solar grass
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 6:45 am

Thrips and Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus - what next?

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.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 6113
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:43 pm

Look towards the bottom of this page.

Should be helpful


Green Thumb
Posts: 617
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:32 am
Location: Holbrook Az. zone 5b

I get thrip's every year all I have ever been able to do is control them. I have used Monterey Garden Insect Spray with (Spinosad) it works as well as anything I have ever used. I have them every year I think about the best you can do is try to control them. Maybe someone else has a better idea? good luck

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2105
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:53 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

The best thing is to grow virus resistant varieties. Since I practice square foot gardening and have 4 4'x4' boxes a virus can mean having to dig up a box and start over. I rotate my nightshades on a seasonal basis from one box to another. If the soil is not changed out it can take 3 years for the virus to clear up. Since my boxes are adjacent to eavh other it is easy for the virus to transfer from one box to another. Yes I would change out the soil in your pots. I grow my herbs and ornamental plants in pots - some very large. I have gotten to know the nursery specialist at Lowe's. When I need soil she will put together a "cull package" of busted bags. 6 - 12 bags shrink wrapped on a pallet for $5 - $10. The bags are mixed - some potting soil, some gardening soil, some top soil. I dump it in the trailer and stir it up. I use it in the garden, in pots and in my compost bins.

Found this link. ... tLOWRES.pd

Hope it helps.


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