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Old 06/12/08, 10:50 AM
Suburban Homesteader
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 2,559
Curly leaves on tomato plants... what is it?

Some of the leaves on my indeterminate Black Krim heirloom tomatoes are curled, yellowish and stunted. I've looked up curly top virus, but the leaves don't get purple veins as was described in a few sources. In fact, they actually look chlorotic, with dark green veins with pale green leaf edges. The lower leaves look fine, the affected plant parts are growing although not fruiting.

Any idea what I'm dealing with?
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Old 06/12/08, 11:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Harnett County,NC
Posts: 189
Mine are doing this right now, but I think it is from the 100+ heat that we are having. Check them one morning after a rain and see if they still look curled
Small town redneck in NC
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Old 06/12/08, 01:00 PM
ksfarmer's Avatar
Retired farmer-rancher
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: north-central Kansas
Posts: 2,978
Here is a recent bulletin from Dr Ward Upham of Kansas State. Not sure this is your problem: but worth considering. .....
Physiological Leaf Curl in Tomatoes
Every year we receive calls from gardeners about tomato plants with
curling leaves. When tomato plants grow vigorously in mild, spring
weather, the top growth often exceeds the root development. When the
first few days of warm, dry summer weather hit, the plant 'realizes' it
has a problem and needs to increase root development. The plant tries to
reduce its leaf area by rolling leaves. The leaves curl along the length
of the leaf (leaflet) in an upward fashion. It is often accompanied by a
thickening of the leaf giving it a leathery texture. Interestingly, leaf
roll is worse on some varieties than others.
Though rolling usually occurs during the spring to summer shift period,
it may also occur after a heavy cultivating or hoeing, a hard rain, or
any sudden change in weather. This year, it seems heavy rains have
contributed to the situation in certain areas of the state. Too much
rain can saturate the soil and suffocate the roots. The damaged root
system is less able to transport water, especially when warm
temperatures and winds increase water use. This leaf roll is a temporary
condition that goes away after a week or so when the plant has a chance
to acclimate, recover from injury, or the soil has a chance to dry out. (WU)
* I'm supposed to respect my elders, but its getting harder and harder for me to find one. .*-
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Old 06/12/08, 01:31 PM
Suburban Homesteader
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 2,559
The leaves on some of the plants (the slowest growing ones at the shadiest end of the row) have been curled for quite a while. I switched over from hand-watering to a drip hose a few weeks ago, and after looking at these most affected plants, the leaves DO seem to be flattening out a bit. They still have this waffle-like texture where the tissue between the veins is bulging, but there is improvement in the older leaves.

The description by Dr. Ward sounds pretty familiar; the leaves appear thicker than the other leaves, and we have recently been shifting from the warm spring to hot summer days, so that would explain the newer curling we're seeing.

Thanks for the input! I can rest easier now, I was worried about dealing with a disease process
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