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Planted my tomatoes two weeks ago, and returned from a week long trip to find them full of holes and generally looking sickly. The last week has been very rainy and borderline cool, which I know is not weather that tomatoes like, but I also see some tiny little bugs on the plants that I think might be the culprit. Seeing the damage on 4 different varieties, with pics posted below. In central Virginia BTW.

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Did you look and see them on or under the leaves? It looks like beetles/aphids are doing a number on your plants.

I would take some organic insecticides/pesticides, usually ones that contain oils and spray them on. Or, a very diluted soap solution, preferably something biodegradable. I'd then spray water gently to get the bugs completely off the leaves. You could also try to gently use a wet paper towel to scrub the branches and maybe the leaves. Remove all dead, yellow leaves. Apply very mild fertilizer to let the plants fight back and grow. Once they grow in strength and put out new leaves, you can add stronger fertilizer.

Look around your garden. Are only your tomato plants affected?

I'd apply the insecticide/soap solution on any other plants that seem to have the issue, and try to separate at least the potted tomato plants from the rest of the garden. Young tomato plants can also be transplanted safely.

Keep a close eye, keep removing any bugs on your plants and keep applying diluted insecticide till they are healthy again.

Best Wishes!

  • Sorry, I got the watering wrong. Water the sick plants ahead of time, use the pesticide/insecticide, give it a few hours for the bugs to die off, and then water again. Also, if you are going to try the paper towel thing, you could do it before using the pesticide. Thanks. – Srihari Yamanoor May 9 '16 at 5:09

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