curly tip virus

Okanagan(5b BC)June 29, 2006

Evidently my tomato plants (sob) have developed a curly tip virus of some sort. Not all of them -- yet. I pulled up a couple that were bad off.

My question is whether there is any point in taking away the branch tips and leaving what is not yet twisted? I understand the virus is being spread by the aphids I see there and I will spray those with pyrethrum tonight.

Should I immediately uproot any whole plant that has one lifting twisting damaged branch tip?



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Hi ok,

I'm not an expert at all, but do you know for sure you have a virus? Have you seen herbicide damage before? It certainly results in the newer growth curling right up. I live near a golf course, and they're busy spraying in the last couple of weeks; even though they never admit this, my tomato plants tell me - as they have for the last couple of years! My plants usually recover.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   July 1, 2006 at 9:28PM
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Okanagan(5b BC)

Jan --
Yep, seen herbicide damage. Did some myself when I tried a dandelion killer. Shudder. Bad call. I don't believe in that stuff...but this property is so neglected. Used to be rental.

Anyway, the reason I think it's a virus is it has been gradually getting worse and spreading. Some plants have been wilting in the heat for no reason, even when the soil is moist! Inability to uptake water is an effect of some of the viruses I read about. Also, I read it is spread by various pests like aphids and leafhoppers. The first and worst infected plant did have aphids. First I'd seen of aphids here.

Hard to do, but this morning I ripped out all those plants, which were almost a yard high, about 80 cm. THey just weren't bushing and growing like they should have. They were stalling. The branch tips were lifing up and starting to twist. It was spreading daily, not a one-shot deal.

Good to know they can outgrow one shot of damage, though, thanks for your reply.

Gonna try planting just half a dozen new ones, after inoculating the soil with garlic juice. Maybe I was wrong to rip up, but I think I did the right thing.

Sad, sad, sad. It really weighed on my mind these past few days and put me in a funk. But on the bright side, everyone I care about is doing okay, and I guess there's hope. At least I'm not living in Baghdad.

But I sure hope those weird looking pepper branches aren't the spread of the virus. I'm getting paranoid. I think I've seen slightly twisted or lifted branches before, but this was ridiculous. I guess you might have been right, but I"m not sure where herbicides would have come from. Certainly none of my neighbours need that for their gravel beds and plastic plants woven through plastic lattice. :) Don't get me started! :)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2006 at 10:55PM
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Oh okanagan, how disappointing! After all the work and hope we put into our toms! Sad indeed!

I know the feeling of wondering what to do. My plants are wilting in moist soil at the moment too, but I'm choosing to believe their root systems just haven't caught up to their top growth to cope with the hot weather that's finally come here. Hope I'm lucky and have guessed right.

Here's wishing good things for your peppers & new tomatoes! May they all grow tall enough to block your view of plastic! ;-)

    Bookmark   July 2, 2006 at 2:35PM
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torquill(z9/sunset15 CA)

Sorry to hear about the wide spread... and yeah, it sounds like you made the right diagnosis. I hate to say it, but peppers can get many of the same viruses, and Curly Top (if that's what you had) spreads to lots of things. I hope it was something a little more selective, if you have so much of a problem with it.

Spraying for insects doesn't seem to help that much, but eliminating nearby weeds may help. Also consider floating row covers; since tomatoes don't need insect pollination, you should be able to isolate them pretty well.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 5:39PM
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