Sick Tomato Plants
started my tomatoes in the middle of
July from seed left over from spring. I
started ‘4th of July’ and ‘Early Girl.’
I set them out the second of Sept. Then
last week or so I noticed some plants
were showing signs of stunting. So I
went online and discovered they appear
to have been infected with a virus
called bunchy top.
I don’t know
how they became infected. I had never
heard of this disease. Out of 34 I
planted, I have pulled up about 20
infected plants. So I went to the store
and replaced them with new tomatoes. Do
you think my replacement tomatoes will
become infected? What can I do to
prevent the disease from here on out?
Here is what Dr. Kevin Ong, plant
pathologist, Texas AgriLife, has to
say: “It is hard to make a positive
assessment without photos, but I think
it is more likely that this may be an
issue with herbicide carryover — was
mulch or top dress with compost (what is
compost source?) used that may have been
contaminated with herbicide? We get
issues with 2,4D contamination that can
result in bunchy-top symptoms. Also,
when glyphosate is misused, you can also
get similar symptoms but with the base
of leaves showing clearing/chlorosis.”
Going forward, avoid using mulch or
compost from unknown sources.
Soybean Cover Crop?
you think that it would be possible to
plant soybeans as a cover crop right now
(late September) in East Texas, or do
you think that the frost would kill
Soybeans are similar to regular green
beans in their cultural requirements.
For a fall crop, you would need to plant
them in August for them to mature before
the first freeze occurs. They are very
sensitive to freezing weather. Either
elbon rye or hairy vetch would make an
excellent cover crop for planting this
More on Soybeans
Soybean culture for homegrown edamame
seems to be rather rare in Texas, and
expert advice even more so. Any tips on
which varieties in our various zones
make the best edamame? I’m also
wondering when to plant for each zone,
how thick to plant, and where to get the
included is of the ‘Black Jet’ variety
that I planted in Southeast Texas about
June 1 of this year. The plants stayed
small and spindly.
We are glad to have some interest in
growing soybeans because Patty Leander
has been growing and researching them
for us for the past few years. Look for
her article on soybeans upcoming in our
upcoming March/April 2017 issue.
Looking for Star Fig
read the online article “Figs: A Texas
Heritage” by Richard Ashton. He mentions
his great aunt’s fig tree in Star,
Texas. I plan to plant a fig tree in my
yard in San Antonio to make preserves.
My family also was from Star, and the
best fig preserves came from that tree.
I would like to ask Mr. Ashton what
variety of fig tree was the one he
references in Star.
We were unable to contact Mr. Ashton at
either his phone number or email address
and his website was inactive. Perhaps he
has moved and if he sees this message
will let us know the name of the fig. He
was in his 70s the last time we spoke to