More bad tomato news

The "wilt" or whatever it is got so bad that I pulled up several large plants that were not producing. Also trimmed all the foliage (infected, dried) from the remaining plants and left ONLY the tomatoes to (I HOPE!) ripen.
Asked the nursery and they said the weather here (Santa Monica CA) has been so overcast and humid that fungus or whatever has flourished.
1. I want to protect the remaining plants (volunteers -- not the ones from Home Despot that I tossed). Nursery sold me product whose label reads:
"Serenade garden Disease Control: Can be used for organic gardens. Fungicide that attacks harmful garden diseases." Active ingredient is QST 713 strain of Bacillus subtilis 0.074%.
This from AGRA Quest, not my favorite among corporate ag. giants.
2. Nursery guy also said that I should not replant edibles in that area; that I should remove the earth to a depth of (I think he said ) about 6" or more; that it would take "several years" for the area to recover. (Assuming it is infected).
That sounds pretty drastic to me; esp removing the earth. It's been suggested by a landscape friend that I PLANT some edibles, even tomatoes, in that area to see what happens to them. Perhaps wait until this unseasonable cool and damp gives way to usual summer heat.
What do you think?
TIA
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Nothing wrong with the concept of going fallow. Just away of saying not planting anything for a year or more. Not gardening is a lot like fasting easy to say difficult to do.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crop_rotation
--
Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden
What use one more wake up call?
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I played this game once Bill. If it is fulsarium or verticillium, 3 years is a hard minimum. For sure, I'd shop it around. See what Master Gardeners have to say and all that. I'm just not familiar with any other tomato disease that has a several year quarantine on it. It will attack all of the Solanaceae Family, and basil, among other plants. That said I did grow lettuce, beets, parsley, and chives in the same plot with no ill effect to them. Mrs. Lieberman may want to get a list of plants that's not affected by fulsarium, or verticillium wilts.
--
- Billy
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My fried Ralph about 4 miles away can't grow eggplant. This going on I'd guess 15 years. This from a S. Jersey truck farmer tradition. This wilt /disease stuff is a real concern and with the mold/fungus issues about we all must try to garden healthy or clean which is almost impossible as we encourage death and rot to become new life. Don't know.
--
Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden
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On Thu, 8 Jul 2010 12:11:12 -0700 (PDT), Higgs Boson

We had the wilt, as did the rest of the NE, pretty bad last year and lost tomatoes, cukes and potatoes. Re-planting last year, even in fresh, unused (bagged Miracle-Gro) topsoil, did not help. The weather was just too miserable.
This year is proving - at least so far - to be bumper for tomatoes and cukes. We garden in tubs and I did plant in fresh soil and compost. Flowers, beans, peas and greens went into the pots/tubs that showed blight last year.
WE will, probably, get some late blight, but that is common for this part of NJ and will show up later.
Boron
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Perhaps the nursery guy doesn't know what he is talking about, but he wouldn't have said to wait several years, if he understands late blight.
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- Billy
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wrote:

