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Old October 15, 2017   #1
elight
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Default Just can't figure this out - help needed!

Please see the below photos of what's going on with almost all of my 15 tomato plants. The leaves are misshapen/shrunken, crinkled, and yellowing around the edges. Here's what I can tell you:

1. It's not the seedlings. Some I grew from seed myself, others were purchased from a store.

2. It's not the soil/potting mix. There's a mixture of raised bed, EarthTainer and grow bags here. It's affecting all of them, including ones that have straight up Pro-Mix, and the raised beds that have completely different media.

3. It's not the containers. I bleach them out between seasons, and some of these are brand new.

4. I don't think it's herbicide damage. I had similar damage last season and chalked it up to that. But this time around, even a few plants that I planted out weeks after the earlier plants started to show signs of this are also now showing it.

Fertilization is at recommended rates with Foliage-Gro Pro, and switching a couple weeks ago to Texas Tomato Food, so I don't think that's it. There are still 2 plants not showing any signs of this.

Any thoughts appreciated!
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Old October 15, 2017   #2
Fred Hempel
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It looks like a Mosaic virus to me (TMV or ToMV) to me.

If your other plants do not look like that, I would remove that plant ASAP and throw it in the garbage.

If it is disposed of in the yard, or composted you will likely be spreading that virus for years to come.

Do not touch other plants after disposing of that plant, and wash your clothes.


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Old October 15, 2017   #3
Fred Hempel
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The other alternative is severe nutrient deficiency. If all plants in the same soil look like that, it might be nutrient deficiency.
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Old October 15, 2017   #4
ginger2778
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To me it looks like Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus. Look under the leaves, Do you see any whiteflies?
It's for sure a virus, IMHO, treat it exactly like Fred said. Also a good ideal put out yellow sticky traps, these insects mostly are very strongly attracted to the yellow, and they stick there.
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Old October 15, 2017   #5
elight
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Thank you both. In looking at photos of both viruses, I would say that the yellow leaf curl virus is probably the answer, especially given the prevalence in Florida as of late (based on some stuff I just read from the extension office). I don't see the "mosaic" patterns on the leaves. I guess that's relatively good news since it doesn't seem nearly as nasty as the mosaic virus.

I do use the yellow sticky whitefly traps and spray occasionally with Neem or spinosad to control whitefish and leaf miners. I guess perhaps not enough.

The only plant right now showing no signs is a Pink Berkeley Tie Dye.

I think the (also-diseased) citrus trees in my yard contribute to the whitefly problem. I'm probably having them removed soon since they are no longer producing edible fruit.

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Old October 15, 2017   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elight View Post
Thank you both. In looking at photos of both viruses, I would say that the yellow leaf curl virus is probably the answer, especially given the prevalence in Florida as of late (based on some stuff I just read from the extension office). I don't see the "mosaic" patterns on the leaves. I guess that's relatively good news since it doesn't seem nearly as nasty as the mosaic virus.

I do use the yellow sticky whitefly traps and spray occasionally with Neem or spinosad to control whitefish and leaf miners. I guess perhaps not enough.

The only plant right now showing no signs is a Pink Berkeley Tie Dye.

I think the (also-diseased) citrus trees in my yard contribute to the whitefly problem. I'm probably having them removed soon since they are no longer producing edible fruit.

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The whiteflies that affect tomato plants are the silverleaf whitefly, called that because it turns brassica leafs silvery, they get a silver sheen. There are more than 30 species of whitefly in florida.

I put my yellow sticky traps out every 5 feet, and keep them a little below the top of the tomato plants.
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Old October 15, 2017   #7
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TYLCV is incurable, will cause your plant's growth to be stunted, and will cause fruit to get uneven ripening, and a hard core throughout the internal sections of the fruit. It's a heartbreak. I would pull at the very first sign of the first curling shrinking yellowing leaf.
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Old October 15, 2017   #8
elight
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Any thoughts on other things I could plant at this point in Central Florida until it's time to plant out again in February? Hate to have an empty garden.

