Author Topic: Spider Mites Attacking Tomatoes and Eggplants  (Read 3169 times)

EarthBoxAdmin

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Spider Mites Attacking Tomatoes and Eggplants
« on: July 07, 2017, 11:43:17 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, zenful6219. This user is located in Denton, TX Zone 8. This was originally posted on June 8, 2011.

I've posted this issue on another thread, but I thought I'd open it up again for discussion. I have tomatoes and eggplants in 3 earthboxes. I first started seeing signs of Spider Mites about 3 weeks ago when the bottom leafs of my tomato plants began to show stippled yellow marks. They eventually just dried up. The problem moved up the plants. Now, all of leafs on my tomato plants show signs of Spider Mites. I've done the white paper test and have confirmed them.

Now my eggplants are infested with them. Yikes!

I've been using the shower setting on my hose and spraying the undersides of leaves, a couple of times a day, but I don't know yet whether it's helping. I've also tried Dave's Dead Bug Brew, but the jury's out on that one as well. Now, I'm going to give liquid seaweed a go.

I was reading an article on http://www.dirtdoctor.com/dallasnews.php?id=464 by Howard Garrett. I guess he's a well-known horticulturist in Dallas. He states the following concerning Spider Mites:

Spider-mite infestation is a clear sign that water is not effectively being pulled up by the roots or moving into the plant. The problem can be caused by too much or too little water, chemically imbalanced soil, compacted soil or other environmental issues.

Liquid-seaweed spray is highly effective to rid plants of spider mites. In fact it works as well as or better than chemicals. Most mixtures that contain seaweed also will work.

However, the mites will reinfest unless you correct the problem that invited them in the first place.

I keyed in on the "too much or too little water, chemically imbalanced soil..." part. I've checked my boxes and they seem to be wicking OK and I use the AWS. The soil is moist like a well-wrung wash rag, so I think that's within EB standards.

I'm using potting mix from the "approved" list and mixed dolomite in the upper two inches or so of the box. The EB fertilizer is in a nylon stocking placed on one side of the box, away from plant roots. So, I believe I've got the basics of EB down.

I wonder what the more experienced EB'ers think of Mr. Garrett's contention and my question about whether the basic EB system is possibly causing the Spider Mite issue. Or, is it just the searing hot Texas heat that's sparking the surge in Spider Mite infestation?

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Re: Spider Mites Attacking Tomatoes and Eggplants
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2017, 11:44:53 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, gardendoc. This user is located in Ocean Springs, MS Zone 9a. This was originally posted on June 8, 2011.

Your spider mites are a result of the hot and dry conditions.  Are you talking about Capt Jacks DBB, it's spinosad and not effective on spider mites.  You're finding that while "soft" insecticides are useful to a point, once you have an infestation you need to use something more effective.  Malathion applied following label instructions is your best best bet.  And it has a PHI of 1 day.

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Re: Spider Mites Attacking Tomatoes and Eggplants
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2017, 11:45:52 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, zenful6219. This user is located in Denton, TX Zone 8. This was originally posted on June 8, 2011.


Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, gardendoc. This user is located in Ocean Springs, MS Zone 9a. This was originally posted on June 8, 2011.

Your spider mites are a result of the hot and dry conditions.  Are you talking about Capt Jacks DBB, it's spinosad and not effective on spider mites.  You're finding that while "soft" insecticides are useful to a point, once you have an infestation you need to use something more effective.  Malathion applied following label instructions is your best best bet.  And it has a PHI of 1 day.

I agree that the "soft" insecticides (Yes, I'm talking about Capt Jack's DBB) are only useful to a point. I'll try Malathion, but I consider that the nuclear option. By the way, what does "PHI" stand for?

I agree also that the spider mite infestation is most likely a result of hot and dry conditions. However, what is interesting is that I have tomato plants in plain ole raised beds not more than 10 feet away from the EBs and they are not showing the same kind of devastation. They are the same variety. They get plenty of water and regular treatments with tomato fertilizers, etc., and are much healthier.

