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Historical background information for varieties handed down from bygone days.

 
 
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Old March 30, 2011   #1
Seth Williamson
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: VA
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Default Heirloom susceptibility to disease?

I mentioned on another (non-gardening) list that I had started a bunch of heirloom tomatoes. I got this response:

"With specific respect to heirloom tomato varieties, the down side is the propagation of diseases. Most of those were replaced with disease resistant types a few decades ago. The current trend to return to the so called heirloom varieties has reinvigorated the diseases. Tomatoes of any variety that have been treated with copper sulfate to ward off the diseases renders the fruit questionable at best."

I am familiar with the general charge, of course. My own experience is that my heirloom tomatoes have done as well as any of the hybrids I've planted. I seem to remember that Carolyn says in her book that the danger is exaggerated.

On the other hand, maybe I'm missing some new trend. I'd hate to see a recrudescence of old diseases. Can anybody comment on this matter?

Seth Williamson
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