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Herbicides Can Damage Tomatoes

News Article for April 11, 2011:

I hope the recent weather is not an indicator of the heat to come. It has been a most unusual spring. In early February many of us thought it would be a late spring and now it looks like summer in early April.

There have been an unusual number of calls about tomato plants that are curling in the tops. The majority of people describe that condition as plants wilting in the top.

The plant specimens and digital pictures I have seen appear to me as the top growth being more twisted. In some cases the leaves curl back on themselves to form a ball out of the leaves. This condition is consistent with herbicide damage.

Herbicides that contain 2,4-D are notorious for causing the twisting in the tops of tomatoes. Most of the damage that occurs results from people spraying in their own lawn, near the garden or even in the garden prior to planting.

Glyphosate is another herbicide causing damage that I have seen several times this spring. Glyphosate is the active ingredient found in a lot of non-selective herbicides like Roundup. It has a fairly classical look in tomatoes. The base of the leaves will turn a bright yellow and you will see the twisting of foliage in the tops of these plants also.

Tomatoes are very sensitive to both of these types of herbicides so be careful when spraying near your vegetables. Also make sure that you have one sprayer for herbicides only and clearly mark that on the container. Do not use any sprayer that you have put herbicides in to spray for disease or insect problems. Use a different sprayer for fungicides and insecticide applications to avoid any residue from getting on and damaging your vegetables or horticultural plants.

For more information on these or related topics contact Kenny at 225-686-3020 or visit our website at

Last Updated: 4/12/2012 12:28:38 PM

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