So, I've got a major thrip problem, and Tomato spotted wilt Virus has affected my entire crop of tomatoes, chillis and bell peppers.
I'm starting the sad task of destroying my 30-odd plants. I've hung on for as long as I could, and sprayed with soap and garlic and chilli spray, but the plants are too way gone now for anything.
I'm pretty devastated, but need some practical advice about what to do now, because I pretty much want to get over this disaster, and get some new seeds in right away.
I grow in containers - so it's not so difficult to pull down the infected plants and throw them away (heartbreaking yes, but... if I have to, I have to).
I can bleach the pots, etc
But, how do I prevent reinfestation?
I will have to put the containers BACK in the same positions they were in... give or take a foot or so. Is that a problem?
Do I actually have to throw away the soil, o is there some way of recovering it. I think it's pretty healthy - given that it's full of compost and vermicast and Effective Minerals, so I actually think it's good soil.
It's the thrips that carry the diseases after all, not the soil, pe se. Thoughts?
If I do have to get new soil that's fine... But could that be a possible way of how I got them in the first place? (The soil here is really bad quality, and not the 'western standard type compost' that I would be used to at home.)
What precautions can I take to prevent the next crop from suffering the exact same fate? How do I prevent thrips? in the first place and can they hang around, so I may never be rid of them?
I'm not able to buy diatomacious earth or beneficial nemantodes here, nor am I willing to use pesticides - if I can help it. Though if there's really no other option, I may have to consider it.
Any advice, please.