Tomatoes tend to get diseases–and Wilt is the worst.
There are a couple of kind of wilt (I’ll leave the distinctions to the excellent plant pathologists at NCSU). But they all look pretty much the same: Promising plants wilt over night and won’t revive no matter how much you water them.
I hate the wilt.
In the past I’ve kept it mostly at bay two ways:
1) Plant wilt resistant varieties. Most modern hybrids for the South have great disease resistance including wilt.
2) Rotate your tomato crop. For me and my driveway tomato garden that means changing the soil in tomato pots each year.
But what about heirloom tomatoes, those un-hybridized, living antiques from the past?
They’re a gamble in my garden. Some make it, some don’t like the Green Zebra plant above. I’m going to pull it out and throw it away.
The fact that I’m not the first to have this problem with Green Zebra is a little consolation. Here’s a link from Chatham County just down the road from my Apex Garden http://chatham.ces.ncsu.edu/growingsmallfarms/tomatowilt06.html.