Apr 14, 2008

Sad Seedlings, and Sweet Suprises

It's been a bad week for me and my tomato seedlings.I have been searching and then revising my searches, and I finally hit on one picture of seedlings with Fusarium Wilt. I am almost 99% sure that is what has been wilting the older leaves on my tomato seedlings.

So after many tears and explanations to my teen kids as too why they should understand why I was bawling like an idiot...I bid farewell to my seedlings and tossed all of the affected plants and any plants showing any signs that they might have been infected into a trash bag, along with any left over soil and pots that I believed might have come in contact with the seedlings. I then proceeded to wash all surfaces in the room that may have had a seedling anywhere near it with a strong bleach and water solution, I also soaked any seed trays that I will use in the near future in a bleach solution as well. I washed a few of my Styrofoam cups that I use for my transplants in an antibacterial soap.

I then sent my very understanding husband to the local Home depot to get some new seed starting mix and a fresh bag of potting soil. While he was gone, I went thru my seeds and threw away the remaining seeds from the two varieties that I suspect of starting this whole mess. Once hubby returned from the store with the goods I re-sowed the cherry types that I lost, some Basingas to replace the Earl of Edgecombes that were lost,and a few more Chrerokee Purples just for good measure. Now I keep my fingers crossed that the rest of my original transplants remain healthy and that the new seeds sprout in record time....

All of this has severely shaken my quest to grow new varieties of tomatoes from my very own seeds every year, and to go back to buying the same old store varieties I have always grown. For now I am NOT giving up....I have hope that the remaining transplants will remain healthy and the few seeds that I have sown tonight will grow forth and prosper.

I must admit though, that I was cheered up immensely today when my mail arrived bringing with it 3...count 'em ...3 envelopes of gardening goodness. The first envelope I opened had a wonderful and large sample of a granular slow release fertiliser...my houseplants are going to be very happy.
The second envelope contained a sample of a Naga Jolokia Chili pepper , these are now considered to be the hottest chile peppers in the world and I am excited about trying them.
The third envelope...and possibly the most wonderful of them all came from a lovely lady from over at the GardenWeb. She sent me some Cayenne pepper seeds from what sounds like an amazing long living plant. But not only that, she also read how I have a fondness(Okay obsession)for tomato seeds, and sent along some Beefsteak seeds as well. What A Doll!!

Isn't it amazing how thoughtful gardening people can be?!?! It is exactly these thoughtful people who have given me the boost I needed to keep plugging along with this Blog, which is a public reminder of not only my successes, but more painfully , my failures.They have given me the push to get through this week of tomato seedling hell... There is no guarantee that the damage hasn't been already done, and the rest of my beloved seedlings may succumb to this bacteria, but hopefully I will at the very least learn from all of this .

I am determined to get this right and not give up...

Thanks to my Gardening Family!!


Robert C. Mullins said...

I TOTALLY feel you on this. Nothing like something like this to suck the wind out of your sails. I had this kind of experience with sun-scald a couple of weeks ago. I was depressed for two days afterwards.

I know it's after-the fact but I buy anti-biotics from the local ag store. It's made for fish ponds, but it's Amoxicillan, I will take this capsule and break a couple open in a hand-sprayer and spray the tops of my potting soil with it to kill off the 'dampening off' fungus, I wonder if it will work with Fusarium. Fusarium i think might be a virus, but it seems sometimes an anti-biotic will actually work on it.

In any case. We live in a very agricultural town and we have a store called 'Atwoods' nearby. I noticed the other day, they are carrying Cherokee Purple, Mr. Stripey, Black Krim and a whole slew of heirloom tomatoes. I have started everything from seed, but I am contemplating getting a few of these to enhance my seed genome.

Finally, I have been looking over Bokashi, and using EM technology. (Effective Microbes). From what I hear they compete harshly with little microscopic baddies keeping disease at a minimum. I am going to experiment with this, in the upcoming months, perhaps you might consider it as well.

Just some thoughts. I truly feel your pain and hope you get to feeling better.


Donna said...

Rob- Thanks for the heads up on the anti-biotics for the fish pond, I may give that a try next season.
Let me know how that EM tech goes...I need to read up on that as well.
Thanks for the ideas, I really appreciate it...and sorry about your sunscald, I know how ya' feel!