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Old October 15, 2017   #9
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Zone 9b- Larry, and Barb_FL both grow a lot of Broccoli. The silverlesf whiteflies change their leaf color, but don't really bother the production. Cucumbers like winter, lettuce can only be grown then here. I suggest looking at the UF Edis Ifas site and searching for what to grow in central FL in the winter.
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Old October 17, 2017   #10
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Marsha, I have never been afflicted with the the TYLCV virus until this year and it has devastated my fall tomatoes. The whitefly problem has been the worst I have ever experienced in over 40 years of gardening. I just knew when they got so thick back in August that things were not looking good for my fall tomatoes. I just had no idea how bad it could be. If it weren't for this site I would have had no idea what was stunting my new plants like that. I knew it wasn't iron deficiency or nitrogen deficiency. It didn't look like any herbicide damage that I had ever seen nor any tomato disease I had ever encountered. I have already pulled several beds of tomato plants that were so stunted and performing so poorly as to be useless. I guess I will have to remove far more of them.

It looks like from my inspection of my tomato plants yesterday that there are only a few that are not infected with the TYLCV virus. Most of them have fruit on them so I am wondering if there is any need to remove them since there are so few healthy plants that if I remove all the diseased ones there won't be much point to leaving just a couple that will probably come down with it before long. I am a total novice at dealing with this problem. I had a friend of mine who has been farming tomatoes commercially to look at my plants and he had never seen it before either; but like me he thought it must be some new virus or disease. I have been growing tomatoes in the fall off and on for nearly four decades and I am surprised to have never encountered this problem before; but I have never had whiteflies this bad either. It almost seems blasphemous to say this but this is worse than Late Blight since there seems to be no way to mitigate the problem. There is no way I could ever put up enough sticky traps to have ever made a dent in the whitefly population. They are everywhere here and on most every plant and weed.

I am just hoping that the cooler weather and high winds that moved in yesterday will start to really thin out the whiteflies so my fall crops can have a chance. They will ruin young fall plants in the garden as I have seen them do to fall beans and cucumbers and baby mustard plants just emerging from the ground. I heard about a guy around here who set out a large amount of broccoli plants commercially last month who lost them all to whitefles. I have been keeping all my cole crops in the greenhouse until yesterday in an attempt to wait out the whitefly invasion; but they are getting too large and need to be hardened off so I set them outside and will hope for the best. I also planted mustard, turnips, and carrots yesterday. I have just run out of time waiting for the whiteflies to thin out and have to get some things started and I may have waited too long for some of them but what can you do?

Marsha, thanks for the info on TYCLV. No matter how long I garden it seems that every year or so I see something totally new and baffling. Before Tomatoville it was tough sledding trying to get info to help with problems like this. With the devastation that the whiteflies have inflicted on my plants this year I would just as soon never have seen this particular problem.

There is always another year until there isn't.

Bill
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Old October 17, 2017   #11
Fred Hempel
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I agree. It does look more like TYLC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ginger2778 View Post
To me it looks like Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus. Look under the leaves, Do you see any whiteflies?
It's for sure a virus, IMHO, treat it exactly like Fred said. Also a good ideal put out yellow sticky traps, these insects mostly are very strongly attracted to the yellow, and they stick there.
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Old October 17, 2017   #12
seaeagle
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Default White Flies

This was the first year I had ever seen a White Fly. It wasn't until early September that I noticed them. They only attacked the the 2 Eva Purple Ball plants and none of the others. Must have been those pesky Black Forest White Flies It looked like millions all over the plants.

Here is what I did. I added enough water hose to reach the garden and right before dark blasted those suckers with the water hose, from the bottom and from the top. Looked again the next evening and there were still a few left so blasted them again. Problem solved. I guess their little white wings couldn't take the pressure. Solution courtesy of The Farmers Almanac website.

Both Eva's survived and prospered and picked a load off them yesterday before we had this shot of cool weather. Will still pick a lot more but the great taste will be gone but good for salads.
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Old October 17, 2017   #13
Fred Hempel
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We have been breeding in southern Baja where whiteflies inject TYLC into most every plant. The first year there we found that about 2/3 of our tomatoes were very susceptible to this disease.

Since then we have been strongly selecting for resistance. In resistant plants you can see infection in upper leaves has stopped right at the sight of infection (it does not quickly move through the plant from cell to cell.

We have also found that plants selected for TYLC resistance also seem to resist other viruses as well.

