0
points
Tomato (Moneymaker) - Leaf curling and browning

Tomato    Wellington, South Africa

These are images from Planting 1 - Tomatoes (Moneymaker), transplanted on 16/09/2016, no dig, permaculture bed, square foot planting. The leaves are withered, browning, curling and generally does not look healthy. I have applied sulphur as leaf dusting to counter rust and have applied Epson salt as leave spray on 10/12/2016. Also sprayed Sprayed Effekto Virikop. We had high winds a few weeks ago but I'm not sure that this is as a result of that.

I'm in a high summer temperature area - summer averages between 30-45°C.

The other issue that I have is that the fruits are very small - there are lots of fruit, but remain small and only two prematurely ripened - fruit about 3cm in width.

I must note that other plants in the same bed - Starke Ayres Beans (Contender), Spinach, Pumpkin are growing very well and are very healthy.

I have now started pruning the sickly looking stems.

Any advice appreciated.


Posted by: Chris (2 points) Chris
Posted: December 19, 2016


C. Elena Bita commented,
hi Chris ! how is the project going ? Still waiting for the fruit pics :).
over 2 years ago.



Answers

3
points
Hi Chris, leaf curling and browning is a normal aspect of plant aging and can be easily noticed in the oldest leaves of plants that are grown on the ground or not pruned regularly. This aspect of plant senescence can be easily taken for disease symptoms . Occasional pruning of these leaves, especially if the plants are grown on poles, is only beneficial as dead tissue ( the brown curled leaves) generally attracts all sorts of hungry beasts. Withered leaves , brown leaves and flowers, small discolored fruits with very little jelly and small seeds are a sign the plant has been stressed and slowed down very much its reproductive growth. Could you please post some pics of fruits cut in half ? If the plants are grown on the soil, very close together, and its hot outside, my guess is they will experience even a higher stress as there is heat coming from the soil as well and no ventilation in between the plants/leaves.
To try and save your plants I would also suggest shading, removal of dead tissue and adequate watering. Usually heat stress is most deleterious when the plant is young and flowering - so you should look back at the temperature charts 3 weeks ago; the fact that you have fruits already means the plants are mature and may not produce new flower buds- although MM is of the indeterminate growth type. However, without shading I dont think the fruits already present will keep growing, and even if they do they will not be properly developed , no juice, and little taste compared to their full potential.
If you live in a hot climate area I suggest a small trial next year with 5-6 different tomato cultivars previously known to be heat tolerant ( and also have tastier sweeter more flavorful fruits) in the field and also of determinate growth -especially if you grow them for your own use. Money Maker is a commercial cultivar mostly used for greenhouse culture but of course one can also grow them in field( backyard conditions that is) providing enough shading. Here some useful varieties, especially if it doesnt rain a lot in your area : http://www.tomatodirt.com/tomatoes-fo...
I would suggest hairloom tomatoes that also retain a certain tolerance to diseases instead of super producing hybrids that would need spraying etc. In my opinion the best site to order seeds from is this passionate grower in Germany, he has thousands of cultivars not only of tomato but also several other vegetables. Only trouble is one needs to know a bit of german..or dutch: http://tomaten.bplaced.net/tomatenhah...


