Diseases of the tomato
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00024511/00001
 Material Information
Title: Diseases of the tomato
Series Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Physical Description: p. 115-153, 2 leaves of plates : ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Rolfs, P. H ( Peter Henry ), 1865-1944
Publisher: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Lake City Fla
Publication Date: 1898
Subjects / Keywords: Tomatoes -- Diseases and pests -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by P.H. Rolfs.
General Note: Cover title.
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
 Record Information
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000920979
oclc - 18155240
notis - AEN1418
System ID: UF00024511:00001

Full Text


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.

Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida


Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.



The Bulletins of this Station will be sent Free to any Address
in Florida upon Application to the Director of the Ex-
periment Station, Lake City, Florida.




HON. S. STRINGER, President ... . Bfooksville
HON. F. E. HARRIS, 'Chairman Executive Committee Ocala
HoN. A. B. HAGEN, Secretary . . . Lake City
HON.. F. R. OSBORN . . . . . DeLand
HoN. WM FISHER . . . . . Pensacola
HoN. F. L. REEs . . . . . Live Oak
HON. E J. VANN. .. .... . Madison


W. F. YocUM, A. M., D. D . . . . Director
P. H. ROLFS, M. S. . .. Biologist and Horticulturist
A. A. PERSONS, M. 8. . . . . . Chemist
H. E. STOCKBRIDGE, Ph. D . .. Agriculturist
A. L. QUAINTANCE, M. 8. . . .. Entomologist
W. P. JERNIGAN . ... Auditor and Book-keeper
'JOHN F. MITCHELL . . Foreman of Lake City Farm
LIBRARIAN . . . . . .. Lake City

Page 118 is missing from
original document



Title page................ ........................... 115
Board of Trustees ................. .......... ........... 117
Station Staff ................................................. 117
Sum m ary .................................... .. .. ...... ..... 121
Introduction .... .................... .... ...... ........ 123
Rust, Black Rot, Spot, Black Spot ........................... 124
General Appearance ............................ .... 124
How the Disease is Disseminated.................... 125
Remedy .................................. ......... 125
Bacterial Blight ............................. ........... 128
Description ..................................... ....... ....... 128
Plants Affected .... ...................................... ... 129
Geographical Distribution........................ .......... 129
Treatment ................................................... 130
Natural Methods of Infection ... .......... ....... ......... 130
Preventative Measures.......................... ............ 131
Results of Experiments to Prevent this Blight.... .... 133
Relation of Fertilizer to the Blight.................. 133
Relation of Varieties to the Blight .................. 134
Spraying. ...................... .... 135
Distance Between Plants.................... 136
Fungus Blight of the Tomato...... ........ .............. 136
Appearance of the Disease.................. ......... 137
Treatment............... ..... . ............... .. 137
Leaf Blight ... ..................... ................... .. 138
Remedy ........... ................... ............... 139
Damping off................. ................. .. 139
Remedy............ ...................... 140
Tomato Worm, Boll Worm, Corn Worm, Bud Worm, Etc .... 141
Remedy .................. ............................ 142
P hytoptosus.............. .. ........... ... ............. 143
Distribution .......................................... 144
R em edy................................. 144
Root-Knot ........................... .... ............. 145
Remedy. .............................. 145
Leaf Curl, Rolled Leaf, Oedema...... ................... 146
Cause ....... ............. ... . . ................. 147
Remedy....... ........... ....................... 147
Dropping of Buds........................................... 148
Description of the Disease... .......... ..... ..... 148
Cause and Remedies ................................. 148
Cause Under Our Control ............................ 150
Hollow Stem ................... ......................... 151
General Description.................. ............... 151
Conditions Which Favor Hollow Stem........... .... 151
How to Prevent Hollow Stem....................... 152

Page 120 is missing from
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I. The tomato crop in Florida is subject to destructive dis-

2. These diseases may be controlled more or less completely,
depending upon the skill of the grower.

3. Rust, or Black Rot,'is the most prevalent disease, but for-
tunately, it can be easily controlled.

4. The bacterial blight of tomato is the most difficult and de-
structive disease with which we have to contend.

5. The diseases due to physiological conditions can be con-
trolled only to the extent to which we have control over the physi-
cal causes.

Page 122 is missing from
original document


Six years ago the bulletin on the Tomato and Some
of its Diseases was published. This edition is exhausted,
and so much progress has been made in treating tomato
diseases that the present bulletin has become necessary.
No attempt has been made to include all the troubles
to which the crop is heir, nor to treat any of them at
length. It is hoped, however, that the discussion under
each disease is sufficiently clear to enable every tomato-
grower to diagnose the diseases treated if they exist in
his field.
It has been remarked frequently that we are con-
stantly receiving new diseases; this is an inevitable re-
sult of our social condition. Seed and plants are brought
from all quarters of the earth, often bringing with them
the diseases of the section from which they were brought.
This condition cannot be avoided, and we must simply
make the best of it. The increase in number of tomato
growers increases the liability of contagions spreading
from one field to another. But as we come to a more
thorough understanding of the needs and diseases of the
tomato crop, we come to a correspondingly firmer basis.
The increase in number and severity of diseases will force
all tomato-growers to adopt the most economical meth-
ods of raising the crop, and to follow the best methods
for preventing its destruction.

Macrosporium (Alternaria) Solani, Ell and Mart.
The term "black rot" has been applied to this dis-
ease from the fact that it was first studied as occurring
on the blossom end of the fruit. At this place the fungus
gains an entrance and causes a depression of the fruit,
which, at first, looks rather brown and later turns to a
dark velvety appearance, due to the fact that numerous
spores are formed on the outside of the tomato at this
The term "rust" is applied to this same fungus when
it inhabits either the stem or the leaf of the plant. The
first intimation of its presence is small, brown spots
forming on various parts of the leaves. These spots con-
tinue to increase in size,latterly becoming large blotches.
Finally the whole leaf may be involved and become func-
tionless. The term "rust" is more appropriate for this
stage of the disease than any other that is used to desig-
nate this disease, but unfortunately this term usually
refers to diseases caused by a different class of fungi.

