Tomato Plants at Terra Nurseries--Problems?

Stella_z6May 11, 2014

Hi there,

Today I was at Terra Nurseries (Burlington), where I picked up 5 large heirloom tomato plants--2 Black Cherry, 2 Purple Cherokee, and one Black Prince. As I was dropping them into my garden boxes, I noticed that the Black Cherry plants had somewhat curled leaves, with faintly dark edges. Uh oh. I wish I had caught this before I planted them.

Last year I bought a similar set of tomato plants at Terra. Within a few weeks, I noticed the Black Cherry had signs of a bacterial issue--probably Bacterial Wilt. In the subsequent weeks this seemed to spread to the rest of 20 or so tomato plants in my garden. The yield was very low and most plants shriveled before summer's end.

I will contact Terra on Monday, but I'm wondering if anyone else has had any issues with disease on Terra Nurseries tomato plants, and if so, how you addressed them.

Thanks in advance for any info.

Stella

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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Stella, I don't know Terra nurseries and I assume you are possibly referring to Burlington, VT?

But Bacterial Wilt is systemic soilborne disease and would not be transmitted to your other plants unless your soil is already contaminated with that systemicdisease.

There's also a simple test that you can do to see if it is Bacterial wilt.

Take an infected stem and place it in a glass of water and if that disease you should find streaming of a milky white substance, the bacteria themselves, into the water.

What were the symptoms you saw that made you conclude it was Bacterial Wilt?

Carolyn

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 6:52PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I would be very surprised to learn that BW could survive that far north to begin with and it sure wouldn't spread to your other plants. It doesn't work that way. Even if your soil got contaminated somehow it wouldn't survive the winter according to Ontario Ministry of AG.

That's not to say you couldn't develop some bacterial diseases over the course of the summer like Spot or Speck, maybe even Canker. But they wouldn't come from the GH unless they are shipping in plants from the deep south of the US and I don't think they can do that.

And curled leaves, with faintly dark edges can be caused by all sorts of things including a simple N overdose (which can happen in commercial nurseries) but it doesn't necessarily kill the plant.

I am afraid you might drawing some erroneous conclusions that won't stand up to any sort of formal complaint but more importantly could mislead you into losing plants in your garden due to improper treatment.

Please don't misunderstand what I am saying. I'm not defending this particular nursery as I know nothing about them - only located in Canada anyway - but I do think you might want to re-evaluate some of your assumptions.

Dave

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 7:29PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Carolyn's post wasn't up when I was typing so I am glad to see she included the test info. I meant to include it.

Dave

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 7:31PM
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Stella_z6

Thanks for the responses. Interesting--I didn't know Bacterial Wilt couldn't be transmitted from purchased pots dropped into the soil. (But couldn't the soil in the pots be contaminated?) At any rate there was definitely something afflicting last year's plants for the first time, and it ended up ravaging most of the tomato plants.

Since I last posted the weather started dipping to 5 celcius at night (41 farhenheit) in Ontario, so I've gained a new thing worry about. :)

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 10:07AM
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labradors_gw

Carolyn,

There's a Burlington in Ontario too! (smile)

I used to live near Burlington, VT, so that is always the place that I think of too (with fond memories).

Linda

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 10:45AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Any chance of pictures? If so, they would certainly help us help you.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 10:21PM
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barrie2m_

Daves statement: "That's not to say you couldn't develop some bacterial diseases over the course of the summer like Spot or Speck, maybe even Canker. But they wouldn't come from the GH unless they are shipping in plants from the deep south of the US and I don't think they can do that." isn't true. These diseases could easily be transmitted by infected seed which any firm starting seed could pass on.

Thus the recommendation by Dr. Kelly Ivors to treat any seed from unreliable sources in 20% chlorox for 40 min.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 11:10PM
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Stella_z6

Hello again,

Thanks for the additional posts. I will take some pictures and post them tomorrow.

All of the tomatoes purchased from that nursery continue to look not-right. The leaves curl upward, appear tight, dark-coloured. The (smaller) tomato plants I bought recently at other nurseries appear to have regular normal-looking flat green leaves. I will return with pictures.

Many thanks once again.

This post was edited by Stella_z6 on Sun, Jun 1, 14 at 22:11

    Bookmark   June 1, 2014 at 8:03PM
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Stella_z6

Hi all,

Here's a first image of the tomato plants I'm concerned about. (It seems I can only upload one image at a time--apologies.)

What I'm wondering is whether these plants from Terra are healthy enough to bear fruit. Compared to (smaller) plants purchased elsewhere, the leaves on these plants seem stunted, curled upward, off-coloured, stems slightly purplish. Are they sick? Will this affect neighbouring plants, and if I removed them, will the soil possibly already be contaminated?

Many thanks for any thoughts.

This post was edited by Stella_z6 on Mon, Jun 2, 14 at 14:00

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 1:47PM
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Stella_z6

Second image below (rotated--dang Mac!). The leaves are stunted, curling upward.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 1:50PM
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Stella_z6

Third image. It's hard to tell, but some of the edges on lower leaves have small dried-up edges and/or little dried-up spots.

This post was edited by Stella_z6 on Mon, Jun 2, 14 at 13:56

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 1:52PM
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Stella_z6

Hi, just posting again to knock this post higher up the thread. Still wondering if anyone has any ideas what might be causing this group of tomato plants to curl upward, look stunted, and have some slight darkish discoloration.

Maybe it was early exposure to cold weather? If so, I imagine I'll just have to wait and see if these plants bounce back? I'm tempted now to replace them, since I don't have scads of garden space, although I'd be sorry to give up on these plants.

Many thanks again.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2014 at 8:16PM
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