Tomato Problem

Asked March 20, 2013, 12:42 PM EDT

Ten years ago when I planted a large garden, with 8 tomato plants, all of my tomato plants died except the cherry tomatos.They reached a height of about two feet then all of them withered and died.
An AG agent came out and told me that she suspected that there was a fungus in the gorund that caused this and it was irreversible. I want to start again. I have a broad spectrum fungicide (chlorothalonil) that I would like to spray on the field before prep and planting. Is this a good idea or a waste of time? Since this stuff is toxic I don't want to use it unless it is worth the effort. This area has been fallow for 8 years.

Bernalillo County New Mexico

1 Response

What you are describing is a common issue among home tomato producers all over the country. There are many diseases that affect tomatoes and most are managed by buying disease resistant varieties and a frequent use of fungicides on the plants. The garden fungicides are not terribly toxic to humans and if you practice a little bit of care can be used safely. Soil treatments are often the most toxic and the least effective.

Take a look at the following resources for information on varieties that have resistance to common blights and wilts and the guidance to good control of the other diseases. Unfortunately, many diseases require preemptive applications of the disease controls. Once the disease is seen, too much damage is done.