In talking to my neighbors it seems like a lot of us who have never had a problem with tomato plants before are finding that our plants are failing to thrive/are slowly dying. I'm wondering if it could be the curl leaf tomato virus and if so if we're experiencing some sort of acute problem with it this year in Albuquerque? Anyone had any luck in dealing with this problem?

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Mine are slowing dying now, too, but their yield has been so good for awhile now, I just kind of thought it was the recent weather pattern of the cooler mornings that shocked the plants and slowly started to shut them down for the year. To be honest, though, I wouldn't know what curl - leaf tomato virus looks like if I had it.
Yep, this has definitely happened to me this year and at least 2 other area gardeners. Last year cucumbers were a challenge for all of us and this year it's the tomatoes.
Thanks! I've definitely seen those little leaf hoppers on my plants, so I guess that's what I have...
Two died, two are WOW! overloaded! (I only planted 4)
so...curly top virus: it's around every year, but it does seem heavier in some areas one year, other areas the next. One approach that works best with determinant varieties is to cage them and completely cover the cage in row cover material (lightweight is fine). This physically excludes the beet leaf hopper, which is the sole vector moving this disease among about 300 potential host plant species. Tomatoes self pollinate, so as long as there is some wind movement getting through the row cover, fruit set will be fine. The row cover should be placed over the cages as soon after transplanting as possible. Some people have had luck with a light shading over the tomatoes - about 30% doesn't really hurt plant growth, and there is good evidence that the insect vector (beet leaf hopper) prefers to feed on plants in full sun. By the way, the leaf hoppers don't particularly like tomato, they sample all kinds of plants. So far no reliably resistant varieties are out there. There is another virus that is attacking tomatoes around town - tomato spotted wilt virus. This virus is also vectored by an insect, in this case thrips, and so like all viruses is not curable. however, an internet search for resistant varieties will turn up a number of options.
oh, by the way - if anyone wishes to confirm what disease is bother their plants, bring them to my office - the Bernalillo County Cooperative Extension Service at 1510 Menaul NW. If we can't identify the problem in the office, we can send it to our lab in Las Cruces at no cost to you. However, it works best for us to send plant material on M, T, or W, not Th or F.


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