See Figure i, Plate 1,
As stated above, the spots usually begin as very mi-
nute dots, which gradually enlarge. These occur most
frequently on the outermost end of the older leaves.
Usually the terminal leaflet is more involved than those
near the stem, but finally all of them become diseased.
By looking carefully at spots involving a large portion of
a leaflet it will be noticed that more or less of concentric
lines occur about the central portion. This appearance
is not common to any other disease of the tomato that
we have to deal with, and occurs so frequently with this
particular one that we may consider it a good diagnostic
character. Later in the season, as the disease progresses,
it attacks the petioles of the leaves and the main stalk

of the plant. Under these conditions the. tomato-growers
usually speak-of it as "spot" or "black spot," so that we
have at least four different common names by which this
disease is designated. The growth on the stem is so well
expressed by the common names used for the disease,
that it is not necessary here to describe it further. At
the point of attack the epidermis of the plant becomes
dry and shrunken, causing the spot to ,be somewhat de-
pressed; as they become more numerous and increase in
size they may encircle the entire stem. As a rule, the
greater damage is done by the fungus destroying the
leaves and by the time the disease attacks the stem the
field has frequently been rendered worthless.


The disease is the result of the attack of a micro-
scopic plant known by the name given above. This plant
develops rapidly within the tissues of its host-the toma-
to or potato plant. Later it produces spores which, when
mature, become detached and may be carried from one
plant to another by the wind, or by the laborers working
in the field, or a person walking from a diseased field to
one that is not affected. Again, the distance to which the
wind could disseminate this disease would vary with the


All the various kinds of fungicides may be used with
more or less benefit in connection with this disease, but
the favorite remedy, because of its efficiency and cheap-
ness, is Bordeaux mixture. In every case where this
substance has been applied carefully and has been made
properly it has given satisfaction. Several tomato-grow-
ers have had difficulty, but on inquiring carefully into
the trouble it was found to be their own fault. Two
-cases are distinctly in mind where air-slacked lime

had been used in place of the caustic lime. Another
case is in mind where the Bordeaux mixture had been
properly prepared but it did not seem to give relief. On
entering the field it was very evident that the applica-
tion had been so light that only a very small portion of
the foliage had been protected. In this connection, it
should be remembered that no fungicide is a REMEDY
in the strict sense of the word, it is merely a PREVEN-
TIVE. This form of copper is poisonous to the delicate
tissues of the fungus but not poisonous to the more hardy
tissues of the tomato plant. As this fungus lives by en-
tering the tissues of the tomato plants it will be at once
understood that the copper salts must be present to de-
stroy the fungus or else it will enter the tissues of the
tomato plants and cause the disease. In a diseased field
there are present millions of spores which are constantly
being blown about from one place to another and light-
ing on almost every inch of space. Now if there be any
portion of the tomato plant that contains no trace of Bor-
deaux mixture and a spore falls upon this place it is just
as liable to cause the disease as if the Bordeaux mix-
ture had not been in the field at all. The above brief
statement will be sufficient for the thoughtful man to
understand that it is absolutely necessary to apply the
mixture thoroughly, and since the Bordeaux mixture has
no bad effect upon the tomato plants, the grower need
not be apprehensive of making the application too heavy.
Bordeaux mixture is used in two different forms in
Florida, the wet and the dry. The former has the advant-
age in covering the plants thoroughly and that it may be
applied during the day. The dry Bordeaux mixture must
be applied while dew is on the plants and while no wind
is blowing. It has, however, the advantage of being much
more easily applied. On Terra Ceia Island many tomato-
growers have been successful with the dry Bordeaux
mixture. From other places we have reports of failures.


Our own tests indicate that the wet Bordeaux mixture
is preferable to the dry Bordeaux.
WHEN TO SPRAY. The amount of damage that
the disease does varies greatly with the conditions of the
weather. During a very moist, warm season the disease
spreads with alarming rapidity, while during dry, cool
weather it makes little progress. It is better, however,
to anticipate the disease by spraying for it before it ap-
pears in the field than to wait until it has done a great
deal of damage before applying the remedy. Frequently
the disease is present in the seed-bed; many tomato-
growers, therefore, begin spraying plants in the seed-
bed and continue the work after they are set to the field.
The time to spray the seed-bed will vary with the
conditions, but it is a highly commendable practice to
give the plants one or two thorough sprayings at least
before they are set to the field. While this can do no
harm, it does a great deal of good other than preventing
the black rot.
The number of times to spray the field will vary
with the conditions of the weather. If the plants are
growing rapidly and we are having a moist season, it may
be necessary to spray as often as twice a week. If, on
the other hand, the weather be dry with little dew, it will
probably not be necessary to spray oftener than every
two weeks.
How TO MAKE BORDEAUX MIXTURE-Solution No. i: Copper Sulphate (Blue
Stone) 6 pounds; Water, 50 gallons. Solution No. 2 : Caustic Lime (Quick Lime) 4
pounds; Water, 50 gallons.
It is advisable to have three kerosene barrels of about fifty gallons capacity in the
field. Dissolve 6 pounds of Copper Sulphate in a barrel of water (50o. gallons). The Cop-
per Sulphate will be dissolved slowly in cool water if it be suspended near the top of the
barrel in a feed sack or other coarse cloth. If it is desirable to dissolve it quickly, this
may be done by placing it in a barrel and pouring on it hot water. After the 6 pounds of
Copper Sulphate have been dissolved the barrel may be filled to the 50o-gallon mark. Tin
or iron vessels should not be used in connection with Bordeaux mixture or the Copper
Sulphate solution; always use copper or wooden vessels.
Slack the 4 pounds of lime in just enough water to cover. Be careful to stir it well
and see that it does not burn dry. This is best done in a wooden vessel, as there is con-
siderable heat generated by the lime in slacking. If the stone from which the lime is
made contains much sand it will be necessary to increase the number of pounds of lime
used. If there be a quantity of air-slacked lime present also it will be better to reject this
and simply use the part that has not been air-slacked. After the lime has been slacked
add water to make 50 gallons.
Stir the Copper Sulphate solution (No. i) thoroughly and take out about one-half
as much as the spraying apparatus will hold. Pour this in third barrel, then stir the lime
water thoroughly and take out just as much lime water (No. 2) as copper sulphate solution

