Tomatoes grown in one area of my yard have developed wilt whenever grown in...

Asked July 30, 2014, 3:52 PM EDT

Tomatoes grown in one area of my yard have developed wilt whenever grown in that area. I have removed numerous black walnut trees over the years, hoping to remove that as a cause so I may continue to garden there. Broccoli, eggplants, peppers, squash and beans seem to do fine. Can you tell me how long the ground may remain toxic to tomatoes after Black Walnut trees are removed/killed?. I have one remaining large walnut, the dripline of which is about 30' from the garden area, and other walnuts remain that are about 50 ft away. I am hoping that I can use this garden to rotate crops, as the only good area for tomatoes now is farther from the water source than I'd like.

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

Even though the trees were removed there is probably residual root material in the area. Roots can take a long time (years) to decompose. Walnut roots can extend in the soil well beyond the crown or drip line of the tree, affecting susceptible plants far from the black walnut.
Tomatoes are very susceptible to juglone. At this point you may consider growing tomatoes in containers. See the publication from Va Tech for more information http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/430/430-021/430-021.html
mh