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Verticillium fungi  RSS feed

 
Julie Carney
Posts: 76
Location: Silicon Valley
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Once one has Verticillium fungi in the soil, is life over?? Can I ever grow tomatoes etc in the soil again?
Is there any way to "heal" the soil?
Does anyone have suggestions of things to grow that will be unaffected by Verticillium fungi? [I know onions and garlic but I would like to indulge in polyculture growing].
Thanks.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I would try to get more beneficial fungi in the soil by adding a lot of wood; hugelkultur, chipper mulch, or just small branches cut up and laid on the ground as mulch, or all of these.

 
Julie Carney
Posts: 76
Location: Silicon Valley
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I can do that!
How many years are we talking?
If I get just a little attacking my tomatoes, do I need to rip them out immediately, or leave them and hope they can make some harvest before they succumb?
Once it's in the soil, does it GROW?? Are there things I may be doing to encourage it?
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9696
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I don't know a great deal about it except it lives in the soil and attacks stressed plants. So make sure plants get the best soil and care. I think making sure the soil is alive with plenty of beneficial fungi might help keep down the bad guys. You might even want to get some beneficial mushroom cultures to put in there. I think fungi perfecti has some, and probably the mushroom folks here on the board can recommend other sources.

Please note these recommendations are not based on experience! They are based entirely on theory!

 
Julie Carney
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Location: Silicon Valley
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I don't know much about mushroom culture, but they should probably be happy if I have decomposing wood around from the hugelculture....... I guess a variety is often better than just one type?!
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9696
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Diversity is a survival strategy!

 
Nicole Castle
Posts: 151
Location: Madison, AL
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There are different kinds of Verticillium fungi. Do you only have the kind that affects solanaceous crops, like tomatoes? Or are you have problems with your shrubs and trees as well?
 
David Miller
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Location: Harrisonburg, VA
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Verticillium is most commonly a problem when there is a lack of rotation. What's your rotation like?
 
Pat Black
Posts: 123
Location: Northern New Mexico, USA
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Are you growing tomatoes with verticillium resistance? Check the resistance codes on the seed packet or in the catalog. There are varieties with high resistance to vert wilt.

 
Julie Carney
Posts: 76
Location: Silicon Valley
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Sorry - Lost my password, and then got too busy .....
I have been growing heirloom tomatoes...Some bought and some from seed in my own yard......
I have a SMALL tract home lot and try to rotate, but there's only so much room....
I have a small strip between my neighbor and my driveway that I'm planting now ....... I HAD an apricot tree that died branch by branch and appeared to be caused by this fungus.... There's a
hedge [from next door] beside the strip that has some stuff growing up in it that is covered in mildew sometimes...They have had the hedge for 50 years +++ and spend little time managing it, but don't want any help....... I planted a tomato where the tree was and it's 90 % dead...Made a few of the tiniest fruits possible.......
I have been working on the back yard for years - improving the soil etc....It seems to be only the tomatoes there that have the problem....
Also have bought 15 acres in the foothills that We get to work on every weekend.....
I have planted some gooseberries / tay berries etc near some oaks, and some grow well, and others have branches that just "die off"........
IF I have an infected tree, must I burn all the wood or can it be used in hugel culture.....
I think I need to burn or get rid of any infected plants, but what about the fruit? Can I save seeds from the plants or are they a lost cause?
 
