Are wispy varieties more susceptible to disease?

plantslayer(8)September 15, 2011

So all of my tomato plants got at least a touch or so of early blight this year, but it all but destroyed by Anna Russian plants, which are wispy. I had to rip two of them out of the ground once their best fruit ripened, because they were being consumed by the disease. My other plants suffered a bit, but they eventually seemed to over come it and are still fairly healthy (the season is almost over here, they'll all be done before the end of the month I believe).

So I was wondering if wispy variety plants are more susceptible to blight than non-wispy types. Of my eight varieties, the 2 Anna Russians and 1 Anna Banana suffered the worst.

Also, it's possible I gave them too much water (I haven't watered any of my plants for weeks now, and they looked great even after a few 80+ degree days... before I watered them deeply about 1 time per 7 days) so maybe wispy varieties suffer more from wet roots?

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In my experience, yes the wispy leaf and any paste types that I have grown seem to do very poorly under any attack from foliage diseases. The ones I have growing this year are all brown, but their neighbors which are regular leaf large fruited still have mostly green leaves but are turning brown only on the bottom.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 11:05PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

The largest group of varieties with wispy droopy foliage are the heart varieties and next are many of the paste varieties.

While many, but not all, of those varieties can exhibit what's called CRUD as young seedlings, that disappears when the seedlings are set outside.

I can only speak for myself where I grow tomatoes in upsate NY but no, the wispy droopy ones are not any more susceptible to foliage diseases than are other varieties.

And I haven't found that they're more susceptible to wet feet either, that based on those rare occasions when some of them were under water due to torrential downpours and seeing which varieties did or didn't like wet feet. Some varieties do better in those conditions and that, I think, is to be expected, b'c I don't think water transport is the same for all varieties.

Some say they have more sunscald with the wispy droopy ones but that hasn't been a big concern for me where I grow my tomatoes, perhaps further south yes, but most sunscald of fruits occurs after harvest has started and the foliage is rearranged thus exposing fruits to more sun.

I'll end by saying that over the years I have grown a heck of a lot of wispy droopy heart varieties b'c hearts are one of my most favorite types of varieties to grow b'c of the outstanding taste for most of them.

Carolyn, up at this ridiculous hour b/c she has a cramp in her left foot to work out, but not as bad as Rafa Nadal the tennis player who slumped in his chair and then slid to the floor after one of his matches when he was being interviewed by the press bc he had BIG time cramping. ( smile)

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 2:26AM
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I grew some Grightmire's Pride(a wispy-leaved pink heart type)this year, and while all my plants got some type of slow growing bacterial 'something'(lots of thunderstorms and torrential rains early on), the GPs out produced the others. I can't say 'pound-wise', but they just kept putting out even as their foliage was dying. I still have toms ripening on almost bare stems.
I didn't have a product to even try to slow down the disease, but I plan on getting some daconil next season. Luckily, the GPs and a black(Slovene Black)did well in spite of it.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 1:12PM
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Thanks for the responses... My wife really likes the flavor of AR, which I think is going to be similar to other heart-shaped varieties. I was wondering if someone can suggest a heart variety as good or better in fruit quality and growing characteristics (time to maturity, productivity etc.) that I might next next year instead of AR, just to see if it resists disease better? I know AR is pretty early, and well liked for its flavor, so it might be a tough act to follow.

I don't mind different-colored ones either, as long as they produce as well and mature at about the same speed as Anna Russian.

I think that disease is just a fact of life where I garden- it's a community garden and people tend to crowd their plants together in a huge thicket, plant in the same spot year after year, let their disease-ridden vines stay in the ground once the season is over (sometimes with rotting), etc. I don't do that, but the neighboring plots do, so whatever I grow needs to handle folliar diseases well.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 5:36PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

You could consider the following:


Kosovo, grows well for almost everyone
Nicky Crain
Tsar of Bells
Anna Maria's Pink Heart


Linnie's Oxheart
Indiana Red
German red Strawberry
Russian # 117

Maybe take a look at those, and there are many more, at Tania's T-base and see what you think. I could have listed many more b'c I'd a dedicated heart lover, but when lists get too long it gets ridiculous IMO.

I'm not going to list any yellow/orange or white or black hearts b'c I think it's best you start with the pinks and reds.


    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 8:56PM
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