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    Gardening Category Up and Growing!

    Here's the Category you asked for Joan!

    I had two of my new tomato plants wilt on me. Anybody have a clue? I've never had that happen before. I would've thought cold or frost but plants right next to them are doing great.

    The rest are going strong!

    Hi LuxLiving. I'm seeing this gardening section of the forum listing its oldest threads first, newest last. Are you, too?

    Now that we can see all the threads again, I realize I had read some of them in the past. Perhaps I even participated. Don't remember.

    Tomatoes wilting. Well your location says Mid-South. The only place that I know of that refers to itself as Mid-South is around Memphis, TN. There can be nematodes in the soil there and nematodes can cause tomato wilt. You can "solarize" your soil to get rid of them. That involves covering the soil with clear plastic for sometime, allowing the soil underneath to reach higher than normal temps. That kills the nematodes. I do not know how to tell whether you have nematodes though. Some are surely visible to the naked eye, looking like hair with tiny heads! Sometimes you can see these on the surface of the soil when there's been a heavy rain. Knot-like swellings on the roots are the visible damage nematodes do. Inside those knots, they have caused the cells to become scrambled, disorderly so that water cannot be conducted upward to the stems and leaves. You've heard of planting marigolds with tomatoes? What marigolds do is repel those nematodes.

    Fusarium is a fungus that can cause very sudden wilting. If you cut your main stem, you will see a brown ring in there if it is fusarium.

    Verticillium is another fungus. It is in the soil but I think its entry into the plant is through the leaves. When train or watering causes drops to splash up, the fungus can get on the leaves. Some gardeners spread synthetic mulch film or clean oat straw or even just hay or grass clippings to prevent splashback from carrying fungal cells to the leaves.

    I'm not sure, but I think soil solarization can help all of 3 of those wilt causes.

    You just do not want to go drenching your soil with a fungicide. Fungicides tend to be very powerful chemicals that do not set well with the human system! Besides, the soil is full of helpful living microbes including fungi that are very important to the structure and "richness" of the soil.

    Did you buy tomatoes from a commercial source? If so, they are most likely hybrid tomatoes, and all most all hybrids on the market were bred, in part, to have resistance to these three causes of wilt. On the label you might have seen the initials, VFN, VF, FN, or VN, to indicate which organisms the tomatoes are resistant to.

    However, heirloom (non-hybrid) tomatoes have had a resurgence in popularity in recent years and even some of the huge nurseries which ship all over the country are beginning to sell some of these hybrids. Not many of them have resistance.

    Do you know what varieties you have and which have wilted?
    "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

    "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass


      Did you check for any particular insects that attack just the tomato plant?