Fusarium resistant heirlooms

coralb(7)August 10, 2011

Hi everyone,

I have had what I think is fusarium in my soil for a couple of years. I am a backyard suburban gardener so I cannot rotate like I probably should. The hybrids that are resistant to fusarium grow fine but I want to grow some more heirlooms. I plan on trying actinovate next year but want to hedge my bets. In your experience what heirlooms are resistant to fusarium?

I asked this question a few years ago and was told Cherokee Purple was resistant. Bless the soul who told me that. It does wonderful in my soil. I decided to try Cherokee Green this year and it is also surviving and thriving. I am going to try Cherokee Green Pear next year.

I have also read the Neves Azorean Red is resistant. Can anyone testify to that? I would really like to try an oxheart.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions. I am sorry if this has already been asked and answered. I searched and could not find a similar discussion.


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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Since Cherokee Chocolate is Cherokee Purple with a skin mutation (according to my notes, anyway) as well as an ancestor of Cherokee Green, I'd assume Cherokee Chocolate would be resistant also.

There are a ton of good tomatoes descended from Cherokee Purple. They might not all turn out to be resistant, but if you don't get more recommendations here, it would be a good place to start.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 10:44AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

I really am surpised that your hybrids with F resistance had no problems b'c the genes bred in don't confer total resistance, they confer only tolerance.

There are few if any tomato varieties that are totally resistant to ANY disease, whether having genes bred in or occuring naturally. But progress is being made, espeically with the foliage pathogens which arfe THE most common.

There are also three different races of Fusarium and there's no cross protection between them. YOu'll see them next to the alphabet stuff that's listed after the variety name. The most common historically have been F1 and F2 but F3 has spread in the last 5-10 years, and yes, F3 is present in NC.

As for heirlooms with some tolerance against whichever races of Fusarium you have, I can't be much help b'c we don't have that disease where I garden. And I haven't seen anyone post about tolerance with Neves Azorean Red and I usually pay attention when I see NAR being discussed b'c I was the one who first introduced it.

But Craig LeHoullier who first introduced Cherokee Purple and as said above there are now many descendents, lives and gardens in Raleigh he has said that he finds CP to be more tolerant.

He grows almost no varieties inground now b'c of Fusarium, but grows hundreds of them in gro-bags and containers and almost all on his paved driveway and they do great.

He sells plants at the Raleigh Farmer's Market in the Spring.

The F3 first showed up in W NC and that's where the well known tomato breeder Dr. Randy Gardner is/was and it's been found in E TN and other nearby areas.

My brother moved to NC with family a few years ago and I've given up trying to ID at a distance what his tomato problems are despite sending him link after link for reference.

He just says that growing tomatoes in the N was much easier and reading at several message sites I think I'd have to agree with that most of the time. LOL


    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 12:11PM
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Maybe I mispoke when I said they had no problem. I few have a branch here or there that wilts and dies but they do produce a good amount of tomatoes. Perhaps they would produce more and last longer if they did not have to contend with fusarium.

I did try growing some in containers this year. I was not blown away with the results. The 3 SWC's we made did not wick. I will try a different mix next year. They have survived but the roots are in the reservoir so I can't cut back on the water easily. The toms I have gotten off them are not surprisingly watery tasting. I acknowledge there is a learning curve here and part (all?) of the problem is my mistake.

I also have some in pots. Aside from the Black Cherry I am not impressed with the yields. Also, 2 of them succumbed to some wilt disease. I assume it was fusarium. They are next to my garden (though on an area that has not been tilled). I figure either the roots grew out of the pot into infected soil or I infected them by using cages that had been in the ground. I think it is the later since the only two that have died of wilt in containers were the only 2 that had cages. Next year I will make new cages for the container toms.

I have been trying 1 or 2 new ones in the garden each year to see how they fare. This year it was Green Cherokee which is tall and lush and setting a decent amount of toms. No wilted branches (yet).

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 2:38PM
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This year none of my 22 varieties of tomatoes I grew from seed myself had any disease. I did buy two plants from others, and one of these, Caspian Pink, was the only one to look diseased, so I pulled it out. I did start all my seedlings in Pro-Mix BX with biofungicide, which according to the information on the bag inoculates the roots with a friendly bacteria which eat fungus, and permanently protects the plant from four different pathogens including fusarium if I remember correctly. Maybe its just coincidence I had no disease, but I plan to use this same potting mix from now on. I know the biofungicide prevents damping off as I have had none since I started using it as my seed starting mix.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 11:38PM
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"I did try growing some in containers this year. I was not blown away with the results. The 3 SWC's we made did not wick. I will try a different mix next year. They have survived but the roots are in the reservoir so I can't cut back on the water easily."

any of the top swc"s the roots will be in the resevoir. your soil mix was most likely the problem. the roots growining the resevoir still survive and i think its called cyclic reaction. where the older roots die and lots of new roots grow. also you need a good fertilizer setup.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 9:31AM
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Yeah. I admit I have a lot to learn about container gardening and SWC's. I tried Raybo's mix that I read about on the container forum but probably did not do something correctly.

I have read all about Pro-Mix BX and tried to find it for the containers. I had not luck. None of the bog box stores had it. Neither did the awesome family owned hardware store that carries all the organic stuff that I use. Sounds like I need to locate some for my seedlings next year.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 4:04PM
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