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Dreaded Disease Of Tomato Plants – Verticillium Wilt Disease
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Dreaded Disease Of Tomato Plants – Verticillium Wilt Disease

Without a doubt, the most dreaded disease of tomato plants is verticillium wilt disease. It is caused by a soil-borne fungus that prevents the plant from taking up water and nutrients. Basically, it clogs the arteries of the plant. The heartbreaking thing about this disease is that it doesn’t usually set in until later in the season… after you have given your tomato plant lots of time, energy and love. It’s been my experience that it happens before the first tomatoes ripen. After that, it’s all downhill.

The first sign that this disease of tomato plants has set in is that the bottom leaves will yellow, brown, and then die. Typically, the verticillium wilt disease affects entire branches as it progresses up the stem. It will look like a large section of your plant is in need of water. Though, no amount of water will help since the plant is unable to absorb it. The tomatoes on the affected branches will be small and possibly drop off, turn yellow on the top, and sunburn because of the lack of leaf protection.

This disease of tomato plants remains in the soil for long periods of time and is difficult to eradicate. To prevent it from happening in the first place, it is a good idea to rotate your garden crops. Even worse, it can use weeds such as ragweed and cocklebur to help it multiply. Even cold winter temperatures don’t kill verticillium wilt disease. It has a built-in survival system that helps it overwinter.

Verticillium Wilt disease is not just a disease of tomato plants. Bell peppers, rutabagas, watermelon, potatoes, eggplant, strawberries, and cucumbers are among the most common garden crops susceptible to this ruthless disease.

If your plants are hit by verticillium wilt disease, you can either let them continue to grow (if they are producing at least a little fruit) or you can pull them out of your garden. After you pull them out, do not toss them in your compost pile as this will enable the disease to spread. Burn the infected plants or move them far away from your garden.

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to stop the disease from progressing once it starts. However, there are preventative actions you can take to avoid this dreaded disease of tomato plants. Rotating your garden crops is one of the best ways to keep verticillium wilt at bay. Thoroughly disinfect garden tools that have been used around infected plants. Grow indeterminate plants in containers rather than in the ground. One thing I did this year was to plant wilt resistant tomato plants in a new raised garden bed. So far, so good. Happy gardening, folks!


Street Talk

I just would like to enforce what is being said here about verticillium wilt. I had it one year and did as stated here in this article. I made of bon fire with the plants and cleaned up all my tools and made sure that my tomatoes were never grown in the same place with a four year rotation.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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