I've been growing tomatoes, bell pepper, and eggplants in EB's for four years. But, I've never had plants that grow effortlessly, look as gorgeous as those advertised by Earthbox, or are as productive as promised. Just this past weekend, I saw someone selling EBs on HSN. They were showing some mature tomato and pepper plants. They were lush and green and just dripping with fruit. I understand it's possible they were grown in a greenhouse under perfect conditions and were there to make the EB product look as good as possible. However, when I compare that with my plants, mine never look that good. My pepper plants always look sickly, and although this is the first year I've had spider mites, my tomato plants have never looked as good as those grown in the ground, and they do not produce the same.

So, when I read the article by Howard Garrett, I thought maybe the problem is the EB system. Maybe it doesn't live up to the hype and I certainly don't find growing stuff in earthboxes to be as effortless as some make it seem. In fact, I believe I have purchased more insecticides and "snacks" and other remedies for earthbox-based plants than I ever have for my ground-based plants.

Having said all of that, I haven't given up on Earthbox. In fact, I ordered my 7th one from HSN this weekend.....DOH!

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Re: Spider Mites Attacking Tomatoes and Eggplants
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2017, 11:46:38 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, gardendoc. This user is located in Ocean Springs, MS Zone 9a. This was originally posted on June 8, 2011.

PHI is the post spray harvest interval; how may days to wait until harvest. 

I find there isn't any real additional chores, maybe some different, compared to in ground.  Dolomite for pH adjustment, the "snack" is just the recommended sidedressing , etc.

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Re: Spider Mites Attacking Tomatoes and Eggplants
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2017, 11:47:19 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, zenful6219. This user is located in Denton, TX Zone 8. This was originally posted on June 8, 2011.

I sprayed the plants with Malathion, but I believe the tomatoes are too far gone. This is the worst infestation of spider mites I've ever seen. I think it's probably best to just get rid of the plants to contain the infestation. I also sprayed surrounding plants just to be on the safe side.

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Re: Spider Mites Attacking Tomatoes and Eggplants
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2017, 11:48:54 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Jr. Member, oleander124. This user is located in Upper East TN; Zone 6B. This was originally posted on June 9, 2011.

Where do you get Malathion? I just discovered a spider mite infestation on my tomatoes.

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Re: Spider Mites Attacking Tomatoes and Eggplants
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2017, 11:51:39 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, cushman350. This user is located in Tomato Hell, Wichita Falls, TX Zone 7b. This was originally posted on June 9, 2011.

Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Jr. Member, oleander124. This user is located in Upper East TN; Zone 6B. This was originally posted on June 9, 2011.

Where do you get Malathion? I just discovered a spider mite infestation on my tomatoes.

What are some products that contain malathion?
Products containing malathion may be liquids, dusts, wettable powders, or emulsions. There are thousands of products contain-
ing malathion registered for use in the United States.

HERE IS A PAGE WITH LOTS OF DIFFERENT BRANDS CONTAINING MALATHION
http://www.bing.com/shopping/search?q=malathion&FORM=HURE

EarthBoxAdmin

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Re: Spider Mites Attacking Tomatoes and Eggplants
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2017, 11:53:25 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, Jobalternative. This user is located in Pueblo, Co Zone 5, 45000 ft. This was originally posted on June 10,
2011.


Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, zenful6219. This user is located in Denton, TX Zone 8. This was originally posted on June 8, 2011.


Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, gardendoc. This user is located in Ocean Springs, MS Zone 9a. This was originally posted on June 8, 2011.

Your spider mites are a result of the hot and dry conditions.  Are you talking about Capt Jacks DBB, it's spinosad and not effective on spider mites.  You're finding that while "soft" insecticides are useful to a point, once you have an infestation you need to use something more effective.  Malathion applied following label instructions is your best best bet.  And it has a PHI of 1 day.

I agree that the "soft" insecticides (Yes, I'm talking about Capt Jack's DBB) are only useful to a point. I'll try Malathion, but I consider that the nuclear option. By the way, what does "PHI" stand for?

I agree also that the spider mite infestation is most likely a result of hot and dry conditions. However, what is interesting is that I have tomato plants in plain ole raised beds not more than 10 feet away from the EBs and they are not showing the same kind of devastation. They are the same variety. They get plenty of water and regular treatments with tomato fertilizers, etc., and are much healthier.

