Last season, curly top virus caused a significant decline in the quality of sugar beets grown in my garden as well as tomato. The steps I have taken so far include spraying with a preventative insecticide, (neem oil), removing affected plant materials, and practicing good weed control to eliminate sheltering locations for the leaf hopper vector.

The steps do not appear to work adequately as some of my plants are starting to show purple leaf vein discoloration, an early sign of infection. Yellowing is also present.

In addition to the control methods mentioned above, what other methods can I use? Can anything be done to the plants showing symptoms to preserve fruiting?

  • Welcome to the site Gregory! Would you please post some pictures of your plants, especially the unhealthy parts? Also, what type of soil are they in? Thanks! – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Jun 19 '15 at 3:26

You might be able to use a barrier to keep leafhoppers that carry the disease off the plants. I always cover my tomato plants with shade screen to keep the birds and pests off, and to provide shade during our very hot, sunny summer days. If heavy shade is not desirable then maybe garden fabric (floating row cover) would work for you. This site has some good information Curly Top on Plants and says the leafhopper that carries the disease won't feed on plants that are in the shade.

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