Posted by: C. Elena Bita (4 points) C. Elena Bita
Posted: December 21, 2016


Chris commented,
Elena thank you so much for the great advice. I'll post some images of the fruit later on this week. I have already created two other test beds and will look at planting two or three other cultivars next week. Our summer season still runs well into April and I believe I'm still in time to plant seedlings now. I'll get advice from the nursery that supplies my seedlings tomorrow. I'll also erect some shading over the area. As a matter of interest, there were some tomato seeds and rests in the compost I used in a section of one of the beds and I'll keep an eye open for any of these germinating in the next week or two. I'm going to create plant libraries for each of the test beds soon and will post images and findings as the pilot project continues. As a matter of record I'm posting our earlier discussion on Linkedin as well. ***************************** Elena: Hi Chris, if the tomatoes are really heat stressed then there is not much you can do am afraid, the harm has already been done and the pictures only show the aftermath.If it is heat stress and your plants are still "young" you can try salvage them by shading them and watering them regularly early morning when its cool outside and evening after the sun sets. The pictures indicate that MM is not doing very well in terms of fruit set, although the other plants are well, except the peppers - I suspect its heat stress on both-as both species are sensitive to heat , or some viral disease in the case of the pepper plants. Both heat stress and viruses/ aphids results in similar symptoms: stunted growth, reduced fertility, leaf curling and chlorotic ( whitish areas) lessions. They say if you can grow tomatoes you can also grow peppers, so maybe its the same factor that affects your plants. So I have some questions: Is this the first time you grow vegetables? If not, have you had these issues the previous year? How old and tall are your tomato plants- are they on a vine? Do you prune the tomatoes at all ? How often do you water the tomatoes and the peppers? Are the tomatoes or the peppers under any shading? What is the growth distance between the plants, both for tomatoes and peppers ( I see a pepper plant growing very close to a pumpkin?). If you cut one or two tomato fruits, how do they look on the inside, can you please add some pics on plantvillage ? ***************************** Chris: It's the first time I have grown them now as part of a pilot project I'm implementing in previously disadvantaged urban areas in and around Cape Town. I have decided to pilot using a no-dig permaculture bed design. I have layered the bed well and have installed mirco sprinklers low to the ground. The plants are 85-90cm tall, have been transplanted on 16/09/2016 as seedlings (14-15cm in height). They are bushy and not on a vine. I have now started pruning away the bad growth and have researched pruning in more detail last night - I'm planning on doing some serious pruning over the weekend. The plants are watered for 10-15 minutes every day and I have installed the micro sprinklers close to ground level. No shading at the moment no - I'm not considering shading as most of the growers in the township areas would not have the funding to erect shade nets. I'm trying to emulate growing conditions as closely to their environment as possible. I have opted for square foot planting, again to try and optimise yield from a very small area (this bed is 12sqm big in total). The plants are spaced 30-40cm apart - both tomatoes and peppers. The pumpkin was a bonus - part of kitchen scraps (only plat and fruit rests) that was used as compost in one of the layers. The pumpkin vines are creeping over a part of the bed, but the main plants aren't close to either tomatoes or peppers. The two or three tomatoes that I have harvested so far is perfect and have a delicious sweet taste - although the fruit were very small. There are fruit on the plants now that are bigger - I'll harvest three of four ripe ones by Friday and post the pics to Plantvillage. Re the watering, because of the layering of the bed (using newspaper, well-composted grass cuttings, straw, organic composting - covered in a top layer of straw) retains moisture well. I have to water daily though because of wilting due to the heat and drying of the top layer of soil.
over 2 years ago.

Chris commented,
Elena thank you so much for the great advice. I'll post some images of the fruit later on this week. I have already created two other test beds and will look at planting two or three other cultivars next week. Our summer season still runs well into April and I believe I'm still in time to plant seedlings now. I'll get advice from the nursery that supplies my seedlings tomorrow. I'll also erect some shading over the area. As a matter of interest, there were some tomato seeds and rests in the compost I used in a section of one of the beds and I'll keep an eye open for any of these germinating in the next week or two. I'm going to create plant libraries for each of the test beds soon and will post images and findings as the pilot project continues. As a matter of record I'm posting our earlier discussion on Linkedin below. ------------------------------------------- Elena: Hi Chris, if the tomatoes are really heat stressed then there is not much you can do am afraid, the harm has already been done and the pictures only show the aftermath.If it is heat stress and your plants are still "young" you can try salvage them by shading them and watering them regularly early morning when its cool outside and evening after the sun sets. The pictures indicate that MM is not doing very well in terms of fruit set, although the other plants are well, except the peppers - I suspect its heat stress on both-as both species are sensitive to heat , or some viral disease in the case of the pepper plants. Both heat stress and viruses/ aphids results in similar symptoms: stunted growth, reduced fertility, leaf curling and chlorotic ( whitish areas) lessions. They say if you can grow tomatoes you can also grow peppers, so maybe its the same factor that affects your plants. So I have some questions: Is this the first time you grow vegetables? If not, have you had these issues the previous year? How old and tall are your tomato plants- are they on a vine? Do you prune the tomatoes at all ? How often do you water the tomatoes and the peppers? Are the tomatoes or the peppers under any shading? What is the growth distance between the plants, both for tomatoes and peppers ( I see a pepper plant growing very close to a pumpkin?). If you cut one or two tomato fruits, how do they look on the inside, can you please add some pics on plantvillage? ------------------------------------------- Chris: It's the first time I have grown them now as part of a pilot project I'm implementing in previously disadvantaged urban areas in and around Cape Town. I have decided to pilot using a no-dig permaculture bed design. I have layered the bed well and have installed mirco sprinklers low to the ground. The plants are 85-90cm tall, have been transplanted on 16/09/2016 as seedlings (14-15cm in height). They are bushy and not on a vine. I have now started pruning away the bad growth and have researched pruning in more detail last night - I'm planning on doing some serious pruning over the weekend. The plants are watered for 10-15 minutes every day and I have installed the micro sprinklers close to ground level. No shading at the moment no - I'm not considering shading as most of the growers in the township areas would not have the funding to erect shade nets. I'm trying to emulate growing conditions as closely to their environment as possible. I have opted for square foot planting, again to try and optimise yield from a very small area (this bed is 12sqm big in total). The plants are spaced 30-40cm apart - both tomatoes and peppers. The pumpkin was a bonus - part of kitchen scraps (only plat and fruit rests) that was used as compost in one of the layers. The pumpkin vines are creeping over a part of the bed, but the main plants aren't close to either tomatoes or peppers. The two or three tomatoes that I have harvested so far is perfect and have a delicious sweet taste - although the fruit were very small. There are fruit on the plants now that are bigger - I'll harvest three of four ripe ones by Friday and post the pics to Plantvillage. Re the watering, because of the layering of the bed (using newspaper, well-composted grass cuttings, straw, organic composting - covered in a top layer of straw) retains moisture well. I have to water daily though because of wilting due to the heat and drying of the top layer of soil.
over 2 years ago.



