might be Swiss Chard.

We routinely plant over forty tomato plants and there are only two of us. It takes one pile of tomatoes to make sauce. Then there are salads, tomato juice, relishes, stewed tomatoes, etc....
 
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save$

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2008
1,903
Chelsea Maine
I have another 20 plants planted in other areas. None showing the same symptoms the pic. of the healthy plant is looking straight down on it. It is about 2 feet tall. the greens on the side are swiss chard (smokey got it!) they are in need of thinning. these tomatoes are big boy and ultra early girl. I am going to wait a while and see if they snap out of it. I have seen comfrey act like that after spraying with a week killer.
 

SmokeyTheBear

Minister of Fire
Nov 10, 2008
13,363
Standish, ME

save$

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2008
1,903
Chelsea Maine
I looked for white fly, none. Also, the plants are not discolored and ther first part of the growth remains unchanged. All very healthy looking. Look more to me like some reaction to some kind of stressor. The fruit is forming up ok, but those twisted thick leaves are not right. Last year, I did treat for crab grass, but that was a year ago. Can't help but feel that this is caused by something that wasn't there when I planted them.
This is mostly in the middle row. My next stop is the local extension service.
 

SmokeyTheBear

Minister of Fire
Nov 10, 2008
13,363
Standish, ME
Well tomatoes like a consistent moisture level, perhaps some of your plants are in a better draining environment then the others and are being stressed by that.

You could try a well balanced tomato food just for those plants.
 

save$

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2008
1,903
Chelsea Maine
Well tomatoes like a consistent moisture level, perhaps some of your plants are in a better draining environment then the others and are being stressed by that.

You could try a well balanced tomato food just for those plants.
That is a good suggestion. Tomatoes have a liking for some trace elements that can be out of balance. I have been putting on Mirical Grow and 5-10-5. I just am stuck on trying to figure out how it was so selective. In the end, it won't matter as long as I get the fruit I need for our canning.
 

save$

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2008
1,903
Chelsea Maine
I have 21 tomato plants which were planted in soil that was my lawn. All the plants were growing strong when out of nowhere, the middle row of tomatoes started thick twisted growth in the leaves and stems. The first part of the plant remained unchanged and healthy looking. At first I thought the issue was leaf curl related to the recent period of cool wet weather. None of the plants in the cloche or the solar space experienced this oddity. I tried to Google the tomato plant issues. The closest picture was of a plant that became deformed related to having a drift of pesticide on it. My neighbor has a professional lawn service. (I only have one neighbor. and his lawn is uphill and at least 100 ft away.) There is a dense boarder of trees and shrubs between his lawn and my garden. I know he has his lawn treated on a regular basis.

Has anyone had any experience with a condition like this. I will include a picture of the affected plant and one unaffected plant that is in the next row.


View attachment 69136 View attachment 69137
I had one heck of a time getting this print to upload. had to print it off, then scan the print. Anyway, these are some of the twisted tomato leaves. I cut into them finding only thick walled leaves. I did find one aphid and some dead ones. So I got out the big guns and sprayed. At this point, it is a matter of keeping it from infecting them all. Going to do a serch on Tomatoville.com once I get full access.

tomato issue 001.jpg
 

SmokeyTheBear

Minister of Fire
Nov 10, 2008
13,363
Standish, ME
Save$ you can make an aphid killing insecticide with those leaves. It is an old homemade organic aphid control method.

Tomato plants contain toxic compounds called alkaloids in their leaves. When the leaves of tomato plants are chopped, they release their alkaloids. When the alkaloids are suspended and diluted with water, they make an easy to use spray that is toxic to aphids, but still safe around plants and humans.
  • One to two cups of tomato leaves
  • Two cups of water
  • A strainer or cheesecloth
  • Spray bottle
Soak one to two cups of chopped tomato leaves in two cups of water. Let it steep overnight. To make the spray, strain the leaves out of the liquid using cheesecloth or a fine strainer. Add another one to two cups of water to the liquid and add it to a spray bottle.

Spray the stems and foliage of the infested plant with the spray, paying special attention to the undersides of leaves, since that is where aphids most commonly congregate.

Caution

While this spray is very safe for humans, some people are allergic to members of the nightshade family. If you are one of them, use care in making and applying this spray.
 

basod

Minister of Fire
Sep 11, 2009
937
Mount Cheaha Alabama
I'd never heard that home remedy for aphids smokey, pretty neat.
You can also use dish soap/water mixture as well.
 

SmokeyTheBear

Minister of Fire
Nov 10, 2008
13,363
Standish, ME
basod,

That remedy is all over the Internet and is one reason that aphids have a very difficult time actually doing in tomato plants. It takes a lot of them to succeed, most wind up dead.
 
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save$

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2008
1,903
Chelsea Maine
basod,

That remedy is all over the Internet and is one reason that aphids have a very difficult time actually doing in tomato plants. It takes a lot of them to succeed, most wind up dead.
Do you think it would be OK to add ivory soap? Non detergent soap is ok in most other plant applications. It breaks the surface tension and keeps the product from beading up and draining off.
 

SmokeyTheBear

Minister of Fire
Nov 10, 2008
13,363
Standish, ME
I don't see any problem with that save$. There is also a garlic oil spray that supposedly does a number on aphids. I've never seen an aphid infestation of tomatoes here that got to the point where I felt a sparying was needed now horn worms is a different matter. There are aphid predators that in conjunction with what the plant itself will kill that can clean them out as well. We have a lot of insects here, not much spraying had been done on the lot and all I ever use of the hard chemical kind is for ants(foundation spray). I do use a couple of biological items bP and I added bT this year. The rest of the garden things are fungicides and natural plant oils that are used on individual plants and the fruit trees.

I don't even use stuff to stifle the mosquitoes, the bats do a very good job of that. I must admit I've been temped to go after ticks but have refrained so far.
 

save$

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2008
1,903
Chelsea Maine
Well, I am the culprit for this problem. A couple years back, I treated the back lawn for weeds and crabgrass. That back lawn is what I tilled under for garden. I contacted the local extension service with my story and pictures. Herbicide poisioning. Never thought that would hang so long in the soil. I am going to set another plant in that area. If that one is impacted, I'll have confirmed that it isn't drift. I have limited space so I may put ground cloth in and put raised beds on top.
 

billb3

Minister of Fire
Dec 14, 2007
4,674
SE Mass
I stopped using weed control (scotts weed and feed) years ago because supposedly you shouldn't even put the lawn clippings in the compost. I have lots of compost.

Did they say anything about not eating anything even from the surrounding plants that look OK ?

A couple more plowings or roto-tillings should help break it down, no ?



There was something in the White House lawn that was persistant enough that they went to raised bbeds, so maybe raised beds are the safest way to go. Kind of a shame because you probably have nice dirt there, too.
 

save$

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2008
1,903
Chelsea Maine
I hate the idea of it being in the food. If you look at how tiwisted and distorted the growth is, what does that do to human cells.
If you knew what was either in or on your food you ate that is imported from other countries, you would think twice before you took a bite of it. While US products have standard, there is little to no way to inforce those same standards in other nations. That is the reason why I won't feed any imported food to my pets. If you think imported food doesn't have these contaminates, you are being mislead.
 

save$

Minister of Fire
Sep 22, 2008
1,903
Chelsea Maine
I called the company that makes the product I used two years ago. They told me he product breaks down in 21 days after application. Safe to plant food crops after that. I dug one plant up. No nematodes. I have rinsed it off and relocated it. Wait and see!
 
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