Bacillus Solanacearum, Smith.
The disease of the tomato plant caused by bacteria
has been known for some time, but it was not until the
Fall of 1896 that a complete study of the organism was
published. As early as 1892 Dr. Halstead, of the New
Jersey Experiment Station, published a bulletin on the
work he had done upon the tomato blight in Mississippi.
This seems to be the only definite report that we have
upon it up to the time that Dr. Smith made the re-
port mentioned before. On page 37 of Bul. No. 21, men-
tion is made of some obscure disease in various sections
of the State. It seems quite probable that this disease
was the same upon which Dr. Smith reported later, but
actual work was not begun upon it, so it is not certain
that the two diseases were identical. Up to 1897 this dis-
ease had not been reported definitely from Florida, but
during that year a number of specimens have been sent
to the Experiment Station which seem to be this disease
beyond a doubt.
The symptoms of this disease are very similar to
those produced by the fungus blight. This is not sur-
prising after microscopic study of the affected tomato
plant has been made. In the case of the fungus blight
it cuts off the conductive systems so that the mois-
ture cannot be conveyed from the roots to the leaves. In
the case of the bacterial blight these same tissues of the
tomato plant are filled with bacteria and a gummy sub-
stance produced by them. It is, therefore, not surprising
that two diseases which have their origin in two differ-
ent agents should show symptoms somewhat alike.

already taken, pour this into the third barrel and stir the two together immediately and
briskly for a minute or two. You will then have formed a greenish-colored substance,
which is Bordeaux mixture. Put into the spraying pump and apply at once. Bordeaux
mixture is not so good after it has settled, and ofter it is twenty-four hours old it had bet-
ter be poured away and fresh Bordeaux made. The lime water and copper sulphate solu-
tion may be kept separately for an indefinite time without deterioration.

The first indications of the disease are the wilting
of the leaf, a shoot, or in severe cases the whole plant
may wilt. As a rule, this does not attract attention un-
til many plants are attacked and the disease has made
considerable progress, When the plant attacked is
young, the leaves wilt, the stem shrivels, dries up, stand-
ing in its place. Older plants, especially those that are
bearing marketable tomatoes, do not die so quickly and
show the disease by a yellowing of the affected leaves,
or a partial dying of the affected shoot; finally the whole
plant is involved and dies. The disease spreads most
rapidly in fields where the vines grow luxuriantly and
nearly cover the ground. Beside the above symptoms
one will find more or less dark matter deposited in the
vascular tissues of the petiole or of a stem. This sub-
stance may be observed to best advantage in leaves that
have yellowed or shown the disease for some time. The
petiole or the stem should be cut across with a sharp
pocket knife and the dark matter will be seen deposited
in more or less of a circle some distance from the centre.
(See pg. 11, Bul. No. 12, Div. V. P. & V. P.)
Beside the tomato, eggplants and Irish potatoes are
subject to this disease. Among the wild plants that are
affected by it we have the Jamestown weed (Datura stra-
monium), Black Nightshade (Solanum nigrum), Physalis
crassifolia, Physalis philadelphica. Jamestown weed and
Black Nightshade are probably the only ones that occur
in sufficient abundance in our State to be worthy of note.
It may be that after more study has been put upon the
disease, a number of those plants will be added to these,
but is is not probable that it will affect any other of our
cultivated crops.
The disease was first studied from Charleston, S- C.,
and is known to exist in Alabama, Washington, and Dr.

Smith thinks it probable that it occurs as far North as
New York. That the disease is not indigenous to Flor-
ida I think is evident from the fact that it rarely occurs
in new portions of the State until after vegetables have
been grown for two or three years. The loss from this
disease varies from a few plants to, at times, every plant
in small areas--ofttimes amounting to as much as 80
per cent. to 90 per cent. of the whole field. There seems
to be no special preference for either high or low land
and from the nature of the disease we would not look
for any difference because of location or difference in
condition of soil.
Dr. Smith, in his admirable work on this disease,
has shown very clearly that this disease is disseminat-
ed by insects. The following quotation is taken from his
bulletin in full, a copy of which may be secured by any
one who will send a money order for ten cents to G. H.
Hill, Superintendent of Public Documents, Washington,
D. C., with the request that Bul. No. 12, by Dr. E. F.
Smith, of the Division of Vegetable Physiology and
Pathology, be sent.

In the green house, under strict control of conditions, the
writer has been very successful in transmitting the disease by
means of the Colorado potato beetle (Doryphora decemlineata.)
The first experiment was begun July 23rd, 1896. A handful of
beetles was placed under a bell jar on potato tops taken from
plants inoculated July 16th. These tops had wilted and were
becoming brown. The beetles fed upon them as readily to all
appearances as upon healthy shoots. They were then placed for
some hours under a large bell jar on a well-grown healthy plant.
This plant was eaten in many places, but was not seriously
injured. The beetles were then removed and the plant was
placed under normal conditions to await developments. On the
eighth day there were slight indications of wilt on a dozen dif-
ferent leaves scattered over the plant, Indicating as many sep-
arate infections. The weather was warm and after a day or


two these symptoms progressed rapidly. The wilting leaves
shriveled and in a few days long brown streaks appeared inside
of the stems, beginning usually at the*base of the shriveled
leaves. In ten days from the appearance of the first symptoms
the whole vine was involved, all the leaves wilted and. shriveled,
and the stems became muddy green, blackened in stripes inter-
nally, and finally shriveled. Cross sections of the stem showed
the vessels to be gorged with bacillus. On August 24th the
earth was knocked out of the pot and the pot and tubers ex-
amined. These were found in all stages of rot.
Three other large, well-grown potato plants were subse-
quently inoculated in the same waf and with the same result.
In each case the disease began simultaneously in many differ-
ent parts of the vine, seven to nine days after the beetles were
removed, and the tubers were rotted in whole or part three
weeks after the appearance of the first symptoms on the foliage.
The check plants remained healthy.
These experiments with the Colorado potato beetle seem
to fully warrant the conclusion that insect enemies are largely-
responsible for the spread of this disease. The direct injury
resulting from their bites and punctures is not the only injury
nor the worst one. Given one diseased vine in a field and plenty
of insects to feed upon it, and the transmission of this disease
to all parts of the field, and thence to the whole neighborhood,
is 'only a question of a few weeks.
Just what insects are most instrumental in disseminating
this parasite iii any particular locality can be determined only
after a prolonged and careful study of the disease in the field.
No experiments have been made with other insects, but it is
likely that flea-beetles, blister beetles, chrysomelids, and many
other leaf-eating insects may act as carriers of the disease.
No experiments have been made to determine whether this
bacillus can gain entrance to the 'plant through an uninjured
epidermis. Most of the infections probably occur above ground
and as the result of insect injuries. Very likely there are some
underground infections.


