Your plants started to wilt. Are the fungi causing this symptoms - or is it something else? Let's see how verticillium wilt attacks the plants. When you recognize signs of an infection, you can act to help veggies. When you understand how the fungus spreads, you'll know how to control it.
Apply following tips for the verticillium wilt treatment in your vegetable garden. Discover, which tomato varieties are resistant to this disease. Let's start with a definition, so that you can understand the enemy.
It's a fungal disease, which attacks from the soil. There are two different species of verticillium wilts: V. albo-atrum spp.and V. dahliae spp. They come in various strains of different virulence.
This disease can attack over 300 species of plants. Vegetables from Solanaceae family, like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers or squash are its typical victims. Naturally growing trees, like maple, can harbour the disease as well. You may discover the symptoms on the shrub, strawberry, sunflower and other flora in your garden.
These fungi infect plants through naturally occuring lesions in their roots. Then, the disease spreads along the infected plant's vascular system - the pipes inside the stem transporting the nutrients and water.
The problem occurs usually during July and August. However, it can appear at any time in the season. This fungus is a hardy pathogen, which easily survives winter. It remains hidden in the soil for over 10 years.
Occasionally, only one side of the plant seems to suffer, depending on the location of an infection source. The symptoms may last for years on the perennials, without doing a lot of damages. Or the attack may quickly kill the plant. In severe cases, the branches, shoots or the whole plants wilt and die within days.
Other problems cause similar symptoms as well. Consider the possibility of a damage caused by herbicides, fertilisation mistakes, mechanical injuries of the plant, influence of the weather conditions, especially drought or overwatering plants.
A Fusarium wilt infection looks almost identical. However, it prefers hot weather and dislikes the frost. On the other hand, verticillium wilt overwinters well and thrives in a cool weather.
Laboratory tests can help with confirming the diagnosis. They are rarely necessary, as both diseases respond to a similar treatment. Consider testing only, when you are unsure, if the fungi cause issues in your vegetable garden.
Chemical fungicides fail to help, because they can't reach the fungus, which lurks in the soil and inside your plants. So how can you treat this disease? You face two choices:
The fungus enjoys a wet soil, so make sure to irrigate correctly and avoid overwatering. Strong plants resist any disease better, and verticillium wilt is no exception. Apply fertilizers, which contain less nitrogen and more potassium, to improve plant's resistance.
Since the fruits can fall off from infected tomato plants, collect them and allow to mature elsewhere.
This fungal disease can survive over ten years in the soil and is difficult to remove. You could fumigate the soil for verticillium wilt, but the procedure is quite expensive, especially when performed on the large area. Following tips will help you manage the disease and minimalize the impact of verticillium wilt in your garden.
These last two tips enable you to succeed, when pathogens lurk in the soil
When shopping for verticillium wilt resistant tomatoes, look for the "V" sign on the seed packet. Below you can find the list of 7 best hybrid determinate and indeterminate tomato varieties resistant to fusarium and verticillium wilts and nematodes. These links lead to Amazon.com, where you can buy tomato seeds or seedlings.