Fursarium Wilt ?

gltrap54June 17, 2014

Jet Star, Mountain Fresh, & Defiant...... all grafted plants....... Maxifort rootstock.......

Research points to Fusarium Wilt being the problem........ Never had the stuff, so I'm not sure.......... Some plants seem to be OK at this point.... Should I remove the diseased plants from my raised bed?

I think I'll go cry now......

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farmerdill

Does not look like Fusarium. Cut a stem cross section. Fusarium will exhibit a brown ring corresponding with the cambium layer. It usually starts with yellowing at the bottom which moves up the plant. It is a slow death. On the other hand Southern Blight is quick. A beautiful plant one day and a day or so later it wilts all over and dies quickly.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fusarium wilt- tomatoes.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 8:43PM
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mdfarmer

Wow, sorry about your tomatoes. I can't help you identify the disease, but i grafted plants a few years ago and they did well for a few weeks then boom, got some sort of wilt and died fast. I believe mine had the same maxifort rootstock as yours.

I've never had that problem with non-grafted tomatoes. I alternate spraying Serenade and liquid copper for blight and usually have tomatoes survive into october. I especially like Defiants for their blight resistance.

I hope that your surviving tomatoes do ok. When my grafted tomatoes died, my non-grafted tomatoes that were right next to them did just fine.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 8:53PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

When did you add the mulch?
And when did the plants wilt -- before or after the mulch was added?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 10:54PM
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gltrap54

Thanks folks! Agree farmerdill, prolly not Fursarium Wilt...... There's no yellowing from the bottom Being grafted plants, who knows.... I will cut a stem to check ......

Interesting mdfarmer.... That you had the same scenario with your grafted plants...... Any plant pathologists out there? LOL

Oh well, I've got 40 non grafted plants remaining.....

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:46PM
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gltrap54

jean001a.......... Mulch was added when I planted them out.... Sooo it was after...... These plants went from healthy to wilted in a couple of days!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:51PM
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woohooman

Doesn't look like fusaraium to me neither. But I'm no expert on tomato afflictions.. just know it's in my soil from a plant test. Like dill said, it's a slow death

With me, I see sudden wilt and can almost guarantee a gopher :(

Funny you mentioned grafted maters.. I watched a local gardening show just this weekend and the theme was a local farm grafting tomatoes and the guy said the some advantages of grafted plants was "disease resistance."..lol.

Kevin

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 12:36AM
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mdfarmer

I'd be curious to hear from anyone who's had a good experience with grafted tomatoes. It was a bit of work doing the grafting, and the rootstock was expensive, along the lines of $1 a seed. Then the grafted plants were set back a few weeks while they recovered from the grafting process. The grafted plants would have to have very impressive yields to justify the time and expense of the whole process. I never got any fruits from my plants at all, they got some funky disease that i've never seen before and wilted before anything ripened.

There may be parts of the country that have soil born diseases that the rootstocks are resistant to, but it didn't work for me at all. I've thought about trying grafting again, but think my time is better spent taking care of my non-grafted tomatoes, amending the soil, controlling blight, etc.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 7:07AM
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planatus(6)

A research/development company sent me four grafted plants last year. They were poor performers, the first to melt down when things got difficult. I grow a mix of OPs and hybrids, and the grafted plants didn't match the OPs in vigor.

The grafted varieties you name -- Jetstar, Mountain Fresh and Defiant -- are so vigorous and dependable that I wonder why anyone would graft them. I wonder what would happen if you cut off a few shoots and stuck them in water. If they perk up and start growing roots, you will know it was a localized root failure rather than a systemic disease.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 8:22AM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

Handsome, Have you had extra wet soil? That can encourage wilt and disease. I hesitate to add straw until roots are well established...even then hold my breath until summer drying begins.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 9:43AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I'm not saying this is your issue, just something to consider. Several horticultural articles I have read lately indicate that sudden wilting of a grafted plant is due to the failure of the graft point itself. This has been documented for decades in other crop graftings so it seems logical to find it in tomato plants as well.

Apparently as the plant matures or is exposed to stress and begins to bloom and set fruit, the top growth demands begin to overwhelm the root stock's ability to provide and the plant collapses at the graft.

Some of this failure is laid on the industry. In its rush to provide grafted plants to meet the demand for them (which is mostly unwarranted IMO) the quality of the grafting processes used declines. Some is laid on the growers for not understanding the different planting and care methods of grafted plants or for failing to understand the true reasons for using grafted plants in the first place.

So if pulling the plant anyway examine the graft point closely for any signs of weakness or tissue breakdown at that point. A cross section of the stem right at the graft may show nodules or tissue decomposition.

Again, just something to consider.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 11:47AM
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woohooman

Oh! Dave reminded me when he mentioned "failure of the graft point itself." Another note from that gardening show I watched...

The guy said that you want to plant them at soil level and not in the traditional way of nipping leaves and planting deep/sideways.

Kevin

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 12:53PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Right, at or just above the soil level, and you also want to trim off any new growth that develops below the graft juncture.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 1:17PM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

Speaking of new growth, its emergence from the rootstock would confirm that the issue is with the graft union and not with the roots. Examine them to look for this.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 1:23PM
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loribee2(CA 9)

They sound like they're more trouble than they're worth. What is the benefit of grafted plants? Varieties you can't get from seed?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 1:24PM
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woohooman

loribbe: From what I gathered from the show, it was all about disease resistance(vigor). Say, take an heirloom that originally has very little resistance and grafting with the rootstock of something like an Early Girl or Celebrity(lots of resistance).

Kevin

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 1:37PM
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loribee2(CA 9)

Ahh. Though reading the posts here, I can't help but think of Dr. Phil: "How's that working for you?" LOL

Seriously, though, thanks for the info. I have never heard of grafted tomatoes.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 1:42PM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

In tropical areas prone to transient flooding, tomatoes are sometimes grafted onto eggplant rootstocks, which have a better ability to tolerate warm flooded soil for a few days.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 2:31PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

Japanese graft watermelons to have less disease.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 6:58PM
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gltrap54

Well gee........ Yeah it's like mdfarmer mentioned.... An ameature (like me) invests a lot of time, money, & energy on this grafting thing........ As for myself, I wanted to see if I had enough savvy to graft....... Killed 35 of the 50 plants ..... LOL

Interesting stuff Dave! It gives me closure......... ;) The timing of this theory is certainly right on......... Just as my the plants started to put on fruit, they had an almost over night meltdown....

I will indeed examine the graft point for any clues..... All these were planted with the graft above ground.........

I believe my grafting days are done......... ;)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 11:49AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I believe my grafting days are done......... ;)

I think you'll find that to be true for many.

Grafted tomatoes were first developed to aid in coping with heavily infested soil borne diseases, the terminal viral diseases that are a common problem in much of the deep south. It was supposed to give the plant additional resistance and to a degree it works.

But from there the concept seemed to explode - thanks to a hyperbole-filled marketing strategy - to all parts of the country. Even where the viral diseases didn't exist.

All sorts of additional benefits were claimed - "2x the production". bigger fruit, better tasting fruit, guaranteed to prevent Early Blight (which is air borne), etc. etc. All of those claims allowed the high prices for the plants, the grafting tools, etc.

But tomato plants have been grown successfully for centuries without grafting so eventually common sense will prevail. :)

Dave

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 2:06PM
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gltrap54

Yuup, even at 60+ years old I'm still paying for my education.... Now that's a student loan........ LOL

My biggest issue with hybrid plants has been EB... I've worked diligently to avoid this evil, but it still rears it's ugly head! Holding my breath at the moment.....

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 10:36PM
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