The prompt destruction of all leaf-eating insects and leaf-
puncturing insects is one of the first things to be considered.
How this shall be accomplished with the least outlay of time
and money is a matter for the economic entomologist to deter-


Of course the more diseased plants in a field at any given
time, the more possible sources of infection. For this reason
diseased plants should be removed and burned with great prompt-
ness. This is impracticable after a whole field has become in-
fected, but then the mischief for the season has been accom-
plished. The time for such precautions is early in the season,
when a frequent and thorough search should be made for dis-
eased plants. This can be carried on along with the war of ex-
termination against the insect depredators.
When the disease has become widespread in the fields of
tomato or eggplants there is no help for it, but in case of po-
tatoes a considerable part of the tubers may be saved if they
are dug immediately and stored in a cold, dry place. Delay in
harvesting of the tubers for any length of time after the vines
have shriveled means simply the infection of all the tubers and
the loss of the whole crop, either in the ground or afterwards
,in the cellar.
This disease sometimes appears on new ground-i. e.,
ground recently cleared, and occasionally to such an extent as tor
lead growers to suspect the seed. The seed, however, is not
necessarily the carrier of the disease, since beetles with the-
germs on their jaws can readily fly from one field to another.
Such an explanation of the disease does not, however, preclude-
the possibility of the germ being permanently at home in cer-
tain soils, or of its being spread by seeds or infected seed po-
tatoes. However this may be, the organism probably lives over
winter in the earth of the potato and tomato fields, and there-
fore such infected soils should be planted to other crops for a
series of years before again venturing these two crops or any
other solanaceous plants known to be subject to the disease.
To recapitulate, prevention of this disease lies in the di-
rection of the prompt carrying out of the! following measures:
(1) Early and complete destruction of insect pests;
(2) Early and complete removal of diseased vines;
(3) In case of the potato, the prompt digging of the tubers
and their immediate use or storage in a cold, dry place;
(4) Selection of land for subsequent planting which has,
not been planted in tomatoes, eggplants, or potatoes for several
(5) Selection of tomato and eggplant seeds and potato.
tubers from plants grown in localities where this disease does%
not prevail.


The work on this subject was begun last year by
putting a block of plants on highly fertilized land and
another block adjoining this on land that had not been
fertilized, for the tomatoes. The two blocks stood out
in striking contrast in regard to the growth of tomato
plants, but so far as the blight was concerned no ap-
preciable .difference could be noted. On healthy, vigor-
ous growing plants the blight seemed to work a little
more vigorously than on small, stunted ones, but as all
plants on both lots succumbed to the blight, we could
not say that either the fertilized or the unfertilized
plots had any advantage. The unfertilized plot matured
no fruit, while the fertilized plot did mature a few to-
matoes. This, of course, is an important difference
when it comes to raising tomatoes for market, but the
point to be settled here was simply to find out whether
there was any advantage in fertilizing or not fertilizing
as regards the blight.
This year fourteen 1-100 acre plots were set aside
and treated with various forms of fertilizers. Plots 1,
7, 8 and 14 were left unfertilized as checks. In plots
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 various formulas of
fertilizers were used. Five different kinds of potash-
kainit-low grade sulphate, high grade sulphate, muri-
ate and carbonate were used as sources of potash.
By July 22nd, three-fourths of the. plants in the whole
field had blighted. The-census of the different plots was
then taken and as -a result it was found that no one
form of potash had any perceptible advantage over any
other form. The fertilizer was applied very liberally,
at the rate of about four tons to' the acre, but as
the season was unusually dry, the material was used up
somewhat gradually, and doubtless a large proportion of
it is still in the soil unused.

As a result of the tests of various fertilizers, it may
be affirmed :
(1) That no one form of potash is perceptibly bet-
ter than another.
(2) That bone phosphate is no better than acid
(3) That one source of ammonia is as good as an-
(4) That a fertilizer which tends to produce a
strong woody stem should be used; on the contrary one
that produces rapid growth and succulent stem should
be avoided.
During last year's experiments with blight on the-
Experiment Station grounds, Red-field Beauty was
used and in only one case a plant was noted that seem-
ed to resist the blight when all others about it had
been destroyed. Seed from this plant was carefully
saved and further work is in progress in this particu-
lar line. This year's seed of over fifty varieties which
was generously donated by A. W. Livingston's Sons
has been tried. Beside these, as many varieties as
could be obtained reasonably from other seedsmen are-
also being used. Among the quantity of trial seeds
that were sent to us by W. A. Burpee there are three
varieties that are especially blight resisting. Burbank's.
Preserving is a small tomato about the size of a large
currant or a large cherry. A second variety, Dwarf
Golden Champion, is also quite resistant to this dis-
ease, but this also is a tomato which cannot be recom-
mended for commercial purposes, since the fruit is yel-
low; a third variety, Ford Hook Fancy, is one that gives
a great deal of promise in securing a blight proof va-
riety. While the blight has swept away all of Beauty,
and various other varieties around, only one plant out
of five (July 20) of Ford Hook Fancy has been killed.

The disease is present in many of the leaves but the
germs seem to be unable to make rapid progress as they
do in the case of the other varieties and while the others
have died, these have continued to give us crops of toma-
toes. Some of these plants have been inoculated by the
disease for over four weeks and seem at present to have
entirely overcome the difficulty. The leaves that were
blighted have dried up and hang useless beside the plant,
but new leaves have formed and there seems to be no ten-
dency of the disease to spread to other portions of the
plant. While this variety leaves many things to be de-
sired for a commercial crop, it is still an important ad-
vance in securing varieties that will be excellent for
shipping and, at the same time, be more or less resistant
to the blight.
In this connection it may be interesting to note
that a hybrid between the tomato plant and eggplant
has thus far been resistant to the blight, while both of
its parents are very susceptible to the disease. Possibly
by the process of hybridizing between the tomato plant
and the hybrid mentioned above, plants may be originat-
ed that will reproduce edible fruits and at the same time
maintain the blight resisting qualities of the hybrid.
From the nature of the disease, it is manifestly use-
less to spray with fungicides with a view to protecting
the plants against these germs. In spite of this, thor-
ough work with Bordeaux mixture was carried on last
year with the result that there was no appreciable dif-
ference in the number of blight plants in the sprayed
plots and the unsprayed ones. The insects present were
nearly all plant bugs which obtained their food by in-
serting their beaks into the tissue of the plant, so
that Paris green could not be used in combating them,
and so few were present that it seemed useless to spray
with insecticides that killed by contact.

