Tomatoes Wilting - Knowledgebase Question

New Whiteland, IN
Question by bdsmith34
June 27, 1998
Calling "Tomato 911" ...Just as a spell of 95-degree weather hit, one of my tomato plants got wilty. It was a "Mr. Stripey" variety that literally went bad almost overnight: one day it was healthy, the next it wilted.

I can live with that, but my biggest concern is my other 12 tomato plants. Two of them -- a Burpee Big Boy and a
Black Brandywine -- are exhibiting upturned curls on a few of their leaves. (The Big Boy has a couple of "branches"
near the bottom that are full of curled leaves.) I'm worried that the disease is spreading, but I can't prove it. The
Mr. Stripey didn't exhibit such gradual change -- it collapsed immediately. So I wonder if it's something
different.

The wilted plant had few symptoms -- no spots on the leaves or anything. Some leaves were yellow (with brown
tips) around the edges, but that's about it.

So, I have one question with several parts: (1) What killed Mr. Stripey? (2) Is the same thing afflicting my other
tomatoes? (3) If so, can I do anything about it? I take it there's no point in cutting off the afflicted leaves or
branches, but should I remove the diseased plants immediately? (4) Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of
moving the garden from year to year. If I spread clear plastic over it before next year, might that kill the spores
or whatever causes wilt? (5) Three snapdragon plants that overwintered have also wilted. Same disease?

Sorry to be so long-winded, but last year, I consulted several "expert" sources about my tomatoes with yellowing
leaves. You were the only one who diagnosed it correctly -- a simple lack of water. So I really trust your judgment, and hope you can solve this one before I lose my beloved tomato garden.



Image
Answer from NGA
June 27, 1998

0

contains lots of beneficial microbes that can minimize pathogen populations. Solarizing your soil by spreading plastic over it can work to reduce microbe populations, but it is usually most effective in the southern part of the country. I would try to build up your soil with compost, try to maintain your tomato plants in optimum health with good nutrition and watering practices, and choose disease-resistant varieties. By planting the same crop year after year, you do invite various diseases to "take hold". Good luck with your crop! contains lots of beneficial microbes that can minimize pathogen populations. Solarizing your soil by spreading plastic over it can work to reduce microbe populations, but it is usually most effective in the southern part of the country. I would try to build up your soil with compost, try to maintain your tomato plants in optimum health with good nutrition and watering practices, and choose disease-resistant varieties. By planting the same crop year after year, you do invite various diseases to "take hold". Good luck with your crop!

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