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loribee2

Is this fusarium wilt?

loribee2
last month

Is this fusarium wilt? I get it on almost every variety of heirloom tomato I try to grow, but almost never on the hybrids. Aside from reduced production, it doesn't seem to harm the fruit, but I'd sure like to grow these Oxhearts again next year and avoid the problem.


My garden is only about 200 sq ft, and I never plant tomatoes in the same spot two years in a row. I also don't compost these diseased plants. I've been reading up on FW (if that's indeed what this is), and I'm wondering if it's being introduced when I snip off the lower leaves at the start of the growing season. Ironically, I do that to keep air circulation (I'm 1/2 hour from the coast and our mornings can be foggy) and avoid the leaves touching the soil or staying wet from the drip. Wondering if my good intentions are ill-advised.




Comments (10)

  • cecenj
    last month

    Also following mine look simiar and fruiting is ok. very hot and wet summer here. i grow in containers but did not change the soil religiously this year

  • loribee2
    Original Author
    last month

    Hi Nancyjane! It's been years since I've posted--so fun to see you're still here (I'm still not liking the HOUZZ forum over our trusty old Gardenweb). If I recall, you're here in Northern California, right? How do you solarize your beds? Do you cover in plastic and let them heat up? I've never considered that. Problem is, my beds are usually still full of plants through Oct and even into Thanksgiving. But maybe I can leave one bed fallow each year and solarize on a rotational basis. That would help on the water situation, and I also keep saying I need to plant less (but never do!).


    I've been reading up on FW, and one thing I'm bad about is not sterilizing my cutting tools. I use rusty old scissors to trim my tomatoes. I also don't mulch (have tried a few times, but it's always just created a mess). But I should revisit that again too.


    I have a friend who is a Master Gardener. She said she's simply given up on growing heirloom tomatoes because they're such "fussy divas" LOL I've done that in past years, because I have almost no problems with my hybrids at all. But boy, this Oxheart (Cuore Di Bue from Territorial Seed Co) makes an amazing tomato. And I'd like to take another shot at a Brandywine again.

  • loribee2
    Original Author
    last month

    Oh, I also read PH between 6.5-7, and using a calcium nitrate fertilizer will help stave off fusarium wilt. I do have a PH kit and plan to test the soil. I'll post the results when I do.

  • nancyjane_gardener
    last month

    Hi Loribee2 I have moved since I've heard from you.

    We are in NE Santa Rosa now with a much smaller garden than we used to have. We have 3 raised 4x8 beds.

    The thing is that the 2 beds I had built and filled this spring were built above where we might have had a fungal problem last year!

    Some people here suggested solarizing the beds and since my tomatoes look to be done in for the year, I think I'll take advantage of the 100* temps this week and cover them in plastic until spring and just plant the unaffected bed with fall/winter stuff.

    I don't really have the room I used to to change beds around.

  • loribee2
    Original Author
    last month

    That sounds very similar to my space in Rohnert Park. I've got 3 4X8 beds and a few periphery beds around them. As you can see, I make use of trellises and arbors to "grow up" where I don't have the space to grow out. But definitely, unless I want to cut way back or just not have a garden one year (drought may force that hand in coming years) treating soil fungus will not be easy.



  • nancyjane_gardener
    last month

    Very nice I'll take both of those right now! Mine look horrible except for a few zuks and a new flush of green bean flowers.

  • loribee2
    Original Author
    last month

    We're definitely having the cooler, foggier summer that I haven't seen in quite a few years. I'm battling aphids on my tomatoes. That's a first in the 10+ years I've had a garden in this house. I should be thankful I don't have more problems than I do right now! :)

  • nancyjane_gardener
    last month

    Pulled my tomatoes today! Earliest I think since our last drought! And to think 4 years ago we had 56 inches of rain!

    Oh well, will try this solarizing thing and plant one bed with fall/winter stuff.

  • loribee2
    Original Author
    last month

    I'm thinking of solarizing too, one bed at a time. My plan will be to plant garlic there in the fall, but nothing else, so when I pull it next June-ish, I can solarize for the rest of the summer. On a rotational basis, switching beds each year, I'll get the benefit of using less water, growing less stuff (I grow WAY too much!), and improving the soil.


    I'm also thinking about doing some soil testing beyond the little kits I've bought. I hear Harmony Farms can take samples and have them analyzed. Think it was around $30 each. Maybe soil testing the one bed I'll leave fallow, so I can also amend during that time as well.