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The Last Several Years, My Tomatoes, Like This Year. Were…

Michael Asked

The last several years, my tomatoes, like this year. were going just awesom–lot of tomatoes on them, plants were perfect. Then, like the last few years, all at once they start to die from the ground up. This has happened in two garden places I have had. I have done everything I know to do to stop this, with no luck.

The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, Michael: There are many diseases that can affect homegrown tomatoes. That is why it is important to grow disease-resistant varieties and plant them in ideal growing conditions. Since you have tried growing them in different locations and they seem to be happy and then all of the sudden they fail, it sounds more like an environmental issue. Are you aware of any walnut trees growing in the area? Even if the trees have been removed and the roots are still decaying, it can cause walnut wilt, which causes internal decay starting in the lower stems and works its way up, suddenly killing the plant. They basically wilt and die. This is true for eggplants and peppers as well. There are other fungus and disease problems associated with tomatoes, but I cannot say for certain what is happening with yours without seeing a sample. Since this has happened several years in a row in different areas of the garden, you should take a sample to your County Extension Office for a positive analysis. That way you know exactly what you are dealing with and how to prevent future problems. As with any crop, good sanitation practices are very important in reducing insect and disease problems. The Greenup County offices are located at 226 West Main Street. Linda Hieneman is the Agriculture and Natural Resource agent. She can be reached at (606) 473-9881.

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