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Old May 28, 2011   #31
vagardener434
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Thx for posting pics and explaining this subject so well. I've had a few plants in my GH that just didnt look right. They looked like some of your pics. I've been pruning the leaves, trying to keep up with the worst ones. So far only had to pull one plant. It was a Cuostralee that just went down hill in a hurry. The BW Red beside it is showing signs, but I'm removing the bad leaves, hoping it holds on till the fruit ripens. And the Cuostralee on the other side of it is hanging in there, for now. A few other varieties have a few bad leaves here and there, but no too bad. Especially considering its 100 degrees in there now. I'm trying to wind it down as fast as possible

I did plant a dozen or so varieties outside in a test area. They didnt get much attention, but its just as well. I've had to remove several of them. Looks like some type of wilt or disease started in a Gallo Plum and just spread really fast.

I've never had an issue with disease before. But then, I've never tried to grow 35-40 types of heirloom tomatoes. I've found a few varieties that I like, that have done well. I really wasn't aware of just how susceptible heirlooms are to disease. Lesson learned !

Again..great job on a very informative thread !

Bobby
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Old May 28, 2011   #32
rnewste
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b54red,

Maybe I am just a dumb student of the obvious, but another TV posted named CarolynPhillips, also from Alabama is growing BEAUTIFUL plants in 4 gallon containers ABOVE ground - - and no Wilt problems. I think her Thread is titled "Showing Off", or something like that.

With all the hard work you go through and get this wilting problem just days before being able to pick ripe fruit, doesn't it make sense to consider a different growing method like this person Carolyn uses in pots? It pains me to see you go through this year after year.

Raybo
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Old May 28, 2011   #33
b54red
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Raybo I do grow a few in containers but the size of the plants and the bother of watering make it really much easier to grow in the garden. I don't really like container gardening except during the winter and very early spring in order to beat the cold weather. I hate going out and watering sometimes twice a day in our heat and sometimes my container plants get fusarium anyway.

Despite my loses each year I usually have a huge crop of tomatoes that I pick all season long. Last year despite losing 50% of my plants before getting a single ripe fruit off of any of them I still managed to pick over 1500 regular or full size tomatoes by August and many cherries also. This morning I picked 2 Jetsetters, 3 Mazarinis (about a pound each), 2 Red Siberians, and a 20 ounce Gildo Pietroboni. Of the first 50 plants I put out I have lost about a dozen without getting any fruit from them and still have over a half dozen showing no obvious signs of fusarium.

As I've posted before I could grow nothing but fusarium resistant hybrids which I did for a long time but I really enjoy the variety I get with the heirlooms despite the added problems. I'm constantly amazed at the sizes, shapes, colors, tastes and growth patterns of these tomatoes and so as long as I am physically able I will continue to grow these great tomatoes.
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Old May 28, 2011   #34
b54red
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Bobby, thanks for the kind words. I have had a long and somewhat frustrating experience with fusarium in my garden. Some years it is worse than others and it looks like this year will be one of the fairly bad ones. A couple of years ago every plant but one of my March plant out died within 6 weeks but I had the best luck I have ever had with tomatoes put out in June. I try to keep many replacement plants ready to go so that I am constantly replanting and I am sometimes very pleasantly surprised by the replacement plants doing great. I will be replacing around a half dozen or so this week. I find it much easier to just replace a sick plant than to vainly try to keep it alive and that is how I discovered that you can grow tomatoes all summer down here. I rarely have more than a couple of weeks from late May til late December when I am not picking a few fresh tomatoes. Some of the tomatoes that die will be replaced by peppers because they do so well down here in the fall.

Cuostralee is one of the most susceptible to fusarium and it is one of the few despite numerous attempts that I have never been able to grow. A couple of others that are off my grow list for the same reason are Break O'Day, Momotaro, and Green Zebra. There are a lot more that are very susceptible; but I still grow a few because I can usually get a few fruits off before they get too sick. One that always gets fusarium for me is Prudens Purple yet I seem to always get at least 10 good tomatoes off of it before it succumbs so I still occasionally plant a couple. This year I have set out nearly 100 different varieties with the expectation of only about a quarter of them being very successful. Next year due to health reasons I plant on cutting way back on the number of varieties that I plant and will concentrate more on the heirlooms that have shown themselves to be the best for my garden with only a few new ones. After trying over sixty new varieties last year and even more this year I think I can narrow down my list significantly.
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Old May 29, 2011   #35
Heritage
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b54,

Are there any varieties that you find consistently perform well year after year? (fusarium resistant) If so, which ones?

