I had a terrible problem with tomato wilt---early AND late--- in my garden...

Asked February 2, 2015, 1:17 PM EST

I had a terrible problem with tomato wilt---early AND late--- in my garden last summer. I think that the problem may have originated due to some "contaminated mulch" that was spread by my "Mulch man". He forgot that I do not use bark mulch on my veg. garden. Is there anything that I can add to the soil that will improve my chances at a better tomato crop for next year? Rotating the location of my tomato garden is not an option because there is no other area on my lot with adequate sun exposure. (Currently, my garden is mulched with shredded oak leaves for the winter.) Or do I have to skip a year(s) of planting in this area ? I appreciate any help or advice that you can offer. Susan Foote

Anne Arundel County Maryland vegetables tomato wilt contaminated mulch

1 Response

Here is our website's information on contaminated mulch and compost: http://extension.umd.edu/learn/gardener-alert-beware-herbicide-contaminated-compost-and-manure As it says, contamination can remain in the soil for over 2 years. While waiting, growers can plant in containers.

Bark is not usually contaminated, however.

We recommend that you identify the type of wilt and its cause. Please look over the list of wilts in our IPM's diagnostic chart. http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG56%20IPM%20Tomatoe... Also look at what causes "browning" of leaves. Many homeowners have Early Blight on their tomatoes, but this is not considered a wilt. The IPM has causes and also (at the bottom) what you can do to control the problem.

There is also information on disease problem in our Grow It Eat It section. Go to Vegetable > Common Problems > Diseases.