Wondering about Wilt

I have 6 - 4' x 12' x 12" raised gardens. Last year, did fab. This year, we've had crazy weather (freezing cold well into April) and had to replace plants twice due to frost burn. So, the garden is a bit behind this year, so I'm not where I should be on a normal year. However, things are starting to go a little, so I have hopes. My problem is this. One of my beds is for tomato plants, a variety from big boys to better boys to Amelia to Heinz. Average run of the mill tomatoes from the local Lowes. Planted, deep, caged, watered, etc. Plants grew quite nicely, although slow to start due to getting them in late. Started coming on well, nice fruit set, no obvious issues. All of a sudden, it got quite hot here (I'm in Charleston, SC, not sure what zone, but I think its 9). so I watered daily to keep up with the drying soil as the temps got into the 90's every day. No rain for some time, at least no to speak of to boost the garden. SO, about 3 days after the temps started rising, I noticed that during the day, even after I had watered, it looked like the plants were wilting. Overnight they would perk up, but then about 3 days after that, they stopped perking up, even though I watered. then they began to yellow, leaves curled, and the plant just stopped growing or doing anything. Tomatoes all over them, and they looked ok, but the plant itself, looked dead. SO research I did, for days on the web. I know I have wilt. I do not know for sure which one. I took out 3 plants, looks like I have 2 more almost gone, and 2 more starting to show the same signs. The soil in the bed was actually brought from a neighbor, who moved and told me to take the bed and dirt. So I did. Then she told me, btw I had the same problem with my tomatoes last year, same bed, same soil. So, by my description can someone tell me what wilt I have? It appears that I need to remove the plants from this bed and not plant them there again, but it looks like I am supposed to do that for 4 years! Can I not use this bed at all? Is there something I can plant in it's place that isn't susceptible to wilt? Should I remove all the soil and replace? The info on the net is so confusing that I am more unsure of what to do now than when I started. I understand that some of the plants that I had in there were supposed to be resistant, but they still went down. I tried to find more plants with the FVNT on them, but local stores show none of those letters. Some say disease resistant, but they don't say what disease they are resistant to. I can post pictures I think tomorrow as I didn't think abut it before writing this if it would help identify. I was hoping maybe I could plant tomatoes in a different bead that has gone through a Bush Bean cycle and move the second planting of bush beans to this bed. But I am not sure if the wilt will just strike again. Any help would be greatly appreciated, sure would like to get my tomatoes back on track for homemade salsa and sauce! Thank for listening!
Oh, and the soil in all of the beds, including the infected one, is a mix of black soil and mushroom compost, about 60-40 if I had to guess. I actually helped the neighbor put her box in, it was one of the reasons I took it, because I knew what was in it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thursday, June 12, 2014 9:12:11 PM UTC-4, Bunny McElwee wrote:


e

so

to



ed,


t

e

me,


k

h I

d





e,

l.

at


s

n

I


.

it


e

if

ure


of

y


I have had the same thing happen in my beds. I have taken 3 soil samples 3 different times to the local cooperative extension and they could not iden tify what was causing it. You can try tomatoes in the other beds but I wou ld be surprised if they do well. It is hard to believe that whatever is in the "bad" bed isn't in the others as well. In my experience other plants ha ve done just fine. Peppers, squash, zucchini and cucumbers have done well w ith no wilt. I too tried all the disease resistant plants to no avail. I fe el your pain and it is frustrating as hell. MJ
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thursday, June 12, 2014 9:12:11 PM UTC-4, Bunny McElwee wrote:

I have had the same thing happen in my beds. I have taken 3 soil samples 3 different times to the local cooperative extension and they could not identify what was causing it. You can try tomatoes in the other beds but I would be surprised if they do well. It is hard to believe that whatever is in the "bad" bed isn't in the others as well. In my experience other plants have done just fine. Peppers, squash, zucchini and cucumbers have done well with no wilt. I too tried all the disease resistant plants to no avail. I feel your pain and it is frustrating as hell. MJ
I was thinking maybe she got contaminated somehow, since I brought this particular box and soil from her house to mine (she lives 30 min away from me). Maybe she amended it at another time or something or introduced the disease from her plantings? Especially since she said she had the same problems with her tomatoes, and I never had any problems with them until I used her box. We got the soil at the same time, planted at the same time last year. She had problems, I didn't. Now I do, using her stuff. Your right, very frustrating, and very curious!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 12 Jun 2014 21:12:11 -0400, "Bunny McElwee"
some snippage...

Bunny, I had a very similar problem but mine involved peppers and basil. Some were in raised beds, like yours, and some were in large pots (whiskey barrel size). They started off well after transplanting then wilted days later once the heat hit them and the rains dwindled to nothing. Watering didn't seem to help them and they quickly died no matter what I tried. I pulled them up, gathering as much surrounding soil as I could, just in case. After checking everything, it seems the plants themselves were contaminated/infected, apparently at the nursery. The soil in the beds and planters was OK. I've since planted replacements where those bad plants were and the new ones are unaffected and still going strong. I hope that your soil is similarly not infected but it sounds like something bad was in the soil, from your description. Seems like it would have affected all the raised beds that had that same soil in them. Hmm...
As for the tomato plants themselves, when you pulled up the plants did you notice anything unusual about their root system? Do you know which varieties were affected? Could they have been heirloom types? Those old varieties have wonderful flavor but are not bred to combat certain pests and diseases. The stress of excessive heat and little rainfall certainly could have contributed to the plants' condition. There could be a variety of causes that worked against your plants. I know how frustrating it is to figure out the cause so that it doesn't happen again.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.