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Tobacco Mosaic Virus or Environmental Stress?


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Old 05-28-2011, 12:14 AM
widespreadpanic widespreadpanic is offline
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Default Tobacco Mosaic Virus or Environmental Stress?

I've got a major problem with my tomatoes. The branches are curling/coiling up and the leaves are leathery and brittle and also curling upwards. The new growth doesn't have this problem, it starts with the older leaves and works upward. My plants did the same thing last year, I'm wondering if the Tobacco Mosaic Virus was the culprit last year and now this year it has been re-infected. I don't know much about the TMV, and what I've read online hasn't convinced me whether or not this is the problem.

The fruit seems to be developing normally. I thought perhaps the issue was an environmental issue, here's a list of things I've altered checked:

Started using reverse osmosis water instead of tap water.

Changed nutrients from GH Floramato to Hydro-Gardens commercial tomato formula.



Altered flood/drain schedule various different ways.
None of these changes had any effect.

I have a garden hose with a metal end attached to a pump that is attached to my aquarium chiller. Could the low ph of the water be degrading the metal and producing some sort of metal toxicity?

Also I have a family of tree frogs living in my reservoir so there is a small amount of frog excrement in my reservoir.

All of my plants are different types of heirloom tomatoes.

Thanks for your time to read this and hopefully help me with a diagnosis and solution.




















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Old 05-28-2011, 07:02 AM
Rkfm Rkfm is offline
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What is your pH?
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Old 05-28-2011, 09:08 AM
widespreadpanic widespreadpanic is offline
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More details since the feedback I'm getting seems to pointing towards user error.

my ph stays from 5.8-6.2

my reservoir temp is 69-72 degrees

outdoor temp is in the low to mid eighties

my current flood cycle is every two hours, I have also tried once every six hours.

my e.c. is 1.0-1.5, I have tried higher amounts but the plants didn't seem to feed more.

I have been mixing my nutrients (chem-gro 4-18-38, calcium nitrate, magnesium sulfate) to the manufacturers instructions with reverse osmosis water.

The only thing I haven't done is add calcium chloride as directed by manufacturer since my base water has under 50 ppm calcium.

Could it be a calcium deficiency?

Last edited by widespreadpanic; 05-28-2011 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 05-28-2011, 09:34 AM
Rkfm Rkfm is offline
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The yellow leaves with green veins points to a micro nutrient deficiency, either Zinc, Manganese or Iron (if those are young leaves). A calcium deficiency would be tip burn and/or brown spots.

The leaf curl is pretty common depending on the cultivar, and it isn't a serious problem.

Maybe leach the solution and try some CalMag?

I had the same symptoms briefly on my tomato plants but it went away after a res change. I think it was an iron deficiency from my pH being off.
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Old 05-28-2011, 02:59 PM
widespreadpanic widespreadpanic is offline
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Default Leach

I recently leached the system for 36 hours with straight reverse osmosis water. I drained the system once during that period and refilled so that by the end of the 36 hours, after many floodings, the TDS was 30 ppm.

I then followed the instructions exactly on my chem-gro fertilizer, with the exception of not adding calcium chloride (don't have it). They said that if calcium in base water was below 50 ppm to add it.
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:17 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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What do the roots look like?
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:39 AM
widespreadpanic widespreadpanic is offline
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Thx for helping GPS, its highly appreciated.

I'll check the roots tomorrow, but the last time I had to pull a sucker growing from the root region, when I dug down in the hydroton, they seemed white and healthy.

It's worth noting that some strains seem to be fairing way better than others.

I have, I think, 15 strains growing in the system, perhaps some are more sensitive than others to whatever the issue is.

I'm keeping notes, and if I can't figure out whats going on maybe I'll just need to grow the varieties that perform the best.

The worst, hands downs, seems to be the green zebra.

