Herbicide Damage on Tomato Plants

Herbicides such as 2,4-D have a strong smell and can be easily detected when used. It has growth regulator-type activity and affected plants will show curling and twisting before they die. Non-lethal doses to tomatoes will cause curling and darkening or lightening of the leaves and potentially reduce yields depending on exposure level. If the exposure was bad, the plant will eventually die.

Below are more pictures of damage caused by hervicides.

9-1-1 for Affected Plants

Unfortunately, we may be able to control what we spray in our yards but not so much what is sprayed in the neighbor’s yard or fields. Or by their lawn service. Since a foliar method is used for application, this increases the chances of drift. Lately in our area, it has been quite windy, more so than usual. I’ve had a handful of people contact me about this.

Symptoms include twisted, curling leaves, and yellowing etc. It happens quite suddenly and there is little we can do about it except deeply water the suspected victim throughly and deeply (to dilute the chemicals.) and try and wash it off the foliage as much and as soon as possible.

Plants accidentally exposed should have affected leaves pruned off to prevent the spread ofthe herbicide deep into the plant.

Our neighbor uses a lawn service and we have told them the employees that we have a garden and about 10,000 plants that don’t take well to drift from their sprays and they have been very good about remembering that.

Why is My Squash Turning Yellow?

spaghetti squash 73118 - 1So many people come to me with questions about their gardens. I think one of the cutest things they tell me, is that they keep getting blossom end rot on their summer squash. You know, where, you get all excited because it is your first squash of the season. Every day you check on it with anticipation. Then, the horror of horrors, it starts turning yellow! Aaaahh! You babied it, watered it, fertilized it. Now, this.

More than likely, it wasn’t pollinated. Wind and bees are the primary ways pollination gets done. Mommy flower and Daddy flower get together, and well, you know how it works.

Squash, melons, pumpkins, and cucumbers are members of the same family and they often have problems with pollination due to the male flowers falling off before the female flowers open. 

Here is a great article I read this morning that tells you, in simple terms, how to get around that. Easy peasy and soon you will be giving squash away, right and left!

Here is the link and I’ve included the article to. Thank you to Harvest to Table for the great read.


hand pollination

Hand pollination is the manual transfer of pollen from the stamen of one plant to the pistil of another–that is from a male flower to a female flower.

Members of the Cucurbit family–squash, melons, pumpkins, and cucumbers–often have pollination problems because the male flowers commonly open days before the female flowers and so often drop before pollinators such as bees can transfer pollen from male to female flowers.

When female flowers are not pollinated, the fruit will never appear. The nascent fruits–bulging embryos–at the stem end of female flowers will shrivel and die if not pollinated.

If fruit is not forming on your Cucurbit family plants, you can help. Rub a small brush or cotton swab on the stamen of a male flower (it will be dusty with pollen) then rub the brush on the stigma of the female flower.

Hand pollination

Alternatively, you can remove the petals from a male flower and brush the stamen against the stigma of a female flower.

Which flower is male and which is female? Female flowers have a small bulge (a small immature flower) where the stem meets the flower. Male flowers are shorter than female flowers and often appear in clusters.