Thanks for the info,
Steve
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Old May 29, 2011   #36
b54red
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Steve besides Big Beef I cannot say with certainty which tomatoes withstand fusarium consistantly year after year. Many of the ones that that I think may be more resistant I have not grown for enough years and in enough spots to be certain. It does seem that some of the dark tomatoes like Indian Stripe, JDs Special C Tex, Gary O' Sena have good production despite the fusarium. Paul Robeson on the other hand is very susceptible. Last year Indian Stripe was the best performing and did well in several different spots as did Gary O' Sena. Some varieties seem to be able to withstand the disease for a long time if they get large enough before symptoms appear. Some varieties seem to die within a week or two after the first symptoms even if the plant is large and healthy. Small plants of even the fusarium resistant hybrids don't last long if it gets to them early. If you have a bad fusarium problem in your garden and don't have the space to put out a lot of plants then I highly recommend Big Beef over any other hybrid I have tried. At least it will usually hang on to produce some decent tasting fruit most of the time. It is the only one that has produced for me every year. I recommend planting several because even Big Beef can fall prey to fusarium in a bad year.
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Old May 29, 2011   #37
Heritage
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Have you tried the OP version of Big Beef? I'm wondering if it has the same resistance as the hybrid.
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Old May 30, 2011   #38
b54red
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Heritage, I haven't tried it unless I got one with some of the volunteers I let grow sometimes.

Just came in from inspecting the two beds with the older plants and now only have a few that aren't infected. The temps reached 97 in the shade yesterday and the sicker plants took a beating. The forecast is for more of the same and hotter for the foreseeable future with no rain forecast. I pulled my Mrs. Benson yesterday and have 3 or 4 more that will be pulled in the next couple of days. The Grubs Mystery Green which seemed to be hanging in there just totally wilted today; but at least it has some ripening fruit on it. Last year I could not get one to the fruit stage so I feel fortunate because I really like the taste and will get at least a few good ones.
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Old May 30, 2011   #39
beeman
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If I remember correctly, and I might be wrong!
Didn't we have a long discussion regarding 'Trichoderma' treatment against Fusarium.
Didn't you say you would be trying it this year?
What happened?
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Old May 31, 2011   #40
b54red
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All of the plants were treated as you suggested and with zilch results as far as fusarium is concerned. I treated all of the plants for two whole beds and also did a root drench at planting. It might help some in soil with little infection but in my garden it was totally ineffective. The plants that I put out that were untreated have had less fusarium so far; but they were set out later so only time will tell.

At least the TSWV has been far milder this year than last and other than some very mild early blight and that black crud which I think is called gray mold, I have had very little disease problems. So far this year the only pests on my tomatoes have been some army worms.

Unless a miracle happens or the bleach drench works I will just have to live with fusarium as I have for over 30 years or move. When all I planted was fusarium resistant hybrids the problem not as noticeable as it is now that all but a few of my plants are heirlooms. I could just plant nothing but Big Beefs but then I would have only Big Beefs to eat. I will probably cut back considerably on the varieties that have little or no tolerance in the future in order to save time and effort. I will always try some new ones and I know that most will disappoint me as far as resistance to fusarium goes but it is so much fun growing so many different kinds of tomatoes.
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Old May 31, 2011   #41
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Yeah, so I lost my lone Black Cherry. Here is what I think may have been the cause.

Near the street on my home there is a water leak that comes up through the pavement. Anyway that water pools in a ditch where some old leaves have collected, leaving rotting leaves there. So I decided to clean it up and use the leaves as a mulch for my plant. Within days it wilted and died.

I'm wondering whether the fungus was present in the rotted leaves. Thank God I only used them on the one plant and didn't infect my garden with the stuff.
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Old June 1, 2011   #42
b54red
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Chris I think that fusarium can be spread through the air. I have had several container plants get it in the last two years even though only bagged soilless products were used.
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Old June 1, 2011   #43
organichris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b54red View Post
Chris I think that fusarium can be spread through the air. I have had several container plants get it in the last two years even though only bagged soilless products were used.
Hmm... I still gotta go with my hypothesis just because the only plant that I applied the rotten leaves contracted the disease and within a few days of application.

I don't doubt that it could also be air-borne but it appeared that the disease started at the base of the plant. Maybe it was something other than fusarium. I don't know.
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Old June 2, 2011   #44
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I applaud to you for your efforts in fighting fusarium infestation!

As Steve mentioned earlier, maybe a worth a try to graft to a root stock of some fusarium resistant varieties, such as Floralina, BHN 640 or Solar Fire? I'm no expert here by any means but, this year is my first attempt to grafting, and I have 2 Kosovo grafted onto Emperador root stock. Both are going in the known 2 effected spots.

Next year, I would like to try few of the known OP varieties that showing some resistance that you mentioned in the prior threads to some of those "VFFF..." F1 roots, just to see what would happen...

Any thoughts on the grafting to above mentioned are most welcome!

Regards,
D
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Old June 3, 2011   #45
b54red
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I've grown Floralina many times and it usually died of fusarium but it also hung on long enough to produce fairly good. It is a pretty decent looking tomato but the taste is really lacking for me. As I've said in the past I will make plenty of tomatoes despite fusarium. I'm really not interested in trying grafting and would probably not be very good at it because of the arthritis in my hands. It might be a helpful thing to do but I will leave it to a younger more skilled person to undertake. Right now I have tomato plants falling over needing to be tied up but I am waiting for my hands to ease off a bit before attempting the task.
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