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Old 18 March 2019, 07:23 PM
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WildaBeast WildaBeast is online now
 
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Default Home and garden questions

Spring is pretty much here, at least in my part of the world, and it's time to start thinking about planting gardens. The previous version of this thread hasn't been active since 2017, and has exceeded the number of posts at which threads were typically locked, so I'm starting a new one.

Every year I plant a couple of tomato plants in my backyard. Last year, although the plants did produce some fruit early on, later in the season the plants start to turn brown and die, starting with the oldest leaves. Watering them more didn't help. I'm fairly sure my problem was Fusarium wilt. Most advise I've read on how to deal with the problem say to rotate crops every year so that the same types of plants aren't always in the same spot. I've attempted to do that, except my garden is very small; pretty much just a couple of tomato plants, a couple of pepper plants, and maybe a basil plant. Swapping where I plant the peppers and tomatoes apparently isn't good enough; they're still close enough to last year's location to get the fungus. Is there anything else I can do? I'm wondering if it might be better to just not plant anything this year and let the soil "rest", and return to planting a garden next year, but then I don't get to have garden fresh tomatoes this year.
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Old 18 March 2019, 07:26 PM
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Some tomato plants are supposed to do well in containers. Maybe try to find a couple of those?
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Old 18 March 2019, 07:36 PM
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Quite a lot of tomatoes, including varieties not specifically for the purpose, will do well in containers, if the containers are large enough. I've grown indeterminate heirlooms in five gallon pots.

There are varieties supposed to be resistant to fusarium wilt; you might try some of those. (I'd suggest also checking flavor descriptions, bearing in mind that "mild" may mean "tasteless"; though flavor is also affected by soil type and maybe other location-specific factors, as well as by sunshine and amount of water.)

I'd also suggest, if you do see the symptoms this year, taking a sample to your county extension office and getting it diagnosed, just to make certain you're not dealing with something else.

Also, where are you getting your plants? I'd strongly recommend either starting them from seed yourself, using seed from a reputable seed company; or if you can't do that at least finding a local nursery with a good reputation. You don't want to risk buying plants that are already carrying diseases, even if symptoms aren't apparent yet at purchase.
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Old 18 March 2019, 07:38 PM
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I am a good 45 days from planting season, but I plan to plant tomatoes as I do every year. I live for the few months each year that I get fresh tomatoes from my own plants.

I often plant a few other items, but they are just sacrifices to the tomato gods.
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Old 18 March 2019, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Quite a lot of tomatoes, including varieties not specifically for the purpose, will do well in containers, if the containers are large enough. I've grown indeterminate heirlooms in five gallon pots.
Back when I lived in an apartment I used to grown them in containers on the balcony. I think they actually did better than the ones I've grown in the ground. I'm guessing the soil I was using in the containers was better than the soil in my garden, which had previously just been lawn until I tilled it up. Although it has gotten better after years of adding compost and tilling the previous year's plants under.

Quote:
Also, where are you getting your plants? I'd strongly recommend either starting them from seed yourself, using seed from a reputable seed company; or if you can't do that at least finding a local nursery with a good reputation. You don't want to risk buying plants that are already carrying diseases, even if symptoms aren't apparent yet at purchase.
Last year, if I remember correctly, I got them all from a vendor selling them at the farmers market. Some years, though, I got them from the garden center at Lowe's.
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