Last edited by widespreadpanic; 05-31-2011 at 12:55 AM.
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:18 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Hello widespreadpanic,
good have you back posting in the forum again. Hope all has gone well (except for this tomato problem of coarse). It looks like the first system you built if I remember correctly.

My first thought when I saw the pics was it looks like a magnesium deficiency. But I have a hard time with that because you have used 2 different nutrients, from two different manufactures, and both were specifically for tomato's. So I just have a hard time thinking it's nutrient deficiency for that reason. However I forgot to ask how often you change your nutrient solution, what the size of the reservoir is, and how many plants are in the system/s. If you aren't changing the nutrient solution out regularly (and/or often enough), or if your reservoir is to small to accommodate the amount of plants feeding from it, that could lead to deficiency no mater what brand of nutrients your using. Not enough water volume per plant can also lead to big fluctuations in nutrient concentrations, causing a toxicity one day, then deficiency the next. That consent fluctuation causes all kinds of nutrient problems too (regardless of brand of nutrients used).

But assuming you change your nutrient solution regularly, and have sufficient water volume to feed all your plants. I would guess it's probably more like a root disease, fungal disease (most likely in the root zone), or virus. That's why I was asking what the roots look like. I'm also suspecting that the family of frogs in your nutrient solution may play a part as well. I'm not sure, but I think it's possible they could have spread disease to your plants through the nutrient solution. Either directly, or from pathogens, bacteria, and/or fungus from the frog excrement, or feeding/growing from it.

Viruses can easily be spread through the air, as well as insects/pests. Viruses typically cant infect the plant unless there is damaged tissue (like from insects, cuts, or diseased tissue). The insects themselves can transmit the virus to the plant too. But as far as I know there isn't much you can do about viruses once the plants are infected. About all you can do is take caution to prevent new plants from being infected. Like the burning of infected foliage, or disposing of it sealed bags. Then using resistant varieties in the future. The Tobacco Mosaic Virus does look like it could be a issue, though I haven't read enough to know if it typically affects older foliage first. But I have read that TMV symptoms include various degrees of chlorosis, as well as leaf curling, so I couldn't rule that out yet either.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 05-31-2011 at 04:40 AM.
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  #9  
Old 05-31-2011, 09:31 PM
widespreadpanic widespreadpanic is offline
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I've been real busy and haven't had time to check the roots, but to answer your other questions:

I change the nutrient solution every week.

The reservoir size is 55 gallons.

I chill it to 68 degrees f.

I have 18 different heirloom tomatoes growing in the ebb and flow system.

It is from greentrees hydroponics and the 2 bucket system keeps about 1/4 inch of water in the bottom bucket. When I cleaned out the system last year I realized the roots grow through the perforated top bucket into the bottom bucket, so there are some roots that sit in water constantly.

Do you think I should put an airs tone in the the reservoir?

Thanks for your help, I'm really hoping this is some kind of user error and not disease.
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:29 PM
imperialgardner imperialgardner is offline
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Default Tmv

Looks alot like TMV, BUT...TMV hits the tops of the plant first in my experience. The younger leafs will show spotty light green coloration, sometimes evenly around the leaf margins. This may go away but it is just the first signs. The newer top growth will develop a sickly light green color,looks kind of like an Iron deficiency and leafs will be narrow and sometimes misshaped, starting to dwarf and look fern like. Vertical growth will all but stop,the stalk towards the top of the plant may thicken . The fruit will also be affected. They will look like they have every type of blight, BER, bacterial spot you can think of all at once and will fall off. Flowers will fall off also. I dont think from your pics that this is the problem, looks more like a deficiency. Best of luck.
PEACE

Last edited by imperialgardner; 06-03-2011 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:13 PM
Rkfm Rkfm is offline
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I haven't grown hydro outside before, but if you arw using hydroton as a media then I would think that you would need to flood way more often than every two hours. Especially once the weather got hot. Indoors with flood and drain with hydroton, a full grown plant will need flooding 15 min on 15 min off.

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