A considerable advantage may be obtained by hav-
ing the plants far apart in the field. Where plants
were two feet apart the disease spread more than four
times as rapidly as on plots where the plants were plac-
ed four feet away. After the blight had destroyed all
the plants on the plots planted -two by two feet, more
than 1-3d of the plants were still alive on the plots where
the plants were placed 4x4 feet This, of course, is easily
accounted for when we remember that insects are the
main carriers of the disease to plants and also. that there
seems to be a chance for soil infection, so that the plants
in the close fields are much more likely to "take" the dis-
ease from one another than they are in fields in which they
are planted some distance apart. If, therefore, we have
a field which we know is infested with diseased plants
and must plant it to one of these crops, the plants
should be set as far apart as conditions will permit.

This disease of the tomato has been studied for a
number of years, and the specific organism was discov-
ered about six years ago, but up to the present the con-
ditions surrounding it have been such as do not permit
it to be classified and named scientifically. As this is
immaterial, so far as the economic aspect of the disease
is concerned, not much time has been lost in discover-
ing this point. It will, however, be remembered that
fungi belong to plants of low order, many of them being
microscopic in size, though others grow quite large, as
in the case of toad stools and mushrooms. The tomato
blight fungus may live on decaying vegetable matter
and upon certain living plants. There seems to be no
special limit to the kind of decaying vegetable matter
upon which it can subsist, but there are only certain
living plants which are attacked by it. For a list of

these and a description of the attacks see pages 38-47
of the Annual Report for 1896.

When a plant is affected by this disease a single
leaf may be drooping as for the want of moisture. This
may become distended again but will continue to droop
from day to day as the disease becomes more severe un-
til finally no amount of watering will cause the plant
to take on other than a wilted appearance. In severe
cases the whole plant may be affected in this way. In
less severe cases only one or two branches may show the
A plant once affected by this disease rarely re-
covers. Those varieties that have a hard, woody stem
are less susceptible than plants with succulent stems.
Vigorous growing plants that shade the ground thor-
oughly are in more danger of attack than those that
permit the sun to shine on the soil about the stem and
the air to circulate under the foliage, and consequently
plants that are pruned and staked are less liable to the
fungus blight than those which are not pruned and
As the fungus passes most of its life within the
soil the reader will at once understand that the point
of attack is just beneath the surface. In the case of
eggplants it often appears as though some insect had
entirely girdled the plant a little below the ground level.
The thoughtful reader will at once see that no amount
of fungicide applied to the leaves will be of any service.
Consequently the material should be applied to the
ground, say for about six inches around the stem. It
is also advisable to spray the stem of the plant. Bor-
deaux, although one of our most efficient remedies, is
found decidedly wanting for this specific disease. This
is because the fungicidal properties are present in the


form of a precipitate, or flocculent masses, which are
strained out by the surface stratum of sand, leaving the
inefficient material to filter below the surface without
hurting the fungus. Consequently we should use potas-
sium sulphide*, Ammoniacal solution of copper carbo-
nate** or Eau Celeste***. The first named fungicide is
recommended only for home use, as it may be applied
with a watering pot and is too expensive for field appli-
cation. The other substances should be applied with
spraying apparatus.

Cladosporium Fulvum., Cke.

This is a fungus disease of the tomato that rarely
attacks the plant during our shipping season, but is
rather one that interferes with growing of tomatoes for
home use. The leaves turn yellow in spots and will be
found to be more or less dark colored on the lower
side. It differs decidedly from any other disease with
which we have to contend in this State. As the disease

POTASSIUM SULPHIDE-Dissolve two ounces of potassium sulphide or liver of
sulphur in a gallon of water and apply from one-half pint to a quart to each plant,
depending upon the size of the plant, being careful' to moisten all portions of the soil
where vines lie upon it. It should be remembered that this is advisable only for home
gardens, as it is too expensive for use in the field.
ounces; Ammonia Water (strength 26 degrees B), 3 pints. How prepared:
Put three gallons of water in a wooden or an earthen vessel, pour the three pints of
ammonia in this, and stir it to mix the two evenly. Take eight ounces of copper carbonate
and shake it into the ammonia water, stirring the liquid all the while. If a considerable
part of the copper carbonate remains undissolved, the liquid may be set aside to settle if,
however, all or nearly all of the copper carbonate is dissolved, more of it should be added,
in the way described above, until a considerable part remains undissolved; then it is set
aside as stated before. After the solution has settled, pour off the clear blue liquid into
another wooden vessel. The undissolved copper corbonate may then be treated with
more ammonia and water, fresh copper carbonate being added whenever the remaining
portion becomes less than an ounce. If the solution is to be kept for more than a day it
must be kept tightly corked.
When the fungicide is to be used, one gallon is diluted to fifteen or twenty of
water. (Peach trees and eggplant are very susceptible to scalding by chemicals, hence
fungicides need to be more diluted for these.)
The stronger ammonia water is recommended because it is usually more economical
to buy- this and dilute it than to buy lower per cent. ammonia water and pay the additional
expenses of transportation.
*** EAU CELESTE-Copper Sulphate, 2 pounds; Ammonia Water (strength 26
degrees B) 3 pints; Water, 5o gallons.
Put the copper sulphate into solution in a small quantity of water, using the same
precautions as in preparing this for Bordeaux mixture. When ready to spray add three
pints of ammonia, stir thoroughly, dilute to fifty gallons and apply. This is a very cheap
and easily made fungicide, but it is liable to scald the foliage of some plants, especially

progresses the leaves become more and more yellow and
finally the whole plant may become involved and die for
the want of leaf surface- As a rule, however, the plants
do not die, but continue to make new growth and sim-
ply leave the lower portions of the stem exposed. When
a plant is pretty badly diseased it is not able to pro-
duce tomatoes but spends all of its energy in making
new foliage, which in turn becomes diseased and drops
Thorough sprayings of Bordeaux mixture (see foot
note page 127) will protect the new leaf area and prove
an efficient check. The spraying should be repeated
every week or so. If the rains are heavy and abundant,
the spraying should be more frequent.

