new video from paul! (permies thread)
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Eggplant and Tomatoes with bad leaf curl, sick plants.  RSS feed

 
Steven Oconnor
Posts: 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Hi, I planted about 6 tomatoes and 2 eggplants in my newly made garden. Also planted spaghetti squash and some pepper plants.

I bought 10 yards of premium garden formulated soil from local soil yard. Its contains some manure because every now and then I get a good wiff. Its nice dark soil with little sand and compost to make it very light and easy to work with.

All 6 tomatoes and 2 eggplants are having leaf curl after 3 weeks, very thin - underdeveloped new growth.

The leaves from the original transplants are hanging in there but any new growth is severely stunted and the entire plant is thinning quickly.

Whats strange is my spaghetti squash is looking very healthy and happy, also transplants planted at same time. The peppers look about the same as I planted them, no new growth.

What could this be?

Im thinking...

A) Virus
B) 10 yards of soil mix is still too "hot"
C) Herbacide in soil mix from manure
D) Plants contained virus from nursury
E) Over / under watering

I live in San Antonio Texas, it has been pretty warm with normal swings in temp. Nothing lower than 60F in past three weeks.

Please see attached pictures.
IMG_2135.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_2135.jpg]
Tomatoe Looking really spindly, same with eggplant. New growth failure
IMG_2139.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_2139.jpg]
Tomatoe Looking really spindly, same with eggplant. New growth failure
IMG_2123.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_2123.jpg]
Tomatoe Looking really spindly, same with eggplant. New growth failure
 
James Freyr
Posts: 149
Location: Middle Tennessee
7
books cat chicken
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I hate to say this but it really appears to be symptoms of herbicide exposure, but its possible your mix is still "hot". Tomato leaf roll is physiological, and looks different. Tomato leaf curl virus looks different. I'm not familiar with viruses causing leaves to look like that. The tomato pics really look like herbicide, either from drift or it was in the soil mix, likely from the manure of cows that ate grasses that were tainted, if it's in the soil mix at all. The only way to find that out is to send a sample to a lab. Right now in spring time (well not up north, yet) some people are spraying broad leaf herbicides like 2,4,D Amine, and if conditions are right, that poison can drift for a mile or more. The fact that the spaghetti squash looks fine is intriguing. The pepper plants should have put on growth if it has been 3 weeks since they were transplanted. Some varieties of plants are more sensitive to broad leaf herbicides than others.

I did a quick google search and your photo looks uncannily like the one in the link below. It's from Texas A&M, and I tend to trust agriculture extensions information.

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/newsletters/hortupdate/2009/mar09/UsePest.html

I hope this helps you figure out what happened!
 
Joseph Lofthouse
garden master
Posts: 2238
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
413
bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I agree with James' assessment that it looks like herbicide poisoning. It looks like there is a grass weed growing in the compost that has yellow leaves. Are the other weeds funky shaped too? The risk of herbicide poisoning is  the primary reasons why I don't import compost or mulches into my farm. I can't trust that they aren't dangerous to my crops.
 
Steven Oconnor
Posts: 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the informative replies James and Joseph,

  I was worried about herbicide poisoning! I try to be as careful as I can by not using poisons etc. in my garden. This is so frustrating.

I have nut grass and it seems to be doing fine. However on a lower raised bed I planted peas from seed in same imported soil. They sprouted, but also look very spindly, week and curled up.

  
   My garden is in a residential neighborhood with no farms or crops nearby. Doubting its a drift contamination. If this was your garden (24'X24' feet in size) what would your next step be?


Questions:

1. What center do you recommend for herbicide testing?
2. Is my soil ruined forever? (Does herbicide have a half life - will the seasonal rains etc get rid of it?)
3. What risk am I in for handling the soil?
4. If the squash grows strong and produces, is it even safe to eat? Worried herbicide in fruit.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
garden master
Posts: 2238
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
413
bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

The herbicide damaged areas that I have watched closely tend to take
about 2 to 3 years to start producing normally again. There are lots of
different types of toxic-gick, and their half-lives and properties vary.

As a farmer, I often wear a dusk mask in my fields, and especially when
working in the greenhouse with potting soil. I'd hate to get farmer's
lung when it's so easily avoided.

