Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mosaic disease

The tomato is occasionally subject to a trouble allied to the mosaic disease of tobacco. It is characterized by a variegation of the leaves into light and dark green areas, usually accompanied by distortion and reduction in size. In severe cases a whole field may become worthless. While the nature of this malady is not fully understood, it is known to be due to a disordered nutrition of the young leaf-cells. It can be produced by severe pruning or by mutilation of the roots in transplanting, both of which should be carefully avoided. It is more likely to occur in seedlings that have made a soft, rapid growth on account of an excess of nitrogenous fertilizer or too high temperature. Close, clayey soils, on account of their poor physical condition, also favor the development of the disease after transplanting.

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