Damping Off is a term used to designate a disorder
among seedlings either in the field or in the plant-bed.
It is characterized by the falling over of an apparently
healthy plant, and at first sight it looks as if the
plant had recently been cut off. So striking is this ap-
pearance that the gardener in most cases credits flea-
beetles or cut worms with the mischief. A little closer
observation, however, will reveal the fact that the plant
is not cut off but still hangs by the epidermis to its
root. By examining it under the microscope or hand lens
one may see that the interior of the stem of the seed-
ling has been quite decomposed, just at the ground level,
leaving the top too heavy to be supported.
The agents that cause this damping off are several
species of fungi which are present in the soil and usual-
ly live normally upon decaying vegetable matter, but are
able to invade the tissues of seedlings. As the condi-
tion which determines the presence of these fungi and
the remedy for them are practically the same for all

the species we will not concern ourselves with the scien-
tific distinction of them, but will rather proceed to the
practical way of preventing the damage done by them.

Since these fungi are indigenous to our State care
should be taken not to include them with the material
used for the plant-bed. It is a very common practice to
gather up leaf mold and such other material as may oc-
cur in hammocks and use this for the soil of plant-
beds, but this material is, in many cases, severely in-
fected with one or the other of the damping off fungi,
consequently it is advisable to compost this with
the proper amount of fertilizer and allow it to remain
in a moist condition for six weeks or two months before
using in a plant-bed, or make a plant-bed of garden soil
and the proper, amount of fertilizer.
After damping off has made its appearance in a
plant-bed water should be withheld as much as possible
and only applied during the mid-portion of the day, say
from 10 o'clock in the morning to 2 o'clock in the after-
noon, as there is no danger of scalding the tomato plants
by watering at this time. Then the surface should be
worked to a depth of an inch or two with some small
tool, such as a table fork. This breaks the soil 'up and
lets it dry out well at the surface, killing much of the
fungus that may be present. Then the plant-bed should
be as thoroughly ventilated as possible, all obstructions,
such as frames or plant cloths, be removed, that the sun
may have a chance to shine upon the ground as much
as possible, and the air to circulate and help to dry the
surface. If rains occur, the plants should be protected
and this run off. If too much water has been applied a
part of this may be absorbed by using dry sand, sprink-
ling it among the seedlings. During the rainy season it
will be necessary to get this from under buildings o0
have it piled for that purpose.

When the beds have been put into the best sani-
tary condition possible, as a further preventive from
having the fungus to spread, it may be necessary to re-
move many plants from the seed-bed so that the nearest
shall be at least an inch apart, and then continue to
draw out the plants as they begin to shade the ground.
While this transplanting will retard the growth of the
seedlings somewhat, they will be found to make
a much better root system than those that have
not been transplanted, and in the end be really better-
plants to set out than those that have not been trans-
planted. Under ordinary circumstances these transplant-
ed plants will produce fruit in the field in less time than
those that have not been transplanted in the seed-bed.
Mild fungicides, such as sulphur spray, may also be
used to advantage. Eau Celeste or copper sulphate, if
'used at all, should be applied cautiously, as they seem
to be quite caustic to seedlings. Probably one or two
sprayings of Bordeaux mixture would not hurt the seed-
lings much, but a frequent repetition of it has been
found to be detrimental. Sulphur spray may be used
every other day, however, without any perceptible dis-
Heliothis A.rmigera. Hubn.
See Figure 2, Plate I.
This exceedingly troublesome insect has been de-
scribed several times and several practical reme-
dies are offered, but still it continues to destroy large
quantities of tomatoes, and other products, yearly. Page
19, Bul. No. 23, gives a somewhat detailed account of
this pest, also a brief statement of its natural enemies
and remedies. On page 309, Bul. No. 34, there is a full
discussion of its life history, with figures of the insect in
various stages of its development. The accompanying

figures are the same as those used in Bul- 34. This bul-
letin also contains suggestions as to remedies for this
The numerous inquiries regarding this insect that
have been received at the offices during the year con-
vince us that it will not be out of place to give here a
brief statement as to what remedies have been found
practicable in controlling the pest.

In Florida this insect is constantly in an active state,
there being only a very short time during the winter, at
best, when they are not feeding actively upon our
crops. Fields that are known to be badly infested with
the boll worm will be greatly helped by spraying the to-
mato plants with Paris green about the time the blos-
soms begin to appear, and then again in two weeks. The
young boll worms that are active at this time of year
being unable to find tomatoes to eat into, feed in the buds
of the plants. Special care should be taken to get the
poison well into the buds of the tomato plants.
As soon as the tomatoes have attained the size of
a black walnut the worm eats into them and remains
there feeding on the soft tissues. From this on it will be
useless to use Paris green or any other poison, and there
seems to be but one remedy that has been put into
practical application by a number of tomato growers.
In cultivating the tomato fields careful observation
should be made continually to detect any worm-eaten
tomatoes that may occur. As soon as these are found to
be present in the fields laborers should be sent through
to pick all wormy tomatoes. These tomatoes may then
be brought from the field and fed to domestic animals,
or they should be buried in a pit and covered with at
least 18 inches of soil. If the soil be only five or six
inches deep there is some danger of the insect crawling
out after it has passed through its life cycle and has

become a moth. During the picking season all wormy
tomatoes should be gathered up as carefully as though
they were worth more than the ripe ones, and these
brought to some place where they can be either fed or
put into a pit as described above. As the life cycle of
one of these insects is about 30 days, and each moth may
lay as high as 500 eggs, we will see that to let one sin-
gle worm escape in the early part of the season means
the destruction of from 500 to 600 tomatoes 30 days later.
It will not require a mathematician to ascertain
that only a few worms in the beginning of the season
may cause a wholesale destruction of tomatoes two or
three months later. The plan of gathering wormy to-
matoes has been carried out repeatedly and in no case
has any one spoken of it in any other way than com-
If this process of destroying the larvae should be car-
ried out systematically for a number of years it will give
great relief to the tomato and other vegetable fields.

