Re: [tomato] dappling leaves

Margaret Lauterbach (
Fri, 27 Feb 1998 07:46:03 -0700

At 03:49 PM 2/26/98 -0800, you wrote:
>I have a question for you more experienced (than me;) tomato growers.  I
>have Gold Nugget seedlings growing right now, and they have a curious
>dappling on the leaves of lighter green/yellow.  The newest leaves aren't
>affected, but I'm not sure if it just takes some time to appear or not.  At
>first, I thought it might be a nutrient deficiency, so I gave them a drink
>of dilluted compost tea about a week ago.  No change so far.  I normally do
>this when potting up, but might have missed these guys.  They are now about
>10" tall, and otherwise look healthy.  I have another 6" gold nugget which
>doesn't have this leaf discoloration, and none of my other seedlings have
>it.  I grew them from four year old seed (poorly protected for four years,
>I might add), so I was lucky to get any of these seedlings going, but I'd
>rather not risk infecting other plants, and I've plenty of other varieties
>that I'm more excited about growing.  Any ideas on what it might be?
>Should I just pitch these two and hope the third produces something?
>Thanks for any suggestions!
>Laurie Mandigo-Stoba
>San Francisco
This could be a virus, such as Tobacco mosaic virus.  Do you or any of your
guests smoke then visit the garden?  Or take cigarettes or cigars to the
garden and handle your plants?  It can be transmitted by smoke or by smoked
hands.  Cut off a branch and take it to your county agent for positive ID.
If it is a virus, you need to rogue it out and put the plant in your trash.
other viruses can be transmitted by aphids or whiteflies.  Your healthy
plant may already be infected and not show it yet.  Good luck (at least
it's very early in the season)...Margaret