I have never gardened here in northern NJ and NOT gotten late blight. The hope is that most of the harvest is in before it gets really bad.
Although it is harbored in soil, it is also wind-borne and highly affected by the weather, so that a perfect storm of weather conditions can spread it early and rapidly. That is what happened last year and in a matter of days, whole commercial plantings were wiped out on some farms.
Many backyard gardeners do not have the capability of serious crop rotation or allowing parts of the tillage to lie fallow....the space available and usable just isn't that large., so we have our own workarounds.
Even with my tub/pot gardening and ability to control the soil and enhanced sterilization, late wilt is almost unavoidable with many varieties. It is just a fact of life in this climate, as is the near impossibility of successfully growing, say, peaches with no/little chemical intervention. Hot, humid conditions favor fungi. I have learned to live with it and if I want to grow tomatoes with the flavors and characteristics I prefer, then I have to accept the wilt, too. 'Taint fun.
Boron
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Thanks to those who replied.
Anybody used the chemical I described ?
"Serenade garden Disease Control: Can be used for organic gardens. Fungicide that attacks harmful garden diseases." Active ingredient is QST 713 strain of Bacillus subtilis 0.074%.
Your results?
TIA
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Dear Mrs. Lieberman, I think the point here is, that with or without your mellifluous sounding disease control, you have a waiting period of 3 to 10 years before the soil is once more safe. Outcome doesn't change. What does that say about the efficacy of your purchase?
--
- Billy
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There is one way to go that has not been mentioned: that is to plant verticillium/ fusarium resistant tomatoes. I have verticillium here in various spots; this was an old almond orchard and the disease is left from then. That was over 25 years ago and yes it is still here. But I plant tomatoes that have VF1F2 following the name and also rotate my planting spots every year. I like Park's Whopper and Park's Beefy Boy. They also hold well in our hot summers.They will also keep going until freezing temps, so you could still get a crop... if you can find them.
Also, this cold, wet, cloudy winter was also responsible for the fungal Rust on the roses. It's going away with the hot, dry weather recently. But it's still much more humid here than usual.
Emilie NorCal
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Tell me again. How much cooler are you than the big town next to you? What was your temp today? Just comparing terroires. We were only 76F today.
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- Billy
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Good call, if Mrs. Lieberman would go to <http://msucares.com/newsletters/pests/infobytes/19990325.htm she will see a list of resistant tomatoes. Park's Whopper seems to be resistant to everything and only needs 65 days or so to get to maturity. Dang, Mrs. L could grow it from seed if she wanted. Days to Maturity Large Fruit Varieties Park's Whopper Improved VFNT 65 days Better Boy VFN 70 days Lemon Boy VFN 75 days Enchantment VFN Celebrity VFNT 75 days Miracle Sweet VFNT Abraham Lincoln Improved VFN 75 days Daybreak VF Floramerica VF Sunmaster VF Mountain Delight VF Mountain Pride VF Mountain Spring VF Sunny VF Giant Beefsteaks Varieties Big Beef VFNT 75 days Beefmaster VFN 75 days Burpee Supersteak VFN 85 days Small Fruit Varieties Sweet Chelsea VFNT Small Fry VFN Supersweet 100 VF Cherry Grande VF Maya VF Golden Cherry FT Suncherry FT Patio Tomatoes Variety Patio VF Check with your garden supply store for other varieties which are resistant to fungus wilts and root-knot nematodes. Remember that while these varieties are resistant to certain diseases, there is no single variety which is resistant to all diseases which affect the crop. So, you'll still have to maintain a fungicide application program for early blight, Septoria leaf spot, and some of the other fungus diseases for which resistant varieties aren't widely available. -----
Good luck Mrs. "L", and say, "hi" to Avigdor.
Allahu Akbar
--
- Billy
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Higgs Boson wrote:

I think you have a long enough growing season so you can afford to experiment. If it were here (Denver, where our frosts/freezes can be as little as 90 days apart) I'd be more aggressive about a cure. Do you think a fungus will survive a long, dry period? I'd talk to a county ag extension representative and see what they say.
gloria p
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Dear Mrs. Lieberman, I'm guessing verticillium, or fusarium oxysporum wilt. Three to ten years quarantine at best. Five years from now, if you take a chance and plant, and the wilt returns, you start all over again. My suggestion is to find an impermeable barrier to cove the area with, and go to raised gardens. It will be easier on your aging back, as well.
--
- Billy
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First you need to find out what you REALLY have. Then read everything you can on the web ...a true wilt seldom occurs in tomato, at least not until late in the season ....Tomatoes and potatoes must have at least a day of saturated soil before infection occurs.
Control 1. resistant varieties 2. raised beds that drain quickly 3. new soil over plastic that blocks the fungus 4. even moisture and dont over fertilize.
Frankly, my mother once planted tomatoes around small circular compost heaps and those plants with the constant low level leaching of nutrients seemed to thrive when the other plants in the regular beds succumbed.
QST 713 strain of Bacillus subtilis is a biologic control of some types of fungi. Perfectly safe to use, altho I dont know how useful if not used exactly as directed and for what is actually attacking the plants.
INgrid