Nicole Castle
Posts: 151
Location: Madison, AL
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Julie Carney wrote:Sorry - Lost my password, and then got too busy .....
I have been growing heirloom tomatoes...Some bought and some from seed in my own yard......
I have a SMALL tract home lot and try to rotate, but there's only so much room....
I have a small strip between my neighbor and my driveway that I'm planting now ....... I HAD an apricot tree that died branch by branch and appeared to be caused by this fungus.... There's a
hedge [from next door] beside the strip that has some stuff growing up in it that is covered in mildew sometimes...They have had the hedge for 50 years +++ and spend little time managing it, but don't want any help....... I planted a tomato where the tree was and it's 90 % dead...Made a few of the tiniest fruits possible.......
I have been working on the back yard for years - improving the soil etc....It seems to be only the tomatoes there that have the problem....
Also have bought 15 acres in the foothills that We get to work on every weekend.....
I have planted some gooseberries / tay berries etc near some oaks, and some grow well, and others have branches that just "die off"........
IF I have an infected tree, must I burn all the wood or can it be used in hugel culture.....
I think I need to burn or get rid of any infected plants, but what about the fruit? Can I save seeds from the plants or are they a lost cause?


I would send samples of the infected plants for analysis to your ag extension office. It usually is very cheap ($10 here). If you have that many different plants having the same kind of problem, I would verify exactly what you have before attempting treatment or composting/reusing the material. One branch dying at a time doesn't sound like verticillium; that usually attacks who sections of a tree.
 
Julie Carney
Posts: 76
Location: Silicon Valley
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I was dividing up my tree by 3 main branches.... ne third of the tree died one year, and the other 2 sections the next.......I haven't used the ag office before....What else do hey do? Do they give non-chemical advise??
 
Nicole Castle
Posts: 151
Location: Madison, AL
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Julie Carney wrote:I was dividing up my tree by 3 main branches.... ne third of the tree died one year, and the other 2 sections the next.......I haven't used the ag office before....What else do hey do? Do they give non-chemical advise??


The Agricultural Cooperative Extension Service Offices do all kinds of stuff from soil testing to forestry management to food preservation. Many of their services and publications are free, others have a nominal charge. Originally formed in 1914 to help farmers and housewives, a lot of the work these days includes gardeners. Each state's program is a little different, but even here in Alabama they offer advice on organic methods, although mostly they emphasize IPM. Since many of the services are putting their publications online now, you can access the work of other ACES offices very easily -- bearing the mind the information may not be accurate for your region!

In California, your service is run out of the US California system (http://ucanr.org/) I would guess that with UCDavis just over the hill from you there is probably a lot of non-chemical research going on.
 
Julie Carney
Posts: 76
Location: Silicon Valley
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Thanks....I had not considered this to be a useful source for any of my needs.... I'll definitely check it out!
 
William Roan
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Hi Julie Carney
Interesting problem you pose, repairing soil that is infected with a plant killing fungus.
Would you be interested in doing an experiment to see if you can replace the detrimental fungus found in your soil with good fungus? The first experiment is based on the investigation that Eric Markov did called “Hugelkulture vegetable Root Excavation”, August 17th 2012 found under the Permaculture listing.

Go to the big box store and get a plastic 5 gallon bucket with a lid. Go to the affected patch of garden and dig three holes, big enough to fit the plastic bucket into.
In the first hole dump several inches of your kitchen waste, then fill it tightly with 3-4 inch diameter branches, cut the same height as the plastic bucket. The branches should have the bark on; place them vertically, not horizontally into the hole. Mix grass clipping and the affected soil and cover the prepared hole with the mix.
Second hole, fill with several inches of kitchen food waste, cover with all grass clippings and then top cover with the grass and affected soil mixed.
In the last hole, line with several layers of newspaper and then repeat the instructions for hole number 2.
Mark the holes with stakes and keep a written journal of the experiment.

For the rest of the year, until planting time, fill the plastic bucket with your kitchen waste and grass clipping and top with water. Let it sit for a week with the lid on. You should see lots of diverse fungus growing on the organic matter. Pour the water on top of the three experimental piles.
Then bury the remaining wet materials along the affected strip of dirt. Dig a hole; dump it in and then pile the effected dirt on top. Dig the next hole beside the latest prepared hole.
Then let us know next year how things went.

Gardeners are like baseball fans, just wait till next year.

Biology Bill
 
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permaculture bootcamp - boots-to-roots
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