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Raised beds due to wilt

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Raised beds due to wilt

Post  pmb0928 on 4/2/2017, 8:29 pm

I had a garden in my backyard for 5 years and it was pretty good. About 2 years ago all my tomato plants basically died overnight. After talking to the man at the nursery he said it was Granville Wilt which is a bacterial wilt that really hit tobacco areas of NC hard. I am in eastern NC and after researching it he looked to be right. It can never be cured but I did solarize it last year. It does get somewhat better over time.  I decided to build large raised beds, they are 4' x 12' beds that are 30" high. I am trying to decide if putting down plastic to keep a barrier from the soil will cause issues. I built it to drain well and have gravel on the side for that. I plan on putting tomato plants in there and hope the plastic will not cause issues since their roots can go extremely deep. Also, earthworms wont be able to come up into the bed if the plastic is there. But I really am so paranoid of the roots getting to the old soil because it will litterally kill them in 2 days.
Any thoughts.

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Re: Raised beds due to wilt

Post  ralitaco on 4/2/2017, 11:06 pm

First of all, Welcome from Coastal NC!!! Where in NC are you located?
I believe you will find the folks here very nice and helpful. With your experience, you can also teach us too.

As for Granville Wilt, I know nothing. I hadn't heard of it until your post, but perhaps others here can offer some advice on killing it or avoiding it.

pmb0928 wrote:I decided to build large raised beds, they are 4' x 12' beds that are 30" high.
This does not sound like you are doing Square Foot Gardening because it only requires 6" deep beds. Have you read the All New Square Foot Gardening book? If not, I suggest you stop what you are doing and read it before building/filling your 30" beds.

Welcome again and I am sure others will comment soon.

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Re: Raised beds due to wilt

Post  sanderson on 4/3/2017, 5:42 am

PMB,  Welcome to the Forum from California!  glad you\'re here  Have you already made the new tomato beds?  If not,  I recommend table top beds made from 2" x 8" pine/fir with 3/4-1" plywood bottoms.  (the finished height will be 7 1/2")  They are elevated with wood legs, cinder blocks, etc.  There is an actual air gap between the raised be and the native soil.  If you haven't read All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew, please do.  Tomatoes do fine in 6-7" of what we call Mel's Mix.  Most of us make our own following the recipe in the book.  With the beds only a few inches deep, it is relatively easy to solarize the beds each year if need be.  I hope this gives you some ideas.


Here is a photo of a 2' x 7' table top bed that I grew 7 tomato plants in last summer.


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