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A question for tomato growers about bugs & diseases

 
 
msolga
 
Reply Wed 1 Dec, 2004 07:25 pm
I decided to plant only one tomato plant (in a large pot) this year. Because of my smallish garden & also because I always ended up with more tomatoes than I could use, or give away ... Plus they require a lot of maintenance.

Here's my problem: My plant has grown beautifully Very Happy (5'4" tall!) with lots of flowers & tomatoes developing, but lately there has been some yellowing of leaves, plus some obvious attacks from bugs. Possibly as a result of some humid weather recently? I know about tomato dust & have used it in the past, but I'm wondering if any of you know of more environmentally friendly methods of attacking this problem. I'd rather not use poisons, if I possibly can.

Thanks in advance,
Olga
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 4,852 • Replies: 45
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Dec, 2004 07:34 pm
Oh, by the way, these are cherry tomatoes.

Also, any advice in growing tomoto plants in a pot (as opposed to the garden) would be appreciated. It's the first time I've tried this.
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Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Dec, 2004 07:36 pm
To-MOTO plants, are they a Japanese variety?
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Dec, 2004 07:37 pm
deted post
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Dec, 2004 07:39 pm
Mr Stillwater wrote:
To-MOTO plants, are they a Japanese variety?


Ok, I've fixed that, you librarian, you!

I wonder if there is such a thing as a Japanese variety?
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Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Dec, 2004 07:43 pm
Oh, I am SO hurt!


Need some more info in the kinds of bugs and symptoms. Toms are kinda hard to keep organic as some of the nasties need strong measures.
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Dec, 2004 07:49 pm
too much water?
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Dec, 2004 07:52 pm
You are not hurt, Stilly! You're all hot & cranky from the heat up there!

OK: Yellowing leaves on the bottom 1/4 of the plant & a few leaves that look "lacey", like something has nibbled bits out of them. A bit of browning on these leaves. Not too much damage yet, but I'd like to figure out how to stop it at this stage.
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Dec, 2004 07:54 pm
dyslexia wrote:
too much water?


Could be that, dys. I'm just getting used to this tomato in a pot thing. Maybe I've over-watered during some really hot days we've had.
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Dec, 2004 07:56 pm
I'll be back later to see if there's any further advice ... gotta rush now to make it to an appointment.

Cheers,
Olga
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Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 03:40 am
Bottom leaves are the oldest and the plant may be dropping them anyway. If you do spot any damaged leaves CUT THEM OFF STRAIGHTAWAYS and chuck em in the rubbish!

I was more thinking that you had damage to the fruit. Unfortunately the only way to be sure that any eggs laid in them won't hatch out when the fruit is ripe is to use a systemic pesticide and wait the required period of time.

The real problems tend to not be overwatering, but the sorts of things involving nutrition. I have an Assoc Dip in Horticulture donchaknow?
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 04:00 pm
reapeat post deleted
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 04:09 pm
Surprised Surprised Surprised Surprised Surprised

You are a man of many parts, Stilly! What a surprise!

Thanks for that. I had actually begun removing the damage plants, for aesthetic reasons! Laughing But will now continue with the process for the health of the plant. Trouble is, the way things are going, I may may not have any leaves left!! Quite a bit of fruit, though.

So it's poisons, huh? What a shame ...

I planted my solitary tomato over a couple of months ago, in a mixture of potting mix & compost. In a large pot. It took off like a bomb! Mostly like due to the fact that it had almost hot house conditions ... under a clear fibre glass roof. The problem reared it's ugly head only after I gave it a hit with Charlie Carp (fish-based fertilizer. Maybe I should have diluted it more?) Then crazy, rapidly changing weather conditions (extremely hot, then cool, then windy, then very humid - you know Melbourne weather! Rolling Eyes ) But recently I've moved it out from under the glass on it's little wheelie-thingie Laughing to a more exposed spot on my verandah.Now the damn thing is as tall as me! Staked, of course.

Maybe I should plant another, just to be on the safe side?
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crisscross
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Dec, 2004 11:03 pm
msolga

It sounds like you are not watering regularly - tomatoes should never be allowed to dry out (particularly important in a pot) and need to be given a regular watering regimen. Also, the lacy bits sound like a caterpillar (flip leaf over and check if there are tiny loopy green caterpillars on them). My solution for caterpillars is usually just to squash them as I find them. The yellowing leaves could also be a fungus (try not to get water on the foliage) and tomato dust is probably the best thing to use. If you want a healthy plant with lots of fruit, try watering in a bit of potash. Brilliant stuff.
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 3 Dec, 2004 04:51 am
crisscross

You may be right. I'm not used to this tomato plant in a pot situation! Confused First I thought I'd over-watered, so cut down. Maybe the soil got too dry?
Much easier to just plant straight into the garden, I'm discovering.

OK, then ... Tomato dust. Sad

Potash? I've never used it. Tell me more! Very Happy

Welcome to A2K, crisscross. Nice to see another Aussie here! Very Happy There are quite a few of us now! Enjoy!
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Dec, 2004 06:01 pm
First the good news: My first 2 little cherry tomatoes have ripened! Surprised Very Happy
Now the bad news: After removing all the damaged leaves my tomato plant hardly looks a thing of beauty anymore. And what's left is sprinkled with tomato dust! Sad
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PamO
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Dec, 2004 08:41 am
Hello and welcome Crisscross....What is this potash you mentioned?

Msolga, thanks for this thread...I have 2 potted tomato plants also with riddled leaves...

My leaves look like snail tracks...all squiggly and yellow where the creature ventured. Do you think the tomato dust can rid me of the snail feedings?

I've not used any chemicals thus far. Thanks again, PamO.
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Dec, 2004 06:12 am
It seems to be essential, unfortunately, Pam. Sad In a humid climate like yours I guess you'd need to to inhibit fungul diseases.
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Dec, 2004 06:15 am
Pam

Are you certain it's snails you have & not caterpillars? If you do have caterpillars, yes: snail dust!
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PamO
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Dec, 2004 08:09 am
I've not seen any caterpillars. I've only seen one small black snail slipping across a pumpkin that I had next to the tomato plants. He or she looked guilty. Wink

I went to the hardware store...and the guy told me to try crushed eggshells at the base of the plants. Apparently, the eggshells will cut the little guys up as they try to access the plant. I think it actually worked for a while...but now I see they must have found a new route up because I'm seeing evidence again.

Also, he said one could place a plastic coffee can lid full of beer at the base. I'm not sure if that kills them, or if it just intoxicates them until they forget why they were there in the first place!
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