my heirloom tomatoes look sick. the leaves are curling up. what can I do?
Cuming County Nebraska
Curling leaves in tomatoes can be due to a number of things. Herbicide drift being one. Check nearby plants for signs of leaf curling. With herbicide drift, more than on one type of plant is likely to be affected. Tomatoes are more sensitive, so leaf curling and puckering may be more noticeable on them than other plants; but other plants should show some damage. Leaf curling may also be due to a virus disease. If no nearby plants are affected, a virus is a good possibility. There is no control for viruses. We recommend removing the plant to prevent transmission to nearby plants or carry over to next season. NOTE: If it is herbicide injury, new growth should look normal. If it is a virus, new growth is likely to continue to be affected.
Also - leaf roll is a physiological response of tomato leaves to environmental factors - too wet of soil, too dry of soil, etc. It is harmless at this time of year and most plants eventually grow out of it. With leaf roll, the leaf will look normal if you unroll it.
Let me know if you have additional questions. If you decide that this is herbicide injury, our recommendation is not to eat tomatoes from these plants.