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Old June 16, 2012   #121
Mlm1
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Craig, I should also mention, if a person grafted the dwarf series onto the rootstock I think they would get much larger plants, so defeat some of the purpose of the dwarf. I have not grafted any of the dwarfs yet because Steve wanted feedback on dwarfs (size, production, etc) and the grafting could/would change the results. I think Naysen is going to compare grafted and ungrafted dwarfs this winter and I will be interested to see the results.
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Old June 16, 2012   #122
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One more comment then I've got to get some work done around here. Steve, do you remember when I was in contact with the plant pathologist that specialized in tomato diseases? I asked him specifically about transfer of fusarium in seed and he said it could happen but at a very low incidence. Then when you factor in the fermentation of the seed I wonder how much fusarium could really get transferred. Maybe not much. It would be very interesting to take seed from an infected plant and see if you could get any fusarium to grow (on correct media in a petri dish). Fungal cultures in general are not difficult I don't know about fusarium specifically. Maybe I need another winter project.
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Old June 16, 2012   #123
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I don't think there is too much transfer of fusarium through fermented seeds. I always ferment mine and some of the most resistant varieties come from my own seeds and I have lots and lots of fusarium. No variety that I have bought or traded with someone for has really shown any difference in the incidence of fusarium in my plantings. The biggest factor seems to be the variety and how concentrated the fusarium is in the soil. Invariably the plants that last the longest come from the same varieties nearly every year. It always seems like the worst fusarium outbreaks follow a mild winter and I guess the soil temperature must be a big factor or why else would cooler climates have so little of this plague.
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Old June 21, 2012   #124
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Well this has been a banner year for fusarium. Of the 50 plus plants I set out in March all but one are now history and nearly all from fusarium. The 70 plus plants set out in April have fared little better but I still have a dozen still standing. Despite the catastrophic losses I still got over 600 tomatoes off of the ones that got large enough to produce a few fruits before they died. I have run out of replacement seedlings already and am waiting on my fall seedlings to get large enough to start setting some of them out. The fusarium is so bad this year that I may not have started enough plants. I usually figure I'll get one out of five planted for fall to make it through the heat of late summer; but this year may be like four years ago when I only got one out of ten to live.
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Old June 26, 2012   #125
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Yep, the past three weeks have been a whooping. I've pulled up nearly all plants from spring, that were either dead, or nearly so from Fusarium. I've got the one trial plant that Marla sent me about a month ago, and a few other hybrids I recently planted with resistance to Fusarium, hoping for a fall crop. We shall see how it goes. Great weather year here in Texas. Bad year with regards to Fusarium.
Bill I have a question. I noticed that a lot of the plants looked pretty good before the disease started taking its toll. Lots of blossoms, ideal weather conditions for fruit set. Even used the electric toothbrush. However, some plants didn't set one single fruit. Does Fusarium affect fruit set? I'm starting to think so! Does your experience reflect this?
Thanks,
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Old June 27, 2012   #126
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I have been waiting until my test results are in before sticking my neck out again.
Long term members will remember I have also suffered for years with Fusarium/Verticillum wilts and pleaded for help.
Late last year I was kindly given some Trichoderma spores for a trial. It works!!!
I was told to use the Trich on the seeds, shaking them in an envelope to ensure they were well covered.
These were planted along with a control, no treatment, and separate plantings away from the main.
To date I have lost two plants out of 40 transplanted, whereas I would normally lose approx 50-75%.
Most of the controls are gone, but the treated are flourishing, up to 3rd truss and setting good fruit.
Might I respectfully suggest this as an alternative treatment? It's certainly working for me.
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Old June 27, 2012   #127
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Susan if the fusarium is in the plant when it is young then the blossoms tend to drop off without setting. Sometimes one or two will set but the plant will frequently die before the fruit can get any size. Sometimes the very first noticeable symptom of fusarium will be slow growth on a young plant and a slightly different look to the leaves which I can't really describe. The next symptom will be some yellowing of lower leaves and from there it is all downhill and very heavy rain will make the hill steeper.

