Beef tomato plant

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Does anyone know what could be causing the leaves of my beef tomato plant to curl upward? Is this type of veggie not intended to be grown in a 5 gallon bucket? I used organic soil for containers. My cucumbers and cherry tomato's are growing great.
q beef tomato plant, container gardening, gardening, I don t see any bugs
I don't see any bugs ...
  14 answers
  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Jul 16, 2013
    Normally leaf curl in tomatoes can come from weather conditions, irregular watering, herbicides sprayed to close to the plant. There's no reason you cannot grow the big tomatoes in a five gallon bucket. I'm guessing you're probably dealing with our rather weird weather conditions. When you water, make sure you do a deep water and soak it well. Containers do require more attention and watering than those planted in the soil. Looks healthy other than that bit of curl.

  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jul 16, 2013
    Plenty of tomatoes have been grown in five-gallon buckets. I think Catherine is right. If your plant is flowering and otherwise doing what a tomato plant should do, I wouldn't worry too much.

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Jul 16, 2013
    You have drainage holes in the buckets?

  • Shelly Shelly on Jul 16, 2013
    Catherine, I was wondering if it was this strange weather we are having this season as well. I do make sure to deep soak since it is in the bucket, I wait to see the water run out the bottom. I did drill holes in the bucket Donna as well as added a screen in hopes of keeping the bugs from entering through the bottom. Douglas there are no flowers on this plant yet. I raised them off the ground yesterday by adding two little bricks under each bucket wondering if that might have something to do with it. Also no herbicides have been used on any of the veggie plants, knock on wood there hasn't been any reason to do so.

  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Jul 17, 2013
    Sounds like you've done about all you can do at this point, Shelly. Just keep an eye on them for now and let them keep growing. Putting the bricks under them will certainly not hurt and may add more air circulation. But from the pictures these plants look very healthy and vigorous, other than the little bit of curl. I don't see any suggestion of virus splotches, etc, on the plant. I'm still putting my money on these crazy weather conditions causing your problem. Please keep me posted, this is interesting.

  • Phillip Williams Phillip Williams on Jul 17, 2013
    As usual, our friends at Clemson have the right answers. 2,4,D is very good at doing this to tomatoes. Just very tiny amounts can do this as they drift in on the wind. The other really probable answer is the excessive water seen in many areas this year.

  • Susan Stambaugh Susan Stambaugh on Jul 17, 2013
    Here in Pennsylvania this has been happening as well.The temp.here has been 90-95 every day and only down to 70 at night. The plants have had curly leaves due to the extreme temps. and need for more water. It hasn't effected the flowers or fruit so I wouldn't be very worried about it. Just keep them watered really well.

  • Jean Vercler Jean Vercler on Jul 17, 2013
    I have had this happen. with mine, it was that some of the soil had become hard packed.I had kept watering and like you water until the water starts coming out the bottom. What I didn't realize was that the water wasn't going through, it was going down the inside and out the bottom. I used a long screw driver to poke holes all around the plant-then watered. the next morning my plants were perky! Don't know if that's the case with yours, but might be worth a try-can't hurt!

  • Lee Moss Lee Moss on Jul 18, 2013
    My husband, a tomato farmer, says tomato leaf curl virus is the likely cause, but some insects also cause this problem.

  • Shelly Shelly on Jul 18, 2013
    Jean Vercler, I made sure today to poke around in the container just incase the dirt is hard packed. Lee Moss, I am wondering even though I don't see any bugs maybe I should spray the tomato plant with an herbicide ? I don't think it will hurt to try.

  • Jean Vercler Jean Vercler on Jul 18, 2013
    good luck, I hope something works for you!

  • Nancy De Blauw Nancy De Blauw on Jul 14, 2014
    @Shelly, I was having the same problem with my tomatoe plants (also in large containers). I read that tomatoes are heavy feeders. So, I added a mixture of a little more soil & compost around, but touching the actual plants. I also removed the lower leaves so that most of the nutrition would go to the tomatoes. Thery're doing great now! Hope this helps.

  • Barb M. Barb M. on Jul 29, 2014
    Shelly, look for a tomatoe worm.