"The soilborne fungus Verticilliurn albo-atrum is present in most cool soils of the Northeast and can attach over 200 plant species. especially tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, strawberries, and black raspberries. Other susceptible vegetables include artichoke, beet, broad bean. chicory. cucumber, dandelion, endive, horseradish, muskmellon, okra. peppers, radish, rhubarb, salsify, and watermelon. Corn, other cereals, and grasses are resistant.
Symptoms In spite of the name verticillium wilt,-----> a true wilt seldom occurs in tomato, at least not until late in the season. Rather, under good conditions of moisture and nutrition, yellow blotches on the lower leaves may be the first symptoms, then brown veins appear, and finally chocolate brown dead spots. The spots may be confused with alternaria early blight, but they are not definite, nor do they develop concentric bull's-eye rings.
The leaves may wilt, die and drop off. The disease symptoms progress up the stem, and the plant becomes stunted. Only the top leaves stay green. Fruits remain small, develop yellow shoulders, and may sunburn because of loss of leaves.
Infection takes place directly when the fungus threads enter the root hair. It is aided in its entrance if rootlets are broken or nematodes have fed on the root system. The fungus grows rapidly up the xylem, or sap-conducting channels. Its activity there results in interference with the normal upward movement of water and nutrients. The fungus produces a toxin that contributes to the wilting and spotting of the leaves. Diagnosis involves making a vertical slice of the main stem just above the soil line and observing a brown color in the conducting tissues under the bark. This discoloration can be traced upwards as well as downwards into the roots. In contrast to fusarium wilt, verticillium wilt discoloration seldom extends more than 10-I2 inches above the soil, even though its toxins may progress farther.
The Causal Fungus
Its wide host range permits Verticillium to persist in soils for long periods. It remains alive by means of darn resting threads, which form in great numbers on dying diseased underground plant parts. It can attack and multiply in many common weeds, including ragweed, cocklebur, and velvetleaf. One form of the fungus produces tiny black resting bodies (microsclerotia), which help it survive over winter.
The pathogen is sensitive to soil moisture and temperature. Tomatoes and potatoes must have at least a day of saturated soil before infection occurs. Soil temperatures must be moderate or cool for infection to take place: 75 F (24 C) is optimum with 55 F (13 C) minimum and 86 F (30 C) maximum.
Controls
Long rotations (4-5 years) with nonrelated crops, well-drained soils, and soil moisture kept at the minimum for good growth are advisable.
In greenhouses or with plastic-strip mulch, soil fumigation gives good control and is feasible on high-value crops.
By far the most feasible and economic control is the use of Verticillium-tolerant tomato cultivars of which there are many with varying maturities and excellent horticultural qualities. These include the following:" New Yorker (V)
Springset
Pic Red
Jet Star
Supersonic
Heinz 1350
Heinz 1439
Westover
Royal Flush
Floramerica
Veebrite
Veemore
Veegan
Veeset
Burpee VF Hyb.
Starshot     
Earlirouge
Supersteak
Campbell 1327
Fireball (V)
Beefmaster
Better Boy
Bonus
Gardener (V)
Monte Carlo
Nova (Paste)
Crimson Vee (Paste)
Veeroma (Paste)
Veepick (Paste)
Ramapo
Moreton Hyb.
Spring Giant     
Basket Vee
Campbell 17
Big Set
Setmore
Small Fry
Terrific
Big Girl
Mainpak
Early Cascade
Jumbo
Wonder Boy
Rutgers 39
Ultra Boy
Ultra Girl
Rushmore
Jetfire http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/factsheets/Tomato_Verticillium.htm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Somewhere between zone 5 and 6 tucked along the shore of Lake Michigan on the council grounds of the Fox, Mascouten, Potawatomi, and Winnebago
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On Fri, 09 Jul 2010 07:30:18 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.com wrote:

You have some interesting information, but there are circumstances in which wilt DOES come early and its attack is swift and devastating. We were hit with it in the NE last season.
You can read up on it here, or do some more searching of your own.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/09/opinion/09barber.html
The article says, in part:
The latest trouble is the explosion of late blight, a plant disease that attacks potatoes and tomatoes. Late blight appears innocent enough at first a few brown spots here, some lesions there but it spreads fast. Although the fungus isnt harmful to humans, it has devastating effects on tomatoes and potatoes grown outdoors. Plants that appear relatively healthy one day, with abundant fruit and vibrant stems, can turn toxic within a few days. (See the Irish potato famine, caused by a strain of the fungus.)
Most farmers in the Northeast, accustomed to variable conditions, have come to expect it in some form or another. Like a sunburn or a mosquito bite, youll probably be hit by late blight sooner or later, and while there are steps farmers can take to minimize its damage and even avoid it completely, the disease is almost always present, if not active.
But this year is turning out to be different quite different, according to farmers and plant scientists. For one thing, the disease appeared much earlier than usual. Late blight usually comes, well, late in the growing season, as fungal spores spread from plant to plant. So its early arrival caught just about everyone off guard.
And then theres the perniciousness of the 2009 blight. The pace of the disease (it covered the Northeast in just a few days) and its strength (topical copper sprays, a convenient organic preventive, have been much less effective than in past years) have shocked even hardened Hudson Valley farmers.
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On Jul 9, 6:30am, snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.com wrote:

THANKS THANKS THANKS Ingrid for a really helpful post. I will save the list of vermiculum-tolerate tomatoes for next year -- if we all make it! <g>
Hypatia
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independant sources of information about the Bacillus. Particularly important are collateral damage (that is, the danger it represents to non-target species) and residual activity. For example, does it kill off its host and then die or does it go into some survival mode where it can continue to do whatever collateral damage it does (if any)?

I'm with the landscape friend. If it were mine, I'd spend some time trying to identify the cause of the "wilt" and grow other garden vegetables that are, at the least, resistant to commonplace diseases and infections. Unfortunately, if the cool and damp conditions that you mention continue, systemic mildews can plague legumes which, otherwise, would be a perfect test crop that (properly done) result in a net "benefit" to the soil; be sure to use inoculated seeds.
--
the Balvenieman
Breakfasting on single malt in
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It is a commonly found bacteria in the wild. It is organic like Bt is, only more specific in that it has been selected and "amped up" to target pests. Since it is a spore former it can go dormant when it doesnt have correct growing conditions.
On Fri, 09 Jul 2010 12:42:22 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.net wrote:

# Description of the Active Ingredient Bacillus subtilis strain QST 713 is a widespread bacterium found in soil, water, and air. Bacillus subtilis strain QST 713 controls the growth of certain harmful bacteria and fungi, presumably by competing for nutrients, growth sites on plants, and by directly colonizing and attaching to fungal pathogens.\
# Use Sites, Target Pests, and Application Methods * Use Sites: B. subtilis strain QST 713 is approved for use on a wide variety of food crops, including cherries, cucurbits, grapes, leafy vegetables, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, and walnuts.
* Target Pests: Fungi and bacteria that cause scab, powdery mildew, sour rot, downy mildew, and early leaf spot, early blight, late blight, bacterial spot, and walnut blight diseases.
* Application Methods: B. subtilis strain QST 713 is sold as a powder that is mixed with water and sprayed on foliage using ground equipment. The number and timing of applications vary with crop and level of infestation.
# Assessing Risks to Human Health No harmful health effects to humans are expected from use of B. subtilis strain QST 713. Appropriate tests found no evidence that the bacterium is infectious or significantly toxic to humans. However, contact with B. subtilis strain QST 713 products may cause redness or irritation to the skin. To minimize the risk of adverse reactions in applicators and handlers, EPA is requiring these workers to use appropriate personal protective equipment.
# Assessing Risks to the Environment Available studies show that no adverse effects are expected to non-target organisms, with the possible exception of honey bees, when products containing B. subtilis strain QST 713 are used in accordance with label instructions. However, because of some difficulties associated with interpreting the results of these studies, EPA is requiring additional tests to confirm that use of pesticide products with B. subtilis strain QST 713 will not infect or otherwise harm honey bees, wasps, shrimp and other aquatic invertebrates. Meanwhile, to minimize the risk to honey bees, applicators are not allowed to spray areas where bees are actively foraging. After the results of the additional studies become available, EPA will decide whether this use restriction can be lifted. http://www.epa.gov/oppbppd1/biopesticides/ingredients/factsheets/factsheet_006479.htm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Somewhere between zone 5 and 6 tucked along the shore of Lake Michigan on the council grounds of the Fox, Mascouten, Potawatomi, and Winnebago
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