Phytoptus Calcladophora, Nal.
See Figure 3, Plate I.
This disease is very frequently referred to as mold
and white mold, but as it is caused by an insect mite,
and mold always refers to a vegetable -growth, these
terms are misnomers and should not be continued,
though they may be more or less descriptive of the dis-
order. This insect mite is closely related to the one that
causes rusting of oranges. The growing bud of the plant
is usually the first to be attacked; soon the fruit
buds are attacked, causing white hairs to grow
out from the epidermis (see figure 3, plate I). In severe
cases these false hairs become so dense that it appears
felty. Since this disturbance is confined to the buds and
rapidly growing portions of the plant, the tomato, grow-

ers will have no difficulty in distinguishing this from
any other disease. It is especially noticeable in the early
morning and late evening, when the sun is near the hori-
zon, causing a peculiar, ashy-white appearance of the af-
fected plants This is visible at a distance of several
In America this mite seems to be confined to Flor-
ida. A disease which is doubtless the same has been re-
ported from Spain and Italy, but there is no authorita-
tive statement at hand which says that this partic-
ular species of phytops (Phytoptus- calcladophora Nal)
is the cause of the disease, but since this species of
mites occurs in Southern Europe, it may be the author
of that disease also.
Immediately upon the discovery of the cause (1893)
various experiments were put in progress to test the
value of different iunecticides. Plots in an infested to-
mato field were treated with a number of insecticides
and fungicides. While no decisive results were obtained
with it, some information was gained as to the direction
in which to experiment. Remembering that sulphur
spray was an excellent remedy for rust mite of the
orange (Phytoptus citri), experiments in this line were
continued, with the result that next year a most
satisfactory remedy was found in sulphur spray. After-
wards it was found that flowers of sulphur sprinkled on
the plants was also very efficacious. Last year several
tomato growers were advised to mix the sulphur spray
with Bordeaux mixture. Others were asked to try flow-
ers of sulphur. All of those who have reported upon
this experiment believe that these substances are just
as good with Bordeaux mixture as when applied separ-
ately. Where phytoptus is the only disease to be treat-
ed it will be found economical to apply flowers of sul-

phur with a powder gun. (See page 247, Bul. 34, Fla.
Exp. Station.)

Hederodera Radicicola.
This disease is so well described by the term root-
knot that it is scarcely necessary to go into a lengthy
discussion of its general appearance. The disease rarely
occurs in new fields and not always in old ones, but as
a great many plants are infested by this microscopic
worm it has been disseminated to most cultivated fields.
The tomato plant is quite severely attacked by it. Near-
ly every one is familiar with the fact that plants belong-
ing to the bean and pea family are more or less subject
to its attack. The cow-pea, velvet bean and beggar weed
are our best nitrogen-gathering plants, and these at the
same time are often attacked by this microscopic worm.
So it is often a puzzling question what one shall do
with a field after the tomatoes have been marketed.

If the field is known to be infested by root-knot all
the tomato vines should be gathered immediately after
the last shipment has been sent out. These may be piled
outside of the field somewhere and either allowed to de-
compose or may be burned. If they are allowed to de-
compose the vegetable matter should not be returned to
the field, as it contains myriads of root-knot worms which
would thereby be returned to the field and produce the
very disease which it was sought to be removed. After
all the tomato vines have been removed, the field should
be allowed tc grow a crop of crab grass or possibly
sowed to beggar weed. Velvet bean or cow-pea had better
not be used. If, however, the field is free from root-
knot the vines need not be gathered, and the field may be
sown to any one of these nitrogen-gathering crops. By
constantly removing the tomato vines at the close of

the shipping season, and before the roots of the tomatoes
have begun to decompose, the amount of root-knot in the
field may be greatly reduced. Then by following this
with crab grass the worm will be still further starved
out and finally the field be practically free of the pest.
A field on the Experiment Station that was badly in-
fested with root-knot six years ago was practically free
from it last year; this result was due to the fact that
the plot was kept free from nearly all plants that harbor
See Plate II.
This disease may also be called dropsy of the to-
mato, because of the fact that it suffers from an over-
abundance of water (see plate II). Dr. G. F. Atkinson, Pro-
fessor of Botany of Cornell University, published a bul-
letin in 1893 giving a complete discussion of this disease
as it occurs in the propagating house of New York. One
first notices the disease by seeing the leaves curling up
and exposing the under surface to the light. The mid-
ribs or veins are always unusually distended and plump.
In many cases the leaves will break if bent sharply. In
severe cases all the leaves of the plant may be involved,
but the older ones suffer first. Sometimes the conditions
of cultivation are altered or there is a change to dryer
weather so that the disease is discontinued and the lower
leaves turn brown. In several localities the term "fired"
has been used for this condition.
Where the entire plant may have been involved,
the leaves beginning to die from below gradually die to
the younger ones. Plants badly affected by this condi-
tion fail to bear a reasonable amount of fruit, though
the amount produced varies with its severity. When
the plants become considerably involved with this dis-
ease the buds begin to fall and only a few, or none, set
but as the plants look thrifty and vigorous and the fruit-

ing buds are usually hidden from sight in such cases,
this condition remains unnoticed.
There are several conditions that lead to this dis-
order. First, an excessive amount of water in the soil;
Second, an abundance of fertilizer or an unbalanced fer-
tilizer, especially such as contains large quantities of
ammonia, producing a soft, vigorous growth; Third, the
topping or suckering of vigorous growing plants. While
none of these conditions acting singly produce much
damage, still if two or three of them act in conjunc-
tion we are pretty sure to have a field badly affected
and very few tomatoes marketed.

As soon as it is noticed that the tomatoes are suf-
fering from this trouble one should at once cease prun-
ing, if this has been carried on, and let the plants devel-
op as much leaf area as possible. This will give the
plants a chance to transpire the water taken in, and
assimilate the nutritive material. If the fields are irri-
gated, withhold the water that is being applied, but this
must be done gradually, as sudden stopping of the water
supply would be a severe shock to the plants. If the
fields are not irrigated and the season happens to, be
moist, much good can be done by cultivating the fields
deeply and thus causing the surface of the soil to dry
off more rapidly. If, at the same time, a cultivator be
passed along closely to the plants, many of the roots
will be mutilated and thus diminish the absorbing sur-
face of the plants, which will give the leaves a chance
to assimilate all the material that has been taken up by
the roots. In other words, it would be an attempt to in-
crease the proportion of foliage to that of the root sys-
tem. Experiments conducted for several years in this
line show that this plan may be followed safely and with

a reasonable hope of remedying the evil. There are
other conditions, such as the relative temperature of the
soil and atmosphere, over which we have only slight
influence, and these will not be considered here.
Some varieties of tomatoes, especially those produc-
ing large leaves and large fruit, are somewhat more
liable to suffer from this disease than such varieties as
Dwarf Champion and others belonging to that class.
Beauty Stone, Red-field Beauty, and others that are
commonly grown in the State, may be grown with a
great deal of confidence if we take the precautions to
alter the conditions of soil and plants as above indicated
in proper time.


