Verticillium Wilt Tomato: how to prevent it
Protect your tasty produce from a hostile garden take over of verticillium wilt tomato and enjoy vine ripe tomatoes all season long.Wilts are the number one killer of tomato plants. Often the disease is called "tomato blight", and can turn your hard-earned investment of time and money into a pile of dying leaves nearly overnight. Do not despair; there are easy steps to follow to control .
Verticillium Wilt tomatoes is caused by soil-borne funguses Verticillium albo-atrum and V. dahliae commonly found in most soils. Verticillium strikes and kills tomatoes typically at the end of the season, most often when they are loaded with ripening fruit. The fungi set up shop in the vascular system of tomato plants where water is normally taken from the healthy roots and supplied to the leaves.
This common fungal infection enters the tomato plant's roots, rapidly multiplies and makes itself at home. The fungi invade the roots producing toxins. The fungus spores lodge in the vascular tissue causing the tomato plant to respond by restricting essential water and nutrients to the area. The response is designed to starve the infection but in turn starves the plant as well.
How to Spot the Wilt
The first sign for spotting verticillium wilt is discolored leaves, generally found on only one side of the leaf. In the beginning, plants may wilt during the day and appear to revive overnight. Blotches appear on the bottom leaves, followed by brown veins, and large darkening spots of decay. Leaves will wilt, wither, and die. The fungus travels up the stem, causing stunted plant growth. Without sun protection, exposed fruit may yellow or burn.
* The best defense is in taking preventative measures by growing resistant plant varieties in well-drained soil because the fungus prefers poorly drained soil. The disease also seems more prevalent in neutral to high pH soils. Use fertilizer low in nitrogen. High nitrogen levels leave plants susceptible to fungus.
* Look for the letter V displayed when purchasing tomato plants. This means that the plant is resistant to deadly Verticillium Wilt .
* For Wilt prevention, practice crop rotation. Plant tomatoes in an area where no tomato plants have been produced for several growing seasons. The fungus could remain in the soil indefinitely.
* Deep garden plowing may reduce the impact of Verticillium wilt tomato.
* Bake the soil to kill the fungus. During the hottest days of summer, moisten and cover the garden bed with transparent plastic sheeting for six weeks.
* Raised beds and container growing are proven methods to prevent wilts.
Organic Cures and Treatments
Before you reach for the chemical sprays, a relatively easy cure to verticillium wilt tomato is to remove the effected plants. Organic cures consist of removing all affected dead leaves, cleaning up any diseased plant debris in the area, and keeping water off the leaves of the tomato plants. Maintaining dry foliage helps combat fungus. While the fruit is still edible, this condition weakens and reduces the tomato's size. Remove it from the vine, and allow it to ripen elsewhere.
Some gardening experts claim using fungicides to control leaf blights carries no benefits for wilt diseases because they are internal infections. Although, copper has long been used for its disease fighting properties and is the main ingredient in copper sprays formulated for helping stop the spread of plant fungal disease. Use these helpful tips formulated for taking the bite out of verticillium wilt tomato before it takes a hearty chunk out of your delicious crop!