I have some varieties that frequently will struggle along making fruit for a long time after the fusarium has affected the plant. Indian Stripe, Cherokee Purple, Neves Azorean Red, Lumpy Red, Andrew Rahart's Jumbo Red, Stump of the World, and Big Beef all show consistant tolerance but by no means are immune to fusarium.

Last year thanks to a cold winter the onset of fusarium was milder than the average year and I was able to have good production from some varieties that usually don't succeed in my garden. This year all of those less tolerant varieties died much earlier and so I got very little fruit from them. I am going to try some of them again in the fall and see if I have any better luck.
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Old June 27, 2012   #128
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beeman, are you referring to this?
http://www.academicjournals.org/ajb/...%20et%20al.pdf
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Old June 28, 2012   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfmathews View Post
First I've seen of the article, but this looks like the stuff I have used this year.
These have to be the best plants I've managed to grow since way back. If you suffer with "the wilts" then you would be well advised to try it out.
I am now looking to try it out on other problem stuff i grow.
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Old July 23, 2012   #130
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I kept meaning to reread this thread carefully since i have questions and comments about a few other things. But since I am still swamped with tomatoes I'll make one comment/question and post some interesting pictures.

B54 on your very first post you state you used Root Shield. Isn't that the same thing that beeman mentions (trichoderma)? If so did you see improvement?

Here are pictures of 18 plants growing in fusarium infected soil. 17 are grafted one is not.

Marla
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Old July 23, 2012   #131
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Marla, I'm sold. That ugly duckling plant in the middle back looks like just about every one of mine now. Crispy and dead.
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Old July 24, 2012   #132
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We don't have issues with fusarium (knock, knock), but we have a terrible problem with early blight and septoria in our community garden, where spraying isn't allowed. I know the rootstocks don't offer any help directly for foliage diseases, but I've grafted most of my plants this year and last and I believe I've been seeing significant benefit from the extra vigor of the rootstock plants (Maxifort and a few Colosus) in helping my plants grow vigorously enough to stay ahead of the infection. Seems worth trying if you can actually use the built-in resistance.
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Old July 24, 2012   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mlm1 View Post
I kept meaning to reread this thread carefully since i have questions and comments about a few other things. But since I am still swamped with tomatoes I'll make one comment/question and post some interesting pictures.

B54 on your very first post you state you used Root Shield. Isn't that the same thing that beeman mentions (trichoderma)? If so did you see improvement?

Here are pictures of 18 plants growing in fusarium infected soil. 17 are grafted one is not.

Marla
I didn't see any difference between the treated and non treated.

I have some beds in which the fusarium is more virulent and the only thing that seems to help much is the variety. I could grow only fusarium resistant hybrids like Big Beef but I prefer losing a lot of plants and enjoying the variety. This year for some reason NAR was actually more resistant than Big Beef, Bella Rosa, and Goliath. Treating the planting hole with a bleach solution will usually give me a few more weeks before the fusarium moves in and it is a major help with Bacterial wilt which really gets new seedlings set out this late in the season.

One of the things that still amazes me is when a plant will show no signs of fusarium even though it is planted in a spot that has killed numerous tomato plants due to heavy fusarium infestation. I see this every year but not enough. I can't explain it since the plant treatment is the same as others yet while all around it plants are dying it will remain unaffected. I had that happen with two NAR plants this year while every NAR plant set out last year died early to fusarium. One of my NAR plants was set out in the worst spot in my garden and nothing special was done. It had a Big Beef and Bella Rosa on each side of it and they died over a month ago and it is still alive.

I have about 35 or so new seedlings set out for fall. They are all in spots where the previous spring plant died from fusarium yet I expect some of them will survive even though most are heirlooms. I will continue setting out seedlings til late August and with the usually drier weather of fall maybe the fusarium won't be as bad as it was during early summer. Last year my fall plants did not get fusarium as badly as the spring plants and I'm hoping the same will be true this year.
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Old July 27, 2012   #134
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I use Root Shield for my in the ground plants. I found that it did help to reduce the incidence of fusarium but not completely. I didn't realize I could also treat the seeds with it. I will do that next year.
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