The heading of this topic is so expressive of the
disease that one scarcely needs to describe it. The plants
and condition of the field are quite normal, but one
notices that the earlier blossoms begin to drop off, then
the later ones, and so on until every blossom on the
hand, or even on two or three hands consecutively, have
In 1893, one of the largest tomato growers in Lake
county said that he had lost more fruit by the dropping
of buds than other causes combined. Others complained
of the same trouble. Beside the fact that attention has
been called to this disease while in the field, numerous
letters have been received inquiring about the cause of
this difficulty. No section in the State seems to be
exempt from it.

Immediately upon receiving information as to the
nature and destructiveness of this disorder, attention
was directed to ascertain the cause. A large field of to-

matoes was planted, including some twenty-five different
plots. Various operations were performed upon different
plots of these tomatoes.
The following brief summary states what has been
learned from the work conducted with them. It would
hardly be profitable to the tomato grower to publish the
details of the experiments. We will, therefore, concern
ourselves mainly with the statement of the results.
One of the first points discovered was that during
and following cold weather many of the buds dropped.
This was doubtless due to the partial arrest of tlie vege-
tative functions of the plant, just as during dry weather
or in transplanting blossoming plants they are liable to
lose their buds. This is not under our control, how-
ever. It may also have been due in part to the want of
the pollen to take.
Another very general cause for the dropping of the
buds has been worked out by a number of the Experi-
ment Stations of the North, especially Ohio and New
York. The tomatoes being grown in propagating houses
for winter market, it was not difficult to have tempera-
ture, moisture and other conditions under complete con-
trol. It was found, however, that where the atmosphere
was entirely quiet, as would be the case in a propagating
house, the flowers would not be pollinated and conse-
quently would be aborted, causing the dropping of the
buds. Several measures were introduced to correct this.
In one case bees were brought into the propagating
house to work upon the flowers, and thus disseminate
the pollen. It was found, however, that the more certain
and effective way was to take a small paddle and tap
each plant during the portion of the day when the at-
mosphere of the propagating house was dry. This caused
the flowers to be pollinated and the fruit to set. While
this may be the cause of some unfruitfulness among our
tomatoes, we are forced to believe that it is of rare oc-
currence. There is usually enough wind abroad to shake

the plants, while at night the insects are flying if the
temperature is high enough to permit the plant to grow.

The above causes for the dropping of buds are not
under our practical control, but there is another cause
which is under our control and causes more buds to drop
than all others combined. In the early stages of the
plant, when the first hand of blossoms is put out, the
fertilizer is taking its most active effect and the plant
grows vigorously. This diverts the nutriment to the grow-
ing point of the plant in place of its being sent to the
blossom. The blossoms receiving too small an amount of
nourishment, soon drop for the want of nutriment. Hap-
pily for the tomato grower, this condition can be chang-
ed. Where it is desirable to have tomatoes as early as
possible, the plants may be topped as soon as the tirst
blossoms are open. At this time the second hand of
blossoms is just well in sight, so that the topping may
be done just above the second hand of blossoms. The
plant thus being relieved of its growing point, directs
its nutriment to the next bud available, which is situated
on the blossom hand. As soon as it has been directed
to the blossom hand new flower buds are produced, ag-.
gregating finally to as many or more flowers as should
have been produced on two hands, and not infrequently
Beauty will set seven, eight and nine tomatoes on a
single hand that would not have set more than five to-
matoes if the plant had not been topped. Nor is this
the only advantage that is gained by topping. Experi-
ments in 1894 showed that the first Stone tomatoes
matured in topped plants averaged ten days earlier
than those on plants that were not topped. Golden
Queen, a much later tomato, matured its first fruit two
weeks earlier on the topped plants than those that were
not topped. When tomatoes are trained to a single stem

and staked, much good can be done by taking out the
suckers, or as it is usually called, suckering.


Plants suffer from this disorder immediately after
being set out from the seed-bed. They may be only a
few inches high or eight or ten when transferred. The
central portion of the head of the plants remains green,
while the large leaves turn slightly yellow. In the course
of a week or ten days after setting out, the most severe-
ly affected plants fall over as if cut off by worms; on ex-
amining them it is found that the lower portion of the
stem is hollow, leaving only the skin to support the plant.
Further observations will reveal plants in earlier stages.
Plants effected with hollow stem make little or no
Immediately upon having our attention called to
this disease microscopic examination was begun on
plants in various stages of the malady. During the lat-
ter portion of its growth it was not difficult to find fungi
and bacteria present, but in the beginning of undoubted
cases none of these could be found which led to field
work with a view of finding what physiological condi-
tions favored or produced the disease. By making dili-
gent inquiry among the tomato growers whose fields
had suffered from the disorder, it was found that they
had forced their plants in the seed-bed, making a soft,
watery growth. This condition was similated on the Ex-
periment Station by using highly nitrogenous fertilizers
in the cold frames. The plants were forced until they
were eight or ten inches high, and then planted out on
the terrace. The soil was rather dry and little rain oc-
curred. It was necessary to apply water to keep the

plants from dying from drought. In a week or ten days
we had undoubted cases of hollow stem, and very few
of the plants made progress at all. The causes of hollow
stem may be briefly stated as follows: First, a highly
nitrogenous soil in the plant-bed to force the seedlings;
Second, an abundance of water to make the fertilizer
quickly available; Third, a quick growing variety of to-
matoes; Fourth, transplanting without hardening off;
Fifth, planting into a dry soil, necessitating the use of
No one or two of these conditions will be sufficient
to produce hollow stem, but if several of these are acting
in conjunction, we will be pretty sure to have the dis-
ease as a result.

Some varieties seem to be able to withstand such
treatment better than others. Dwarf Champion and its
relations gave fewer hollow stems than Ignotum,
Mikado, Beauty, Stone and their related varieties.
We wish to continue growing such tomatoes as
Beauty and Stone, and consequently some way of avoid-
ing this disorder is desirable. The time to begin is before
the seed is sown. When the plant-bed is prepared, use a
complete fertilizer. If the soil be brought in from a ham-
mock for the plant-bed, or other soil that contains a con-
siderable amount of ammonia be used, add less than the
amount of nitrogen that the formula calls for. If the
soil has been prepared properly, care must be taken that
the plants do not become leggy in the bed. If they begin
to crowd one another, plants should be removed until
there is an abundance of room for each individual. This
work insures that the stems of the plant develop a great
deal of woody tissue and protecting them against hollow
stem. The plants that have been removed from the plant-
bed and transplanted will be somewhat smaller than
those that were not transplanted at the time they were


transferred to the field, but in most cases they will be
in bloom before the ones that were not transplanted,
thus compensating in a large measure -for the trouble
of first transplanting.