markgardener
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Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:05 pm

first tomatoes, disease or bugs

Hi folks. I have some spots, lines and some holes on my tomatoe leaves. Please help its my first garden. My early girl getting hit hard, and my cherry tonatoes a little bit.
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imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: first tomatoes, disease or bugs

The lines are leaf miners. They are caused by flies. The damage is mostly cosmetic. The fly larvae will be at the end of the trail, you can pinch it out.

Feed the plants and keep them healthy and they will tolerate the damage. Natural controls will take care of the flies. If you spray you will kill off those natural controls and the good bugs also control other pests that cause a lot more problems.

Because the leaf miner is inside the plant, topical sprays won't kill them. The adults don't hang around so a persistent insecticide would have to be used. It would not be worth it for me.

https://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05548.html
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

markgardener
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Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:05 pm

Re: first tomatoes, disease or bugs

imafan26 wrote:The lines are leaf miners. They are caused by flies. The damage is mostly cosmetic. The fly larvae will be at the end of the trail, you can pinch it out.

Feed the plants and keep them healthy and they will tolerate the damage. Natural controls will take care of the flies. If you spray you will kill off those natural controls and the good bugs also control other pests that cause a lot more problems.

Because the leaf miner is inside the plant, topical sprays won't kill them. The adults don't hang around so a persistent insecticide would have to be used. It would not be worth it for me.

https://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05548.html
Thanks for the tip. I ran out of dirt on this tomatoe plant so I was only able to fill it about 1/2 the way up on a 15 gallon fiber bag with handles. I only have two tomatoes, but they seem to have grown roots through the bottom of the bag!!! Last time I tried to move them they were stuck between ground and bag.

I guess what I'm asking is at this point think I can fill up the soil the rest of the way to add some nutrients and keep them healthier. Seems like its getting early blight a bit as well and possibly powdery milder also. My other cherry tomatoe plant with a full 15 gallons seems to be doing better . . . maybe its lacking nutrients, should I amend the soil with something and drop in some more dirt to fill it up? I have plenty of room till the lowest node, maybe it'll help it get more resistant. I feel terrible this poor early girl having so many troubles cause I was cheap and lazy :(

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gixxerific
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Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

Re: first tomatoes, disease or bugs

Good answer Imafan. 8)

If you like you can cut out the section of leaf the miners are in but other than that there is not much to done. They really don't do huge amounts of damage, so don't fret too hard.

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