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Martin
Martin, Engineer
Category: General
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Experience:  i'm 41 and i never stopped studying and experimenting
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Hortaculter question My wife been growing tomatoes for the

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Hortaculter question My wife been growing tomatoes for the last 30 years, and never had any trouble until last year the vines got what looked like a cancer the main stalk burst and got distorted and ended with a miserable crop.She disinfected the green house and changed the clay this year. The tomatoes are now just over a foot high and already there are nodules appearing just over the clay line and the leaves near the infection are turning pale is ther an answer and what can be done
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  Martin replied 4 years ago.
Hello. Can you elaborate on the "main stalk burst". Does the plant look more transparent in that region, any particular liquid produced?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The stalk swelled and burst the skin and it looked like rough rust that's the best way I can explain it
Expert:  Martin replied 4 years ago.
This kind of disease inside the stem that eventually produce ooze are generally bacterial infection in the plant vascular system. The most likely cause (as it's a big problem in greenhouse) is bacterial canker.

Here is a bit of info from the Ontario gov site:
"If an infected stem is cut lengthwise, a light brown discoloration may be present in the vascular tissue, most noticeable at nodes and just above the soil line. As the disease progresses, this turns reddish-brown. Light colored streaks are often visible on the outside of the stem. These may later darken and break open into cankers. With severe infections, a yellow ooze may exude from a cut stem when it is squeezed."

It's the closest description i found of the ooze coloration. Like many bacterial infection, the color change with time. It would initially be white, then yellow to turn brownish in the end. So, in your case, not only it's an advanced infection, it's also a major one well installed in the greenhouse.

Here is a nice guide from the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station: http://njveg.rutgers.edu/assets/pdfs/cp/BacterialCankerTomato.pdf Note the 5 years survival on plant residue and the possible plant host that can continue the problem.

Soil problem can really be a hard thing to solve. Many place mention that the greenhouse would require to be moved but as you mention 30 years of experience i would suggest experimenting with hydroponics. This remove any soil infection from the equation.

You may talk about the bacterial canker at the place where you got the plant to let them know you got that. It may not be from them but if they get enough call they might do something on their side.

If you keep seed and start the plant yourself, it's good practice to eventually mix the genetic with seed from another place to boost the immune capacity to the problem. If you have a compost bin, don't trow the tomatoes at the end of the season in it, burn them instead.
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