Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Adios Amigos - Saying Goodbye to My Beefsteaks

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Today I decided to pull two of my tomato plants which were sick. I am not certain of their diagnosis as I am not a tomato expert, but I know a sick plant when I see one.
The new growth is yellow and stunted. Blossoms fall off before they open. Some leaves are curled. 
The plants were healthy until a few weeks ago. Luckily we harvested some nice tomatoes off of these plants before whatever hit them came along. As a remedy I tried compost tea, Epsom salts and pruning. They only got worse. The cause is not likely a watering or fertilizer problem because my other 3 tomatoes are healthy and they receive the same care as the sick ones. I don't use pesticides so that's not the cause of their malady.

After reading several articles online, I have learned there are several things that can cause tomato leaves to curl. One such problem is a virus called tomato leaf curl virus. It is spread by white flies and causes stunted growth, yellow and curling leaves, and decreased fruit production. The online pictures looked like my poor plants, so although I am not certain mine have this virus, I made the decision to pull these two plants. That way, in case they do have the virus, hopefully it won't spread to the other three tomato plants. 
It was hard to see those plants go after nurturing them since spring. 
Gardening is not for the weak at heart. At least my other tomatoes are thriving!

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