I put in several different varieties of tomato this year. Got a late start so did not grow from seed; bought plants.
They started out like gangbusters; bore plenty of fruit. But foliage began to look crappy and twisted (no critters; I checked), and plants have now been almost denuded.
They have had food, water, and plenty of sunshine. So why?...
This is So Calif coastal.
Fusarium Wilt, this fungal disease most often affects tomatoes. It
enters a plant through natural openings and wounds in the roots and grow
up into the stem, where it blocks the supply of nutrients and water to
the leaves. The first indication of infection is when a part of the
plant starts to wilt on sunny afternoons, though it usually recovers
when the temperature drops (this often starts to happen when plants
begin bearing fruit). Eventually the infection spreads through the whole
plant, lower leaves turn yellow (and may eventually die) and the stem
becomes discolored. Plants dont always die, but it slows growth and
reduces yields. Fusarium is rarely a problem for commercial growers
because most modern tomato varieties have been bred to be very
resistant. If you stick with resistant varieties you dont have to worry
about it either. Many of the older heirlooms dont have any resistance.
If any plants start to show symptoms of partial wilting you should
remove them immediately to reduce the spread of this disease. The spores
can survive in the soil for up to 7 years. It looks as if the tomatoes
may be in a raised box, so if it is Fusarium Wilt, don't reuse the soil
for Solanaceae. Be sure to disinfect tools used in the soil to prevent
spreading the disease.
On Saturday, July 27, 2013 10:13:45 PM UTC-7, Billy wrote:
Mierda! Thanks -- I guess!! <g> I will dig up and trash tomorrow!!! An
d warn nursery where purchased.
Hope disease will not attack other tomatoes in same general area but some o
f them already look iffy. Sheeeeeeet!!!
The two originally infected plants are the "tried & true" tomato varieties
sold in this area *forever*. Must have been infected when sold ??
Re: solancea: I don't eat eggplant, but I love Bell Peppers. Just out of
curiosity I had purchased (from Home Depot, $10.98) a large container of R
ed Bells that I set down in the middle of that area. It does not have cont
act with soil; only aperture for water to exit, but will move out of cautio
n. The label said leave the plants in there; fruit will mature. Gardener
agrees. Huge Bells are ripening. If I get 10 fruits, that will pay for th
e plant, since Bells are very expen$ive, even in summer.
I went on-line for ways to disinfect the soil. Gardens Alive had this:
Big pain to make raised beds, bring soil from elsewhere in yard and buy com
mercial soil to modify. But next year, if I'm spared, will have to do it,
because this area gets the most sun considering the near beach morning/eve
ning overcast and the ****ed up seasons these last few years (global warmin
I had this problem with basil. Tried a second year with same results. I
used the bed for lettuce for the next 3 years, and basil was OK on the
4th year. Seven years is guaranteed to remove Fusarium Wilt, but it can
I managed to overwhelm my tomato bed this year (2 - 3 yr. rotation), and
potted 3 of the early ripening ones in 5 gal. pots. They are ahead of
the bedded tomatoes, and give me something to nibble on while waiting
for the rest of the crop.
How were the tomatoes from your diseased vines?
This may be helpful. Len used to often post here, but I haven't seen
anything from him for awhile.
He is also somewhat evangelical, but separates his gardening, form his
beliefs rather well.
crappy and twisted (no critters; I checked), and plants have now >been almost denuded.
That's a pretty vague description, but with only that to go on,
and keying off of the word "twisted," it suggests either some
sort of virus infection (which could have been brought in by
a hit-and-run pest, or by a person working with the plants who
had previously had contact with tobacco or some other plant
that was carrying a virus) or maybe herbicide damage. You
found no obvious pests, but thrips and spider mites are pretty
tiny and you might need a hand lens to spot them.
Pictures and more info might be helpful. Any yellowing? Did it
go 'top down' or 'bottom up' the plants? Lesions on stems?
Sad to say, but mass produced plants shipped all over the country
have been responsible for spreading some nasty stuff around.
That having been said, even seeds can sometimes carry disease,
and I've thrown out some suspicious tomato seedlings in the past.
Mine look the same this year. :( I think it has been the weather here, as
Billy said they like heat. Are they not native to Mexico? My niece's and
father's plants here look the same strangly not very lush... Hopefully they
will rebound for the second half of the season.
My cucumber plants have been growing like zucchini though. Got two last
week, and they were over a foot long! And were not seedy inside; they were
still filling out but I thought I better pick them.
If too hot, you may try giving them some partial shade, and a spritzing
or 2 during the heat of the day. That may come back to bite you as
mildew later, though.
Talk to someone in your area. As Susan N, "The Cook" says, find your
local ag. extention office.
The wild tomato species are native to western South America from Ecuador
south to northern Chile and the Galapagos Islands.
They like heat but 80F is probably optimum. They will start exhibiting
problems when morning temps are in the 90s, or night time below 45F.
This is agriculture, not science. Do every thing right, and hope for the
best. Too little, too much, wrong time, or der Zorn Gottes, and you're
Actually, here there have a been a couple weeks it was not hot. Cool and in
the 70s/60s and lots of rain. The last couple years, the tomato plants grew
great but there was not the cool periods and huge rains so much.
I was afraid of that, but actually it was okay. And not seedy. Strange. I
had a zucchini plant in same spot that went crazy and grew huge zucchini.
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