Need Help ID Possible Curly Leaf Virus/Other

NorcalChileGrower(8)July 17, 2011

I started this Burbank Slicing about a month ago in a neutral potting soil mulched with redwood and it started great, but about a week ago one of the side stems starting sagging and its leaves curled upward. About three days later most of the plant was doing the same, with the main stem curling over.

The current PH is slightly acid (at about 6), and I've given it an organic 5-7-3 fert twice in the span of a month. I've also sprayed it with a 3-in-1 Neem oil spray twice.

I may have overwatered for about a week preceding this, but not by much, and a drying out period hasn't helped it.

Any advice? Is it the dreaded CLV? From Jul 17, 2011

From Jul 17, 2011

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Doubt it's a virus. More likely physiological leaf curl.

What have your temps bee, both day and night.

Further, what size pot is that. Looks rather small.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 12:11PM
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NorcalChileGrower(8)

Thanks for the feedback.

I'm curious why you doubt it's a virus. I'm not eager for my plant to have one, mind you, and it would be great if it were true, but what lead you to that doubt? Note that the leaves are curled upward here, and the entire plant is leggy/tangly.

The temps have been uncharacteristically low, and relatively windy for mid-summer preceding and during this condition (around 75 with significant winds for the past two weeks). In fact, the plant was thriving the most during the 90 degree days and I've been hoping for a return to see if that would help.

The pot is fairly big. It was recommended by the nursery for tomato plants, probably 15-20 gallons.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 12:29PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

You asked "I'm curious why you doubt it's a virus."

At this time, not the typical appearance for virus. More likely physiological leaf roll in response to low temps

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 1:27AM
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NorcalChileGrower(8)

Hey, I appreciate the insight. It turns out however, this is a case of Curly Top Virus. a wide consensus between local growers was reached based on these pictures and others, and my own intuition leading me to the http://www.cdfa.ca.gov website since the problem never resolved. Our property and those nearby have had a high concentration of Beet Leafhoppers for years.

Apparently, this isn't only common in the area, but without row cover it's a near inevitability. Now I know.

The hardest part is its inability to ever recover. The good news is, as everyone knows, tomato plants grow quickly, so I should be back up and running with some Brandywines quickly.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 7:18AM
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behlgarden(9)

Wouldnt the new plants get the virus too? is it soil or plant issue here?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 4:58PM
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NorcalChileGrower(8)

@behlgarden, If we left the new plants unattended they would for sure succumb to this awful disease. We've made a 6' x 12' box cage out of pvc pipe and tied row cover to all sides of it to accommodate our new plants.

Technically it's a 'summer insect barrier' type of row cover allowing air, mositure and 90% light in, but no bugs, or birds.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 8:36PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Thanks for the feedback. So we all learn something new.

How do your plants look now? If they've changed, would you please post more images?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 10:27PM
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NorcalChileGrower(8)

@jean001a, We're starting over with seeds, so as soon as they hit the 2 week mark I'll put them into the row cover cage and be sure to post update photos.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 4:54AM
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