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b54red May 9, 2011 01:54 PM

fusarium wilt
6 Attachment(s)
Since the weather is heating up down here and the fusarium is really making its' presence felt in my garden, I thought I would post some pictures of the disease affecting some of my young tomato plants. All of the tomatoes in the photos were treated with Root Sheild and BiotaMax as seedlings and at plant out.

The first picture is a German Johnson showing the very early first signs of fusarium wilt. The next two are close ups of the leaves on that plant with early stage fusarium showing the yellowing that many mistake for a foliage disease.
The fourth picture is of a Saint Lucie that is a little more affected. It has almost stopped growing and the foliage has taken on a slightly soft look.
The fifth is of a Hungarian Heart that has one stem that is being strongly affected by the fusarium. This plant will probably look really bad in a week or two.
The final picture is a Donskoi that is ready to be pulled with the fusarium wilt having done its' thing. This plant was beautiful a little over 2 weeks ago. I started with 48 plants in these two beds and now less than 30 of them are not showing any signs of fusarium yet. In all likelihood most if not all of them will eventually fall to fusarium. I'm just hoping it will take a while on most of them.

jeremyhilton May 9, 2011 02:00 PM

Sorry to hear about the attacks on your maters B54 but thanks for sharing this good info and pics...

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b54red May 9, 2011 02:11 PM

Jeremy it happens every year and has for nearly 35 years so I have become accustomed to it and have learned to work around it by planting lots of plants and replacing lots of plants. I used to plant my tomatoes all at once and then get really frustrated with the fusarium. Not that I like it now but I have learned to live with it. I usually have a very nice crop of tomatoes and there are almost always a few plants that don't get any fusarium.

jeremyhilton May 9, 2011 02:34 PM

I guess you do what you can huh... Also any idea why the few plants that don't get it don't?

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sfmathews May 9, 2011 05:25 PM

Yep, pulled two Pearsons two weeks ago. Had lots of fruit. Have others showing the yellow leaves, but no wilting yet. :o

b54red May 9, 2011 05:45 PM

I think some varieties just tolerate it better than others and also the severity of the fusarium from one bed to the next makes a difference. There are varieties that just can't grow anywhere in my garden even though I have planted them in spots where other tomatoes did great. I have two or three beds that the infection is so severe in that no tomato lasts very long but some can produce a decent crop before dying while others will die within two weeks of going into those beds. Even in the bed with the least severe infection, the tomatoes usually end up dying of fusarium; but at least in that bed the ones with good tolerance last for quite a long time and produce a lot of fruit. Another thing that seems to really make a difference is the temperature. Until the soil really starts warming up fusarium is not usually a problem and in the fall if I can get a plant to survive til the weather cools down then it will usually last until it freezes if Late Blight or TSWV don't get it. That is one of the reasons I go to such lengths to grow fall tomatoes. It really is nice to just watch one grow and not have to wonder if the fusarium will let it live long enough to make fruit. I get to worry instead if it will make the fruit before it gets frozen.:)) :))

carolyn137 May 9, 2011 06:58 PM

You get Late Blight ( P. infestans) in Alabama? Now that does surprise me.

OK, a question and partial ruse to let you know that all the IS seeds are PL and now to see if the PL IS's are still IS.;)

Just a few questions.

I have to assume that you save a lot of your own seed, the question being how do you process those seeds knowing that Fusarium can be seedborne?

And you do know that Fusarium can also be transmitted by dust particles above ground. Right?

b54red May 10, 2011 12:18 PM

Carolyn, all of mine came up potato leaf also. Since IS is a more heat tolerant variety I didn't start the seed as early as the ones that have to go out early. I put a couple out a few weeks ago and have a nice bunch of seedlings waiting to go out as soon as I have spaces ready.

I ferment my seed and seem to have less fusarium problems with my saved seed than the ones I buy or get in trade. This could be because I don't save seed from the really fusarium susceptible varities.

I assume it can be transmitted through the air because I sometimes get it in a container that is made up of no soil.

les matzek May 10, 2011 03:47 PM

louie the sales rep for actinovate told
me to soak my seeds in a gallon of
water with 1 1/2 teaspoon of actionvate
to kill any carry over disease's the
seed may have i have not tried it
yet hopefully it will work for you


b54red May 11, 2011 09:46 PM

Les, I think my big problem is in the soil.

I cut off the really bad stem on the Hungarian Heart and pulled the Donskoi and also the Saint Lucie because it had stopped growing and had no blooms or fruit. Temps got really hot the last two days and the fusarium affects are showing more on some of the plants but I still have plenty that are showing no effects or very little.

On another subject I have been getting tomatoes off my container grown Stupice and also the container grown Kosovo. They got a very early start but the plants don't look very good and the fruit from both is smaller than I would have hoped. The container grown plants are getting ravaged by spider mites while they aren't on the in ground plants yet.

b54red May 13, 2011 08:59 PM

Below the first picture is of an Ashleigh plant that the fusarium seems to be getting the best of. Though it has a fair amount of fruit set on it, I don't think it will hold out long enough; but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. The second picture is a Barlow Jap which started showing signs about a week ago and since it is such a strong healthy plant I'm hoping it will live to produce. Ami, I guess we'll find out how tough Barlow Jap can be.

b54red May 13, 2011 09:14 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Forgot the pictures. Sorry. Trying again. Ashleigh and Barlow Jap.

Heritage May 13, 2011 11:01 PM


In general do you think PL varieties are more resistant to fusarium than RL?

Also, have you ever tried grafting onto a fursarium resistant rootstock, and, if so, was there any improvement that justified the extra labor.


b54red May 14, 2011 07:30 AM

[QUOTE=carolyn137;213206]You get Late Blight ( P. infestans) in Alabama? Now that does surprise me.

Yes we sometimes get Late Blight, but it has been very rare. The first time I got it was years ago and had no idea what was destroying my tomato plants. The funny thing was it didn't hit late in the year but in early summer. Last year I had it hit in late summer and early fall and it really did a number on every plant that got it. As soon as I saw what it was I sprayed all of my plants every other day with a bleach solution a couple of times til I saw no new infections. It did not save the plants that had it but it did seem to kill it off and prevent the further spread of the disease. I hope I never see it again; I have enough problems with fusarium wilt. At least with fusaruium wilt it can be fairly slow in destroying a plant whereas with Late Blight, it is like spraying the plant with Roundup. I have never seen anything else cause so much destruction so fast.

b54red May 14, 2011 07:51 AM

Steve, I have seen no difference in tolerance of fusarium wilt between potato leaf plants and regular leaf plants. Fusarium kills most of my plants every summer. Some varieties just seem to have more tolerance and take much longer to die. One thing that will assure rapid death from fusarium is if the symptoms show when the plant is still young. Immature plants seem to have little ability to withstand the disease while some older more mature plants can hang on and continue producing for months after the first symptoms appear.

I have never tried grafting of tomato plants.

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