Tomato leaf curl virus is a disease of tomato, egg plant, cauliflower, potato and tobacco. The new leaves of a diseased plant are small wrinkled, bushy, and yellow between the veins. The leaves curl upward, like a cup. The flowers drop before fruiting. Diseased plants are stunted, and are found in patches in the early stage.
The leaf curl disease is caused by a virus which can survive in crop residues. The disease is carried from one plant to another by whiteflies.
How to manage the leaf curl disease
The virus cannot be killed by any product, but can be avoided. Some new varieties are resistant to the virus.
1. Collect and use seeds from healthy plants.
2. Apply farm yard manure to the base of the plants to produce healthy plants.
3. To protect your young plants from the whitefly you can make the nursery in a net house. You can buy the netting, such as a shade net at a hardware store. The netting has to be very fine so that the whiteflies cannot get in. Make sure there are no holes. You can make a small structure of poles and sticks over your nursery. Cover this frame with the net.
4. Grow sorghum, pearl millet or maize around your field to stop the whiteflies from attacking your vegetables.
5. Aromatic plants like fennel, coriander, turmeric, and mint repel whiteflies. So plant some aromatic plants around your field. Grow marigold or sunflower around your field to attract good insects.
6. Evenly distribute 12 yellow sticky traps per hectare. Keep them out of direct sunlight.
7. In case you see many whiteflies on your yellow traps or in your field, you can kill the whiteflies by making your own spray with ginger, garlic and green chilli.
8. In the early crop stage, you can also spray 10 ml neem oil mixed with 1 litre of water.