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william duffer 02-11-2010 01:19 PM

Last year I planted about 12 tomato plants and when they got to maturity and the tomatoes started maturing the plant died. The best way I can explain it is the stems got nubbies on them and split. Maybe a fungus I have no idea, very few tomatoes matured. I gave them generous water. My situation is should I plant in the same raised bed this year or totally replace the soil and start fresh. Any ideas? I live in southern New Mexico and it gets pretty hot and about 4000 feet. Tomatillo, Big Boy Hybrid, Cherries, Yellow Pear and Super Sweet 100 Hybrid all tolerant of the weather I was told.


Bob Mariani 02-12-2010 04:25 PM

This was due to a blight that was spread on all tomatoes distributed to everyone that bought from a box store or food store. It was a fungus and a very nasty one.

Scuba_Dave 02-12-2010 04:49 PM

What did you do with the old plants ?
Hopefully threw them out

Bob Mariani 02-12-2010 04:54 PM


Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave (Post 398802)
What did you do with the old plants ?
Hopefully threw them out

But not in the mulch pile!

user1007 02-12-2010 05:36 PM

Why not get some peat pots (not the worthless peat pellets) some sterilized potting soil, and seeds for the varieties of your choice and grow your own. The roots will grow through the peat pots and you can transplant pots and all. Or, as mentioned, get your plants from a real nursery and not from box stores or supermarkets that have no concerns about who grows plants for them.

Drip irrigation will help reduce the risk of soil born fungi and so forth from getting on to the plants as it doesn't splash water all around and send things airborne. As I think I mentioned to you in another post it is also great for establishing deep strong root systems needed in hot dry climates.

If there is any danger that whatever got the plants was not caused by a substandard grower and was in the soil, you should replace it.

william duffer 02-12-2010 11:25 PM

Burned them
I burned all the yard debris from last year I didn't want to take any chances. I will read up on the blight problem, it looks like some organic fungiscide is in order. I am not going to plant them in the same raised bed and maybe replace the soil. It takes about a ton of dirt to do that though. I plant everything by seed had no idea that fungus would be transferred through seeds. I will also throw all the old seeds out and replace with new ones from a nursery. I am also thinking about changing the way i grow them I have heard about hanging them off the ground somehow.

Thanks all

Scuba_Dave 02-13-2010 07:35 AM

The fungus spread on the wind
So even plants grown by seed were effected if someone near you had blighted plants

Tom Struble 02-13-2010 08:57 AM

look for more disease resistant plant strains

william duffer 02-13-2010 12:15 PM

I just found out that New Mexico State University has been working on a disease found in Las Cruces, NM that effects Tomatoes. Not sure if they found a cure for it but I will give them a call or go talk to them.

Are the hybrids supposed to be disease resistant or do I need to find a specific kind.

concretemasonry 02-13-2010 12:38 PM

I just finished my second year of growing the upside-down system. The first year was just a single plant (Roma). The second was 3 hangers, two with one plant each and one with 3 peppers. I had one problem when the system got heavier than one of the wire hangers I fabricated and some small branches were snapped off a pepper plant, but with a new wire system there was no problem. The method requires daily watering (small amount) since you cannot soak a large surrounding area. You can get accurate control of the fertilizer in each bag.

I filled them with the lightweight potting soil, but still gets heavy with absorbed moisture and drains instead of flooding during a heavy rain. I am able to plant much earlier and growth is faster in our climate. You cannot plant indeterminate plants unless you have a good support and a lot of clearance below. The peppers worked out well. I used the system because there was only one area in our shady yard that had enough sun. This year, I may dump the soil in a big pan and heat it to a high heat to remove some of the things that might be in it.


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