My grandfather took his work clothes off when he came home from
working in the fields, or at a construction site. He hung them in a
shed a few feet from the back door. That was before -cides were
invented, but he wanted to keep the house clean.

I follow the same practice today. My shoes, and work clothing
stay on the back porch, and don't get worn into the house. I do
that to avoid bringing dirt and industrial poisons into my home.

Those sorts of lifestyle choices seem like common sense in
everyday life. I'd highly recommended them to everyone, and
especially to those that suspect they are more at risk.

I don't know regarding food safety.

 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9681
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
176
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here's a data sheet for one of the most common of these nasty poisons, aminopyralid:  https://www3.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/registration/fs_PC-005100_10-Aug-05.pdf

More info:  http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/sfn/wtr11Aminopyralid

http://www.the-compost-gardener.com/picloram.html
 
James Freyr
Posts: 149
Location: Middle Tennessee
7
books cat chicken
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A&L Labs is a lab I've had bookmarked when I came accross them while looking to see what companies are doing what kinds of soil tests. I have not used their services. They do all kinds of soil testing, including toxic residues. I doubt your soil is ruined forever, if indeed that is the source of the herbicide(s). It may indeed be drift, and you don't need a conventional farm nearby to receive drift. Growing up, my father relentlessly pursued having a "golf course" lawn, spraying weed-b-gone, roundup, using pre-emergences and post-emergences, applying chemical fertilizers and overseeding, every year, for a couple decades. My father was Sisyphus, and his pursuit of that damn lawn was his boulder. He eventually conceded defeat, when he got sick with cancer. Did those chemicals cause his cancer, I'll never know, but I imagine they played at least a small role. It is entirely possible one of your neighbors nearby is merely trying to have a "nice lawn" and is spraying that crap, or they've hired a company like chemlawn to come and spray that shit for him. I don't have a good answer for you as far as what risk your at handling the soil, if it is the soil. As far as the fruit being safe, I again don't know enough about that. It sounds like you're not out there actively spraying your crops like conventional farming practices, so perhaps these levels pose less threat? Maybe?
 
Steven Oconnor
Posts: 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for all the great replies and resources. I will investigate best testing center and send a soil/plant test away. Really depressed after shoveling 10yrds of $40 yr soil. I thought this was the best of the best - pure advertised soil.

Very upset right now.
 
Steven Oconnor
Posts: 9
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What Crops are Affected?

Even very small amounts of picloram, clopralid and aminopyralid - as little as 1 ppb - can negatively affect sensitive plants. Dow, the manufacturer of these herbicides, claims that only a few plants are affected. The average home gardener may beg to differ. Sensitive plants include:

    Legume family - including lupines, peas, beans and clover.
    Compositae family - including daisy, aster, sunflower and lettuces.
    Nightshade family - including tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplants.
    Umbelliferae family - including carrots.
    Many other vegetables and flowers.

Sensitive plants are exposed to these herbicides develop cupped or fern like leaves and twisted stems. They do not produce well, though in theory the crop is safe for you to eat.

Residues of Picloram, Clopyralid or Aminopyralid Herbicide Create Killer Compost

Minute concentrations of picloram, clopyralid and aminopyralid, as low as 1 ppb (parts per billion), can be lethal to sensitive garden plants such as peas, beans, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes and potatoes.

Most pesticides, including herbicides, break down quickly in the composting process. Picloram, Clopyralid and Aminopyralid do not. These chemicals are

    Easily absorbed by plants.
    Remain chemically stable and intact in both live and dead plants.
    Do not breakdown substantially in animal digestive tracts so contaminate manure, urine and bedding with residues.
    Breakdown very slowly in composts and soils with an estimated half life of 1 - 2 years.
    Affect sensitive crops at very low concentrations - 1-3 ppb.

The only way to handle this potential threat is to keep materials contaminated with picloram, clopyralid and aminopyralid out of your garden in the first place.

Trade Names Please

When you're talking to a farmer supplying hay, straw or manure asking about picloram, clopyralid and aminopyralid is probably not enough. You'll need to ask about specific trade names of the herbicides.

These herbicides are sold under the following trade names.

    Picloram - sold as Tordon, Access, Surmount, Grazon, and Pathway.
    Clopyralid - sold as Curtail, Confront, Clopyr AG, Lontrel, Stinger, Millennium Ultra, Millenium Ultra Plus, Reclaim, Redeem, Transline.
    Aminopyralid - sold as Milestone, Forefront, Pharaoh, Banish.
 
