Despite my fears of having to pull a quarter of my tomato patch due to curling leaves, those plants that exhibited signs of environmental stress are doing quite well and setting lots of blossoms and fruit.
I had broken down the walls of the little “wells” I planted them in so they didn’t collect quite so much water (some years we flood, some years we’re parched–some years we get both!). While the plants still have some leaf roll, they seem to be coming out of it as they mature.
However, it looks the the bottom leaves of some of those plants are exhibiting a little bit of leaf-spot–not sure of the exact type at the moment. It’s not bad though, so my management strategy, seeing that the plants look otherwise quite healthy and there are very few affected parts, will be to go out in the patch on a dry day with a pair of scissors and a jar of bleach water and snip off the affected branches, dipping the scissors in the bleach solution between each cut.
Then, I’ll re-apply the mulch I pulled off when I was trying to dry out the patch a bit, so whatever the disease is, it doesn’t splash up onto the plant again next time it rains.
Another interesting note on this issue–when I was weeding out the plants again yesterday in anticipation of the surgery and mulch-laying, I noticed that many of the lamb’s quarter around the plants that exhibited the leaf curling also had curled leaves. Hmm.
Despite all this curling and spotting and the like, these plants look like they’re going to do pretty well if things stay moderately warm and dry for the next few weeks. I can’t believe how many blossoms and fruits they’re setting!
However, I’ll be sure to give that part of the garden a few years of unrelated crops before planting tomatoes or any other nightshade there again.