I've been growing tomatoes, bell pepper, and eggplants in EB's for four years. But, I've never had plants that grow effortlessly, look as gorgeous as those advertised by Earthbox, or are as productive as promised. Just this past weekend, I saw someone selling EBs on HSN. They were showing some mature tomato and pepper plants. They were lush and green and just dripping with fruit. I understand it's possible they were grown in a greenhouse under perfect conditions and were there to make the EB product look as good as possible. However, when I compare that with my plants, mine never look that good. My pepper plants always look sickly, and although this is the first year I've had spider mites, my tomato plants have never looked as good as those grown in the ground, and they do not produce the same.

So, when I read the article by Howard Garrett, I thought maybe the problem is the EB system. Maybe it doesn't live up to the hype and I certainly don't find growing stuff in earthboxes to be as effortless as some make it seem. In fact, I believe I have purchased more insecticides and "snacks" and other remedies for earthbox-based plants than I ever have for my ground-based plants.

Having said all of that, I haven't given up on Earthbox. In fact, I ordered my 7th one from HSN this weekend.....DOH!

As far as peppers go, we had better success with the peppers we grew in our containers that were not SIP containers.  Those containers are 2ft x 2ft and 18 inches high.  They are filled with potting mix, earthworm castings, slow release fertilizer and covered with a fine cedar mulch.  The water system is drip and they receive a gallon plus water a week.

In our earthboxes, the peppers plants in all four boxes looked wilted and did not produce as well as the other planters.

Tomato wise, we found that it depends on the kind of tomato.  The 4th of July out produced our Black Krim, Cherokee Purple, and Zebra.  We like the Cherokee Purple and it takes 6 plants to equal the out put of one 4th of July.  Our 4th of July plant looked like a tumbleweed with tomatoes on it.  It looked nothing like the EB pictures, but it produced and produced.  The Black Krim looked like the pictures and produced one tomato. 

I like the earthboxes.  We have 20 with 14 producing this year.  We don't have room for the other 6 this year.  We have found that they are great for tomatoes, , melons, squash, eggplant, peas, sunflowers and basil.  We just didn't have any luck with peppers.

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Re: Spider Mites Attacking Tomatoes and Eggplants
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2017, 11:54:50 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Jr. Member, oleander124. This user is located in Upper East TN; Zone 6B. This was originally posted on June 10, 2011.


One more question...I've only seen them on a few of the older leaves at the bottom. If I control them with water showers and the Malathion, will my plants hopefully be alright? Or, are they pretty much doomed at this point?

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Re: Spider Mites Attacking Tomatoes and Eggplants
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2017, 11:55:49 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, cushman350. This user is located in Tomato Hell, Wichita Falls, TX Zone 7b. This was originally posted on June 10, 2011.

If you catch them early you can have more success. They have an initial hatch and then a second hatch. If allowed to achieve this second hatch, their numbers are exponentially so much greater and they have the ability to cause much more damage before gaining control and it's almost or may be too late. Keeping their environment humid all day for several days challenges their life cycle and help control them but not eradicate them. They are tough customers.

If you can decrease their numbers while they haven't spread to the rest of the plants you have hope. Inspect and remove all leaves than show signs of them, put them in a ziplock and trash them. Webbing on the underside of leaves and yellowing are indicators.

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Re: Spider Mites Attacking Tomatoes and Eggplants
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2017, 11:57:04 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Jr. Member, gkcin. This was originally posted on August 6, 2013.

Same thing in my earthbox I have eggplant and cherry tomato and I have experienced seeing white spiders and white things in my leaves took the white thing out it may be a web. Not that sticky.

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Re: Spider Mites Attacking Tomatoes and Eggplants
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2017, 11:58:38 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, alwayslearning. This user is located in SF Bay Area near SJ Zone 8b. This was originally posted on August 7, 2013.

Quote
I'm using potting mix from the "approved" list and mixed dolomite in the upper two inches or so of the box. The EB fertilizer is in a nylon stocking placed on one side of the box, away from plant roots. So, I believe I've got the basics of EB down.

BTW, even though it's easy and convenient, I -and others- abandoned the nylon stocking approach because it appeared to hinder the fertilizer from getting to the plant roots; the impact in my case was significant because of the large size of my fert granules.  Some folks use tulle tubes and/or finer fert with success. Not saying it's the case with yours, but thought it worth mentioning.