Green Zebra Tomato? Problems and how to solve them?

Green Zebra tomatoes can produce somewhat mealy fruits. Compared to a regular tomato, it has a tart, zingy, and spicy flavor. Green Zebra plants are low maintenance but produce high yields. Are green Zebra tomatoes susceptible to disease?

Tomato plants can wither due to root-knot nematodes, lack of water, and nearby walnut trees. Fusarium wilt is the most common disease that affects green Zebra tomatoes. Remove the suspicious plants. Check if other plants are also withering. 

In 1983, Tom Wagner of Everett bred Green Zebra tomatoes. He introduced it to his Tater-Mater Seed Catalog. The plant is semi-annual and is best to harvest in midsummer. After 15 cm of growth, you need to transplant Green Zebra. Plant the seeds 3 mm deep in well-drained soil. 

Green Zebra tomatoes most often succumb to Fusarium Wilt. This fungal infection can also affect peas, potatoes, eggplants, peppers, and squashes. The fungus Fusarium oxysporum causes fusarium wilt and infects solanaceous crops.

What Are The Symptoms Of Fusarium Wilt?

If you peel the epidermis off the lower stem, you will find dark red and brown discolored vascular tissue. Often, farmers mistake this disease for Verticillium wilt. Send a sample to your local plant-care clinic to be sure.

This pathogen enters the root system through natural openings and wounds. Nematode feeding or cultivation may have caused these wounds. The pathogen then spreads up the plant through its vascular system. It blocks the nutrient and water supply to the leaves. 

As the first sign of infection, a part of the plant may wilt. When temperatures drop, this may remain unnoticed due to the plant’s self-recovery. When the infection spreads throughout the whole plant, it will turn yellow and wilt. 

Yellowing is not uniform on the leaves. Sometimes leaves on one side of the plant turn yellow. Yellowing may occur on one-half of a leaf as well. You may see some leaves turning brown at random. In the end, the stem will discolor, and the plant will die. 

The majority of plants will not die. The plant will experience a slowdown in growth and a decrease in yield. 

Fusarium Wilt is rare among commercial growers since they use disease-resistant tomato varieties. Many of the older heirloom varieties are susceptible to this disease. 

This fungus thrives in warm weather, and its function is very severe in acidic soil. The fungus can spread through infected transplants or equipment contaminated with infested soil. Each growing season has only one infection cycle. 

Fusarium Wilt can survive for many years in soil or plant debris. The dispersal of airborne spores over long distances is rare.

green zebra

How To Prevent Fusarium Wilt?

Provide adequate nutrition and water to tomato plants to reduce their threat. By keeping the soil cool, mulching can also improve the health of plants. To prevent disease spread, remove any plants showing symptoms of partial wilting.

To prevent tomato diseases, keep the foliage dry by watering the base of the tomato plant. 

Cultural Control

Ensure that the seeds and transplants you buy are disease-free. Each time you handle infected plants, clean all equipment. Burn, bury, or remove infected plants. To reduce disease pressure, rotate away from susceptible crops for 3 to 5 years

Avoid excessive nitrogen since it can promote disease. Raising soil pH to 7 can help control disease in acidic soils. In some soils, fertilizing with calcium nitrate can reduce Fusarium wilt severity.

Late Blight

Late blight is the other most common fungal disease that affects Green Zebra. It is a water mold that prefers cold, damp environments. As its name implies, it occurs later in the year. This fungus spreads faster. If left untreated, it can result in total crop failure.

Diseased spores can spread through the soil, transplants, or wind. Late Blight thrives in high humidity, wet weather, and mild temperatures (60-70 0F). Hot, dry days can stop pathogens from spreading.

What Are The Symptoms Of Late Blight?

Large, dark brown blotches with a green-gray edge will appear as the first symptoms. The infection will soon spread through leaflets and petioles. It causes large sections of dry, brown foliage. 

Infected stems are dark brown and have rounded edges. When the weather is wet and cold, the entire field may turn brown and wilt. Dark brown, circular, firm spots grow over large portions of the tomatoes. 

Secondary bacteria may cause these spots to become mushy. Thin powdery white fungal growth may appear on infected stems, leaves, and tomatoes. 

How To Prevent Late Blight?

Check tomatoes for diseased leaves and remove them. Improve air circulation by caging, pruning, and stakes. Always keep the leaves as dry as possible. 

Water your plants with drip irrigation, sprinklers, or a soaker hose. It will prevent leaves from staying wet for long periods. To reduce disease effects, provide adequate drainage.

For faster drying, water your plants in the morning. Remove infected plants or destroy them using herbicides or flames. Learn more about common tomato diseases in this video.

Pest Problems For Green Zebra Tomatoes

Green Zebra tomatoes can be prone to many pests. They include whiteflies, aphids, slugs, tomato hornworms, rodents, and pill bugs. To repel them, grow companion plants like catnip, basil, marigolds, cilantro, and dill

Netting can keep pests and birds out. But it can interfere with pollinators and beneficial insects. 

How Do You Know When A Green Zebra Tomato Is Ready?

Grasp the tomato and feel its firmness. Ripe tomatoes feel soft and tender. Light green stripes will turn yellow. Yellowish blushes appear at the bottom of the tomato as it ripens further. Wait until the green Zebra tomato reaches full ripeness on the vine for the finest flavor. 

If you pick green Zebra tomatoes at the first stage of ripeness, the taste will be tart. Too much time on the vine can cause the green Zebra tomato to become sweet yet mealy.

How Long Does It Take For Green Zebra Tomatoes To Ripen?

After transplanting, the green zebra tomatoes will ripen within 75 to 80 days. If you planted seeds, wait about 100 to 105 days for ripe tomatoes. 

Are Green Zebra Tomatoes Disease-Resistant?

Disease attacks on the green Zebra tomato are rare. Compared to other tomatoes, Green Zebra exhibits higher disease resistance. It may succumb to other common tomato diseases. It has modern advantages like higher yields, enhanced crack resistance, and heat tolerance.

What Are Green Zebra Tomatoes Good For?

The green Zebra tomato is ideal for salads, Caprese, or salsas. Slice them and cover them with herbs and cheese for an appetizer. Add it to gazpacho or blend it with green goddess dressing for a tangy flavor. 

Green Zebra tomatoes are a rich source of folate and potassium. Vitamins A and C are abundant in them. It has lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces heart disease and cancer risks.

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