Ninjakatz
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Tomato issues need help urgent

Hi,

These has been showing up om my tomato leafs recently and i really don't know what they are. I Badly need your help to know what are these and how to get rid of them. Thanks
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Tomato issues need help urgent

The marks are a little vague and unfocused. Did you recently set your tomato seedlings outdoors? If that is the case, the marks may be sunburn (aka sunscald). Tender tomato leaves exposed to direct sun can get burned. The burned areas are usually a bit thinned and feel drier and crispy.

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If that is not it, my next guess would be the marks left behind by some kind of leaf sucking insect. That could be aphids, rust mites, spider mites, thrips, etc. Check the undersides of the leaves, see if you spot anything. Some of these insects can be very small and barely visible to the naked eye. Try shaking leaves (especially ones showing marks) over a piece of white paper, see if little dots fall onto it.

Let us know if either of these seem to fit your situation and we can talk about what to do about it.
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Ninjakatz
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Re: Tomato issues need help urgent

Thanks @rainbowgardener. I'll get better photos tomorrow and post them here. Somehow these only affect the upper part of the leaf. No marks whatsoever st the bottom. Thanks again though.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Tomato issues need help urgent

When I said check the underside of leaves, I meant that sometimes you will find the bugs hiding there....

You didn't say if these were newly exposed to bright sun...
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Ninjakatz
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Re: Tomato issues need help urgent

I just checked the leaves that had issues and found these underneath.

Somehow theyre only affecting my tomatoes, the bell peppers and eggplants doesnt have these.

Could these be leafminers or blackfly?
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Tomato issues need help urgent

Not leaf miners and not blackfly. Probably wooly whitefly (possibly wooly aphids, they look kind of similar). In either case, it is the leaf sucking insect I was talking about. You do want to get rid of them. Not only are they sucking sap and weakening the leaves, but they excrete the excess carbs they take in as a sweet sticky substance called honeydew, which supports other pests and diseases.

Wipe each leaf down with a rubbing alcohol wipe to get rid of them, then rinse with water. That gets rid of the visible insects, but not necessarily the eggs, so you may have to do it again if more show up.

It helps to make your garden friendly to beneficial insects. Lacewings and other insects predators prey on them.
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Ninjakatz
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Re: Tomato issues need help urgent

As of now, I've cut off those that had the eggs and should I also apply rubbing alcohol to the leaves that shows these signs? I really appreciate the help on this one and hopefully this can take care of it. Will post updates soon as well.

Update: done applying alcohol to all leaves and rinsing them with water. Didn't see much of the eggs and mildew though.

Question though, will transferring location help limit this? I can transfer my plants to our 2nd floor balcony where sunlight is also available.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Tomato issues need help urgent

what you were seeing was not the eggs, it was the actual insect.

wooly whitefly:

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wooly aphid
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Re: Tomato issues need help urgent

Just found this guy underneath the leaves. don't see a lot of them though. Does banana peel help minimze them as well?
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applestar
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Re: Tomato issues need help urgent

That looks like a whitefly.

@Rainbowgardener, I didn't know there were *wooly* whiteflies as well as wooly aphids. :x (those photos are scary severe infestations :o )

I didn't know about banana peel as repellant until pepperhead mentioned it a while back. I still don't know if it's the smell or if the added potassium helps to strengthen the plants, making them less attractive and increase the plant's immunity..... but once infestation is evident, you do need to physically remove them somehow -- alcohol that rainbow mentioned, insecticidal soap, etc. (I suspect the fluff protects them from the milder solutions...)

Sticky traps are usually recommended to catch the flying winged buggers, especially in the south where whiteflies can spread virus -- yellowtop? curly top? -- can't remember the name of the disease for sure.
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Ninjakatz
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Re: Tomato issues need help urgent

Thanks @applestar.

I actually saw two of them earlier and squashed them right away. I'll test out the banana peels tomorrow and provide feedback if it does indeed help. Although it would be nice if someone who had first hand experience can share as well.
Somehow lady bugs and leafwings are pretty rare here which could have been a better option.

Again guys, thank you so much for the tips and suggestions. Really appreciate it.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Tomato issues need help urgent

If you don't want to do the alcohol treatment, you can try just spraying your plants (including leaf undersides) with soapy water. That would be a little bit of real soap (like Dr. Brunners or Murphy's oil soap, dish "soap" is actually detergent and can burn your plants) in a lot of water. Aphids particularly are pretty susceptible to this. But the "wooly" varieties are less susceptible being protected inside all the fluff. Still might work on them, if they are soaked well.
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Ninjakatz
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Re: Tomato issues need help urgent

Thanks. I did mix alcohol and liquid soap with water and that seems to work now.
Just would like to ask though, does transparent plastic cups slow the growth of the seedlings or do they just need more sun? We are heading towards the summer season although it's been raining hard for almost two weeks now.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Tomato issues need help urgent

I don't think the transparency of the cups should make a difference. When did you plant your tomato seeds and how many days did it take for them to sprout. Were they planted directly in those cups or did you transplant once already?
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Ninjakatz
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Re: Tomato issues need help urgent

I did transplant them once they had two sets of leaves and were about 3-4 in tall. Then I buried the stem just below the first leaves (cotyledons). We also had rain for the last weeks which might be affecting their growth as well. Ill post some photos tomorrow. Thanks!

Ninjakatz
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Re: Tomato issues need help urgent

Since its been raining for the last two weeks, the whiteflies are gone and the leafminers are back. Really don't know what to do anymore. Poor tomatoes and eggplants.

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Re: Tomato issues need help urgent

Tomatoes are heavy feeders so what are you feeding them? Usually stressed plants will be the first targeted by pests. At this time of the year most of the pests are out in force since there is so much growth with the warmer days. The best defense for the plants are healthy plants. Harden the tomatoes off to the outdoors and get them planted before they get too big. Inspect the plants and take care of pests early but avoid sprays. Plant to attract beneficial insects. Basil goes wll with tomatoes especially if you let them bloom. Fennel in a corner somewhere will attract a host of beneficial insects to the garden. Single marigolds, dill, buckwheat, golden marguerite, cosmos, coriander in bloom, Queen Anne's Lace, rudbeckia, achillea, alyssum, false heather, as well as flowering trees and shrubs will provide food and shelter for beneficial insects. When you have a strong garden patrol, they take care of most of the pests. Any plant that is heavily infested should be culled. Weak plants don't produce well. Keeping plants fed and watered properly and not leaving them in pots too long also helps. Keep everything sanitized. Pick up the fallen leaves, make sure the plants get good air circulation. Use hand methods like washing the pests off with water, putting out ant bait to control the ants, picking off the infested leaves, and hand picking pests. If you have to spray, make sure you use the right product for the right pest and the least toxic one you can that still kills the pest. Isolate sick plants from healthy ones if you can.
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