James Freyr
Posts: 149
Location: Middle Tennessee
7
books cat chicken
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Steven- This is definitely a bitter pill to swallow and I would be upset as well. I have a lot of empathy for you. This is a good example of why I dislike capitalism so much. Those companies manufacture those chemicals not to help us, or improve anything, they do it for one reason only, and it's profits. Before you jump to too many conclusions, it is still entirely possible that your soil is not the culprit and this is a case of herbicide drift. I'm curious if it is only the food crops you planted in this particular soil that are showing symptoms or if you have also noticed other nearby plants like landscaping shrubs have been affected as well. Maybe your next door neighbors grow a few vegetables? It would be interesting if they did and if their plants do or don't show the same symptoms. If only your vegetable plants growing in that soil are sick, that may well be the proof that it is indeed the soil. I think it's great you want to send a sample away to a lab, and I, and I'm sure many others here on permies, are very curious about the test results and I do hope you share them with us.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
garden master
Posts: 2238
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
413
bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

If the damage is being caused only by broad-leaf herbicides, then you could grow monocots like corn, wheat, rye, rice, barley, oats.

 
Steven Oconnor
Posts: 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the words of encouragement. We had a good rain last night. I plan on letting the garden dry out and give it a couple of weeks before sending off soil sample.

Its weird because my tomatoes, eggplants and peas are affected. Squash looks ok. I have a few herbs in same soil, they appear to be doing ok.

Will keep everyone posted with results as they come in.
 
James Freyr
Posts: 149
Location: Middle Tennessee
7
books cat chicken
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Steven I just remembered something this morning that I learned many years ago that yields curled and gnarled growth in plants. It's an overdose of mycorrhizal fungi inoculant. When I first learned of mycorrhizae and bought a powdered inoculant, I applied to much and I did repeat applications and the new growth at the top of my plants and tip of branches started growing gnarled and curled. I learned the hard way to read the label, use the recommended amount, and to apply it once at the beginning of the season when I transplanted. I learned that Myccorhizae self propagate and continue to move down roots and colonize on their own (if soil conditions are good). Did you perhaps inoculate your new soil with mycorrhizae?
 
Steven Oconnor
Posts: 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi James, I did not add anything to the soil. I just bought the soil and it was hot. Warm to the touch with a little steam on a colder morning 40F outside.

Maybe soil to "hot"... not sure.

General thought is might be Aminopyralid issue with compost in soil. Im really mad as you can expect and will be giving soil supply yard a call. They advertise themselves as premium soil providers.
amino_pictogram.gif
[Thumbnail for amino_pictogram.gif]
 
James Freyr
Posts: 149
Location: Middle Tennessee
7
books cat chicken
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I tend to doubt it had anything to do with temperature of the mix, but microbial activity in compost can reach temperatures over 150f, and I doubt any reputable nursery would sell anything that was clearly not finished. When you first mentioned "hot" in your original post my brain went to excessive nitrogen, which a lot of growers will refer to as hot, I didn't consider the actual temperature. Roots are pretty tough, and can tolerate temps at 90 or 100f provided their is ample water with those soil temps. Excessive nitrogen doesn't show the symptoms that you provided in the photographs. I think the consensus is still herbicide, unfortunately. I trust Joseph and Tyler's input, those guys are smart and know a ton, and I certainly don't want to imply that I'm any sort of authority on the subject, because I'm not. I would like to tactfully make a suggestion, as I never want to tell anyone how or what to do, but perhaps wait to call the nursery until your armed with the soil test results. I bet dollars to donuts if you call them today, they'll say no one else has ever complained about their product, and they might say you've clearly done something wrong or you just don't know how to garden. If they are good business people, which I will give them the benefit of the doubt that they are, if you have proof, they may refund you your money, cause the last thing they want is paying customers afraid of their product and to go elsewhere. Something like this has the potential to really tarnish their reputation, especially in the internet age when you, single handedly, can inform the masses of your negative experience.
 
You guys wanna see my fabulous new place? Or do you wanna look at this tiny ad?
Learn, Design, Teach, & Inspire with Permaculture games.
FoodForestCardGame.com
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!