The Q&A Archives: Tomato disease

Question: for the last two years we have had a tomato virus problem. Just as the tomatoes start to set fruit wherever the water touches them they get yellow spots with a small black spot in the center and all of the leaves fall off the entire plant. We have even tryed growing them in containers, but the virus must also be airborne as it affects container grown tomatoes also. We have bought the spray suggested by the local extension office, have put down straw around the tomatoes, all to no avail. Do you have any other suggestions.

Thanks, Bobbie Frost

Answer: The viruses that attack tomato plants are carried by insects. If you can control perennial weeds near your garden, and the thrips and whiteflies that spread the diseases, you'll have fewer problems with your tomatoes. Neem extract and insecticidal soap, such as M-PEDE and Safer Soap, are least-toxic options for control of aphids and whiteflies. Adequate coverage of upper and lower leaf surfaces with these insecticides is important for good pest control.

You might also try planting TSWV resistant varieties, such as BHN 444 Hybrid, Health Kick and Kewalo, Bush Celebrity, Bush Early Girl, Jetsetter, Big Beef, Dona, Celebrity, Keepsake, Sweet Cluster, Sweet Million (cherry), and Super Marzano (paste).

Sure hope this helps and you have a bountiful tomato harvest this year!

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