Give our experience, finding varieties with any viral resistance may help, and you can expect a significant minority of varieties without advertised resistance will have it as well. You might have just got unlucky in your selection this year, but I would definitely save seed from that Pink Berkeley Tie Dye. Because I would bet that it has been infected, but it was able to resist spreading. Look on the upper leaves. If you see little yellow dots it will indicate infection sites where the virus did not spread.

Disclaimer RE seed saving: The seed we have collected resistant plants does not seem to be infected. But infected seeds from resistant plants have been reported. I would definitely use bleach or TSP during seed processing to reduce this possibility.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elight View Post
Thank you both. In looking at photos of both viruses, I would say that the yellow leaf curl virus is probably the answer, especially given the prevalence in Florida as of late (based on some stuff I just read from the extension office). I don't see the "mosaic" patterns on the leaves. I guess that's relatively good news since it doesn't seem nearly as nasty as the mosaic virus.

I do use the yellow sticky whitefly traps and spray occasionally with Neem or spinosad to control whitefish and leaf miners. I guess perhaps not enough.

The only plant right now showing no signs is a Pink Berkeley Tie Dye.

I think the (also-diseased) citrus trees in my yard contribute to the whitefly problem. I'm probably having them removed soon since they are no longer producing edible fruit.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A5000 using Tapatalk
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Old October 17, 2017   #14
b54red
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Hempel View Post
We have been breeding in southern Baja where whiteflies inject TYLC into most every plant. The first year there we found that about 2/3 of our tomatoes were very susceptible to this disease.

Since then we have been strongly selecting for resistance. In resistant plants you can see infection in upper leaves has stopped right at the sight of infection (it does not quickly move through the plant from cell to cell.

We have also found that plants selected for TYLC resistance also seem to resist other viruses as well.

Give our experience, finding varieties with any viral resistance may help, and you can expect a significant minority of varieties without advertised resistance will have it as well. You might have just got unlucky in your selection this year, but I would definitely save seed from that Pink Berkeley Tie Dye. Because I would bet that it has been infected, but it was able to resist spreading. Look on the upper leaves. If you see little yellow dots it will indicate infection sites where the virus did not spread.

Disclaimer RE seed saving: The seed we have collected resistant plants does not seem to be infected. But infected seeds from resistant plants have been reported. I would definitely use bleach or TSP during seed processing to reduce this possibility.
I went out and checked my all my remaining plants which is over 60 still in the garden and found that even the ones I wasn't sure were infected are. There are no varieties that are not showing the effects of the disease but some are showing far less extreme signs of it than others. There are probably around 25 or more different varieties out in the garden now. Since they all have it I am just going to leave the ones with tomatoes and see if I can get some more decent eating fruits off them before the real cold weather gets here. I have noticed that a lot of the fruit I have eaten lately does have that kind of uneven ripening and sometimes that kinda solid type center that Marsha mentioned but they still taste way better than the ones in the store.

The whiteflies are definitely thinning out and the only thing it could be is the extreme windy and cooler weather since I gave up spraying them a week ago because it was just so hopeless. It is so windy that the carrots, mustard and turnips I planted late yesterday afternoon and watered thoroughly just before dark were in need of water again by eight this morning. If this wind keeps blowing like this I will have to water several times a day to get a good stand. I have learned that keeping the soil surface moist makes a big difference in germination of small seeds.

The wind is so bad that all the leaf footed bugs were clustered this morning in bunches to stay out of the wind so I blasted three different clusters all at different stages of development from young juveniles to full grown adults. Wow that was an easy way to kill a lot of pests and use just a few sprays from a hand spray bottle with Permethrin and Dawn. I will keep checking the different plants for more leaf footed bugs and stink bugs the next few days because the fewer here when winter comes the fewer I'll have to deal with next year. I hope.

Bill
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Old October 17, 2017   #15
ginger2778
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Quote:
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Disclaimer RE seed saving: The seed we have collected resistant plants does not seem to be infected. But infected seeds from resistant plants have been reported. I would definitely use bleach or TSP during seed processing to reduce this possibility.
Fred, unfortunately, TYLC virus gets into the seed germplasm(its now been proven and published), so TSP and bleach won't help there.
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