1
point
Apparently Moneymaker tomatoes are sensitive to the heat according to this publication
http://bmcgenomics.biomedcentral.com/...

The lead author, Elena Bita has provided more information directly.


Posted by: David Hughes (34 points) David Hughes
Posted: December 20, 2016




0
points
I know when it gets hot here (100F, 37 C)all my tomatoes' leaves curl and the blossoms drop and they generally look bad. I've started planting my most flavorful tomatoes where they have afternoon shade, like behind the tall sunflowers or behind a screen. It has helped. They are less susceptible to all problems when they aren't drained from the heat.


Posted by: Regina (1 point) Regina
Posted: December 19, 2016


Chris commented,
Apologies - it seems that in my response to you, I have created a new answer (I'm new to the site :-). I have come across this interesting article on leaf rolling as well. http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic... I'll examine my plants closer to see whether it has any other symptoms as discussed.
over 2 years ago.

Chris commented,
Response 1: Hi Regina - thanks for the response - where are you from? I accept that that the high temperatures and direct sunlight do have an influence (and of course the strong southeasterly winds), however one would expect that the sun/heat damage would be more prevalent or even limited to the top areas of the plant - or has your experience shown that the damage occur down at ground level in the shade as well? What has your fruit growth been like?

Response 2: Regina - I have come across this on the Saferbrand website and it seems to answer part of my question and response to you:
Leafroll
What it looks like: Mature tomato plants suddenly curl their leaves, especially older leaves near the bottom. Leaves roll up from the outside towards the center. Sometimes up to 75% of the plant is affected.
What causes it: High temperatures, wet soil and too much pruning often result in leaf roll.
What to do about it: Although it looks ugly, leaf roll won’t affect tomato development, so you will still get edible tomatoes from your plants. Avoid over-pruning and make sure the soil drains excess water away.

http://www.saferbrand.com/blog/common...

over 2 years ago.



0
points
Response 1: Hi Regina - thanks for the response - where are you from? I accept that that the high temperatures and direct sunlight do have an influence (and of course the strong southeasterly winds), however one would expect that the sun/heat damage would be more prevalent or even limited to the top areas of the plant - or has your experience shown that the damage occur down at ground level in the shade as well? What has your fruit growth been like?

Response 2: Regina - I have come across this on the Saferbrand website and it seems to answer part of my question and response to you:
Leafroll
What it looks like: Mature tomato plants suddenly curl their leaves, especially older leaves near the bottom. Leaves roll up from the outside towards the center. Sometimes up to 75% of the plant is affected.
What causes it: High temperatures, wet soil and too much pruning often result in leaf roll.
What to do about it: Although it looks ugly, leaf roll won’t affect tomato development, so you will still get edible tomatoes from your plants. Avoid over-pruning and make sure the soil drains excess water away.

http://www.saferbrand.com/blog/common...


Posted by: Chris (2 points) Chris
Posted: December 19, 2016




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