verticillium and fusarian resistant tomato varieties

(Question)

Could you please provide a list of tomato varieties that are resistant to verticillium and fusarian wilt. Most web sites mention varieties that do not seem available in the Toronto area. Thanks!

(Answer)

Dear gardener, what a great time of the year to start thinking for next spring!

When trying to avoid pests and diseases, there are two parts to the planning:

  1. Try planting disease resistant varieties, as per your question, and
  2. Create an environment that repels disease and pests

I am going to address the latter first.

  • Make sure that you rotate your crops. Whether you are using a vegetable bed or pots, make sure that you use a 3-4 year rotation so that any soil borne bacteria or fungi does not attack your new plants.
  • Make sure to prepare the area with plenty compost as tomatoes require a rich environment. Tomatoes also require plenty of calcium.
  • Do not mulch plants until the soil has warmed up in the spring and is quite dry
  • Use tomatoes companion plantings: chives, onions, parsley, marigolds, nasturtiums, carrots, garlic.
  • Make sure not to plant them near potatoes, cabbage, fennel and broccoli.

In terms of varieties, your research in the web is a very good idea as every year they come up with new disease resistant varieties. When it comes to this attribute, you are better of purchasing seeds and sprouting them yourself as the ready-to-plant varieties available, are quite limited.

Some of the disease resist varieties are: Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium ‘Red currant’, Lycopersicon ‘Costoluto Genovese’ and ‘Eva purple ball’.  These are Heirloom varieties but there are many more!

Look into online catalogues, particularly those located in southern Ontario. They are very good at pointing out disease resistant varieties.

Happy planning!