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Sprawling tomato vines - Fungus solution?

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Sprawling tomato vines - Fungus solution?

Post  Windmere on 8/5/2014, 1:22 pm

Over the past few weeks, I've noticed something very interesting about my tomato vines.  I have not posted any photos of my 4x4 beds because I'm too embarrassed about how I've let the plants do their own thing.  In the 4x4 beds, I haven't really staked my tomatoes well, so the beds look like an overgrown mess (well, cat's out of the bag on that now).  Overgrown mess or not, I'm getting some nice produce.  I figure that's all that matters in times of fungus distress.   Razz 

Here's what I've noticed:  The tomato plants that are horizontally sprawling, without fail, have long, long vines that are fungus free (they are pretty much growing on the grass).   I just came in from harvesting two heaping hand-fulls of tomatoes from those vines.  The central portions of these vines (the parts that are half-heartedly staked)  look like ground zero of a fungus bomb. 

The tomatoes that are well staked and growing vertically have fungus issues right up the the tips of new growth.  I wondered if the fact that some are different varieties made a difference.  However, two of my "non-staked" plants are the same as two of the vertically staked plants.

Has anyone else had a similar experience?  Is this just a fortunate coincidence?  Please tell me what you think and what you are experiencing.

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Re: Sprawling tomato vines - Fungus solution?

Post  yolos on 8/5/2014, 2:23 pm

Hmmmm ????  Strange.   thinking 

The spores blowing in are hitting the top of the plant first and not making it down to the bottom????? Not likely. thinking 

Ah, maybe the tops of the plants get heavy dew on them and therefore, the spores multiply but the lower branches are not getting as much dew.?????????? thinking 

Ah, the health of the bottom is better than the top because the branches are closer to the soil, water and nutrients and the low lying plants can therefore withstand the pressure of the disease better.  Or maybe they have formed roots along the stem where they are touching the ground. ???? thinking

Obviously I do not know what the heck I am talking about.  My fungus all starts at the bottom and all my tomatoes are staked or caged so I can't help in any meaningful way.

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Re: Sprawling tomato vines - Fungus solution?

Post  walshevak on 8/5/2014, 2:30 pm

I'm going the the possibility of extra roots in the ground of the sprawling ones.



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Re: Sprawling tomato vines - Fungus solution?

Post  Windmere on 8/5/2014, 2:45 pm

All very good theories yolos and walshevak.  Regardless... it kind'a makes me want to be lazy with next years vines.

I just checked the vines on the ground... no roots.  All on top of thick grass.

Ok... I'm reluctant to mention this because it's pretty experimental and I worry about touting in this forum.  I bought this super expensive stuff called "Zonix."  It's a biofungicide surfactant that I learned about in Organic Gardening.  I've sprayed all my vines with the stuff after rains.  I stopped bothering with it when I thought it was hopeless (the vertically staked vines).  I really didn't seriously think about this variable until I saw that the vines had no roots.

It may be that the stuff actually works.

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Re: Sprawling tomato vines - Fungus solution?

Post  camprn on 8/5/2014, 2:51 pm

Fungus that affects tomato plants (blight) is from airborne spores. Perhaps the horizontal vines are getting less air than the vertical ones. That's my guess.


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