All about wilt diseases -- starting with coastal VA almost NC

mhagood(8a Virginia)June 25, 2005

At Carolyn's suggestion, I thought I'd start a thread for general wilt-related discussions. Back in Richmond, I never had these problems, but since moving to the coast I've had repeated heartbreak from a disease that comes on quickly, wilting a portion of a healthy, beautiful plant, followed by death of the whole plant within a week. My best guesses are Bacterial Wilt and Fusarium Wilt. Of course, I could have experienced both in different seasons and am just treating them as one disease in my mind. I have had this experience with both hybrids (better boy, early girl, beefmaster) and OP varieties (Aunt Gertie's Gold, now maybe Cherokee Purple.) I'll try to post good post-mortem images if and when the CP goes down. If I have time today I'll pull out the good digital camera and see if I can find a host site for photos.

To put it in context, other than some insignificant foliage imperfections and a spot of BER on one plant in a pot that didn't get water, I have a very healthy, vigorous bunch of well-nourished and minimally stressed plants. I don't use Daconil or much of anything else from the store, but I do make compost tea and foliar feed with that, and I've sprayed with a homemade aspirin spray, as I read that it might help boost resistance. I'm growing many varieties this year in hopes of finding the best ones for this area and this garden.

Your experiences welcome.



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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

At Carolyn's suggestion, I thought I'd start a thread for general wilt-related discussions

But Martha, I didn't suggest that all. LOL

Martha is talking about a post I did in a thread in the main forum where I suggested that folks **post their own threads** here if they wanted to hopefully find out what the disease was.

It gets too darn confusing when folks post all different kinds of problems in one thread and I know I don't want to participate in such a mixed thread.

I would like to have the opportunity, as I think anyone would who is answering disease questions, to ask each person specific questions.

And if by some chance you thought I was going to list diseases found in different parts of the country, I'm sorry that you really did misinterpret what I wrote below.

Again, it works best if each person posts their own thread.

But if folks want to go ahead and post about what they are experiencing right now as a way of commiserating with each other, no problem at all.

But to try and diagnose diseases and have a running commentary for different folks in the same thread, it just does not work.

Trust me on that, been there, done that, and not going to do it again, at least I'm not going to try and do it again .

Sorry Martha, but if you look in the center of the post below you'll see where I DID suggest separate threads for each person. Sigh.

Here's what I wrote in that other post:

(Not all of you are describing the same symptoms, alas, and thus it gets confusing when different folks are describing different symptoms in the same thread.
If there are spots on the leaves then there's a good chance it's a foliage disease and can be treated.

If there's wilting when there shouldn't be wilting, since wilting during the day is common when it's hot, then the wilting could indicate any number of diseases depending on whether the foliage stayed green and the wilting was rapid, or turned yellow, then brown. One can't treat systemic diseases but the implication of having them for future tomato growing remains.

The systemic disease you have could be a bacterial or fungal disease, or root knot nematodes or even critters burrowing.

And the specific disease you might have is dependent on where you live and if that disease is known to be in your area.

***My suggestion is that if you aren't sure of what you have, then each person should start their own thread in the TOmato Pest and Disease Forum, b/c that's what that Forum is for.****

One can always look at the great thread titled Problem SOlver #2, but there are two problems with doing only that and not posting your own thread.

And that's that for almost every link the specific areas where a disease can be foubnd is NOT given. Also, remember that pictures are static while disease is progressive.

And there can also be both foliage infections and systemic diseases at the same time.

And I haven['t mentioned viral diseases b'c none of you seem to be giving symptoms associated with them.

If we could get everyone to post their disease problems in the Pest and Disease Forum it wwould be great for a couple of reasons.

First, Spike set up that Forum at our request three years ago to help cut down on the rapid scrolling which is a horrible problem right now with many threads not being answered and/or underanswered. And second, if you look at some of the other threads already there you may well find that what you descirbe has already been asked and answered.

I know I've been doing the majority of diagnoses for the infectious diseases for the past two years, and now that Alison is not able to help I'm not looking forward to doing most of it for the third year.

We really do need some **help** over there, in addition to a few others who have helped out lately, and such folks should know about diseases and where they can be found.

One isn't going to make a diagnosis of Curly Top Virus in MN nor a diagnosis of Alternaria Stem Canker in NH. Sigh.

Carolyn, spending most of her time watching Wimbledon these days, with one more week to go on that. I do have my priorities. ( smile) And when she's in the mood may also do a psot here in the main forum to try and direct folks to that Forum and also note what resources folks might want to look at, such as the FAQ's and search feature, again, to help stop scrolling by preventing repeat threads, and the latter in a general sense, not disease oriented.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 11:14AM
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Gardenmama1(z8/SE Virginia)

Despite who suggested what, or when...this thread is a great idea.

Funny things happening in my SE VA coastal (well 8 miles inland) garden are.... Only half (4 plants) of one 8ftx4ft bed has been hit by a wilt disease. Fusarium highest on the suspect list due to the brown ring on the split in half plant and no milky residue from stem when put in a glass of water. Spraying with antifungals hasn't seemed to halt the disease progression either. The other four plants in the bed look fine. One other bed has 2 plants affected with some sort of virus- either Mosaic or TSW. Both have string like leaves and are very stunted. One plant in a pot has some sort of mottling to the leaves but no wilt, stunting or curling. The fruits look fine too, but time will tell as they ripen.

-the other SE VA Martha

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 11:45AM
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mhagood(8a Virginia)

No, I don't have any expectation that you are going to list diseases in different parts of the country. I was just trying to move a conversation about disease out of the main tomato forum and over to this one, and included my geographic area, since you mentioned that was so significant. That's what I meant by "at Carolyn's suggestion." I was acknowledging your request in the other forum and trying to honor it. I don't post here under the assumption that you are obliged to help me. It's great when you do. But it seems I have made it more difficult for you, and I apologize.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 11:46AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

But it seems I have made it more difficult for you, and I apologize.

No apologies needed at all Martha.

There are others who post here who might well help diagnose diseases for folks who might post in this thread.

I'm only speaking for myself and saying that after doing the bulk of the disease questions here for the past two years and spending hours and hours here, and this year as well, I feel I can do a better job if I have the opportunity to deal one on one with each person in a separate thread, as I said above. Sometimes the individual situations are very complicated.

You've started a thread for Coastal (NC as you noted) areas re wilt diseases but such diseases are certainly not limited to your area, for instance.

And folks might well have the more common foliage diseases as well or in addition to, which are treatable, while systemic diseases such as Fusarium, Verticillium, Bacterial Wilt, etc., are not.

If you look at Earl's Problem Solver #2 below you'll see that he was adament in not having folks post their problems in that thread either. And the reason was that last year different folks started posting in the Problem Solver thread and it became one huge mess with different wilt diseases, different foliage diseases, different viral diseases and whatever.

So I don't mean to be the proverbial party pooper here, and apologize if I'm perceived that way, I just know what works best for me, and since you post at another place where I post and have for several years now, you know that I like to deal one on one with folks to make life simpler for both, and that's really not possible to do well, at least for me, in a mixed thread.

Carolyn, who has to get up from tennis watching and stroll down the hall with the walker about every hour or she just may not get up at all. LOL

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 2:32PM
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