Only you can prevent curly top virus
I only lost one tomato plant last year to curly top virus, but I know Carol, one of our fellow dirty gardeners, lost most of hers. In the past, gardeners have been told there's nothing much to do, other than physically covering plants with a row cover this time of year to prevent the beet leaf hopper from landing on them and infecting them.
When I was at the extension office on Monday, Bob Hammon was telling a group of gardeners about a fairly new insecticide that's supposed to prevent curly top virus. It's Ortho Bug-be-Gone systemic, with acetamiprid as the active ingredient.
I haven't used many insecticides in my garden, because I never wanted to start spraying without knowing what I was doing. I feel a little more confident (plus, I'm tired of seeing the bugs win!) after taking the Master Gardener class and chatting with experts about how and when to apply.
Conditions have been perfect for that stinkin' beet leaf hopper to fly, plus I'm already seeing what leaf miners are doing to my spinach and my beet tops. I'm sure they'll find the Swiss chard soon. The insecticide is supposed to work against all those piercing sucking types that ruin spinach, beet greens, Swiss chard - AND cause curly top virus.
I found some spray at True Value on North and am planning on using it this weekend.
Bob said one spray now and another spray in 10 days should be all you need. Sounds good to me.