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Tomato Plants

Q.Trying To Identify My Tomato Leaf Curl Problem

Zone Mass - Zone 5-b | jeffd added on July 29, 2020 | Answered

Hi all, My garden is in Mass. I’m having problems with Tomato Leaf Curl. I have looked at several other posts, but am looking for additional confirmation on my problem. I have a couple diff types of Tomatoes growing this year. New Yorker, Sweetie and Early Cascade. Looks like my Early Cascade are not showing any problems. But the others are showing this really bad leaf curl issue and the leaves will ultimately start to turn yellow with some spots. This is probably a Tomato curl virus, but I’d like to try to get more clarity before I pull out the crop. Also, are the tomatoes from these plants edible? I would not say I’m overwatering, but the temperatures this year are hotter than usual. In the 90’s and more humid. My beds are new this year with fresh soil and fertilizing has been slow and regular. Weed free beds and mulched. Ugh! All the precautions you try to take, haha! This could be a White Fly issue, since I have cucumbers, cauliflower and broccoli in the next bed and are having moth issues with them. I had the cauliflower and broccoli under netting until recently when they are too tall now. I have been checking daily for eggs under leaves and spraying for aphids and other stuff with Neem Oil as needed only. Please see attached pictures for clarity. Seems like I have 2 issues: 1. Leaf curl with yellowing 2. Miss-formed and twisted leaves. Shame they don’t make some kind of stick attractive tape like for Japanese beetles or something to help with the moths. (great idea) Thanks in advance,

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on July 30, 2020

This fact sheet gives more symptoms to identify leaf curl virus. The ones you have could be symptoms of other problems (for example, marginal yellowing of older leaves could be a nutrient deficiency). You are doing the right thing by spraying with Neem oil when indicated. For a definitive diagnosis you can contact your local extension agency to have the lab verify it.
Twisting and curling can also be caused by herbicide residue in mulch. (info in second factsheet) Herbicide drift can cause it too.

It is safe to eat unblemished tomatoes when they come from a plant with leaves, stems or other fruit that shows an infection. But don't eat disease-blemished fruit, even with the damage cut out. It's not that the disease would hurt you but it lowers the acidity level that could allow other pathogens to grow.


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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on July 30, 2020

Spraying with Neem Oil in full sun can cause these symptoms. To me, though, it looks like the start of a magnesium deficiency. Too much potassium can cause a lockout of magnesium, so it will be best to test your soil before adding fertilizers. This will ensure that you, indeed, need to fertilize. It will also tell you which fertilizers are in need. Sometimes it is not necessary to fertilize with a full array of nutrients, as sometimes only one or two elements are needed.

These articles will help:



This article will give you more information on how to grow tomatoes to their full potential:


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