Skip to Content
Weed control, management, ecology, and minutia
by Bethany Allison
on April 22, 2020 at 5:10 AM
Wow, this is really interesting!! Thanks for sharing.
by Brad Hanson
on April 24, 2020 at 1:23 PM
Great post Scott! I went on kind of a similar orchard farm call a few years ago where the almonds at then end of every row in the middle of the field would grow ok for one year and then die in the second year. They'd replant and repeat.  
What we ended up deciding was that there used to be an irrigation ditch and canal road that ran through the field when it had been in annual crops. Before planting the orchard, they pushed the "road" into the canal to level the whole field and buried some long-lasting road herbicide down in the bottom of the old canal and it would take the almonds a year to get roots that deep and pick it up.
by Lydia S
on July 13, 2021 at 2:10 PM
This information was helpful. I recently moved to a new residence where I need to grow my vegetables in containers. My neighbor informed me that he has never been able to grow tomatoes here. My tomatoes are now suffering exactly like those in the example, twisting and curling. But since they are potted, maybe the herbicide is in the dust from the area?  
Also, my other potted plants are dying one by one; the leaves spotted and finally curling up dead. The only plant maintaining is the zucchini. However that is putting out tons of flowers, but tiny fruit. Do you think that the area is heavily affected by herbicide drift? Perhaps it could be a health concern?  
Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you!
by Bradley Hanson
on July 13, 2021 at 3:33 PM
Hi Lydia,  
You didn't say where you are located and it's hard to diagnose issues like this from descriptions anyway. Unless there are issues with plant injury around you, not just your garden plants (landscape plants, ornamentals and so on), drift wouldn't be my first guess. Also, while it is possible for herbicides to move on dust, most of the time it is really hard for for enough herbicide get "off" the dust for the crop plant leaves to take up and the amount is rarely enough to contaminate soil to the point of crop injury.  
With potted plants, I think irrigation and/or fertility issues are a much more likely culprit (my own garden tomatoes suffer from a combination of poor fertility and what I think is vertacillium wilt and look a little like some of the photos in this post). You might want to check with your local county cooperative extension office, there may be a local master gardener program who could help diagnose your issue. Good luck!
by C. Scott Stoddard
on July 26, 2021 at 5:08 PM
Hi Lydia --  
I agree with the comments by Dr. Hanson. I will also add that it is possible you are seeing 2,4-D "lift off" from the application of this herbicide to the lawn. 2,4-D is a common herbicide used with weed and feed fertilizers that are frequently used by homeowners. This would cause the twisting symptoms you describe, but not the spotted and dying problems in the other vegetables.
Leave a Reply:

You are currently not signed in. If you have an account, then sign in now!
Anonymous users messages may be delayed.

Security Code: