How close is too close?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Rockin'B, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. Rockin'B

    Rockin'B Well-Known Member

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    We have black walnuts all over my property. How close is too close for planting susceptable veggies like tomatos?

    I've not read on actual distances and it would seem to me that roots can run quite a ways.

    If it's much of a problem I'll never have good 'maters and such.
     
  2. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    From actual experience gained over 40 years, the answer obviously is in relation to the age of the tree. I have a walnut which is 40 years old. For the first 25 years, tomatoes were safe just outside the drip line. Thus it was a surprise about 10 years ago when tomatoes suddenly wilted about 10 feet away. This year, juglone wilt was obvious at 20 feet out from the drip line. Had to transplant some plants which already had fruit forming. Roots even went around the corner of a neighbor's garage and affected tomato plants there!

    One can use containers to beat the walnuts but not if the tomato roots can get through a drainage hole and continue growing down into the soil. That also happened this year. Either make certain that the roots can't get out or turn the container once a week.

    Martin
     

  3. Rockin'B

    Rockin'B Well-Known Member

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    Martin,
    Thanks for the info. What does juglone wilt look like in tomatoes? I had every tomato I planted grew and looked awesome for a couple of months or so and then all of a sudden they would keel over and wilt. No yellow leaves, just wilt away in a 24 hour perioud. My green peppers are doing the same thing. No such problem with green beans taht are just adjacent to them.
    I appreciate the thoughts.!
     
  4. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    That is exactly right for juglone poisoning. Everything will be perfect one day and tops of the the plants suddenly wilt. If one didn't know what was going on, first inclination is to dump a lot of water. Plants will perk up just a little since the water dilutes the juglone. Day or so later, whole plant is done. This year, it was 4 scarce Segler tomato plants planted far enough out to assume that they were safe. All 4 began wilting at the same time and I wasn't going to wait for them to die. Managed to save 3 of them but they never really got over the combination of the juglone wilt plus transplanting.

    Beans would not be affected now would any root crops. I like my huge walnut tree so it has caused me to change some of my vegetable planting. Beans, peas, onions, and garlic all do well in the problem area. I tried brassica family with cabbage and kohlrabi but neither did well.

    Martin
     
  5. Rockin'B

    Rockin'B Well-Known Member

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    That sounds exactly like what my plants did. I'll have to re-think this whole garden setup. There's no way I can avoid the walnuts. They are all around the yard and garden. No way to avoid them.
    I'll have to build some very large and long containers and cycle soil out of them from time to time.
    Thank again for the help.
     
  6. Rockin'B

    Rockin'B Well-Known Member

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    Delete for double post :nerd:
     
  7. Cindy in NY

    Cindy in NY Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I had to plant my tomatoes at least 15' away from the drip line to avoid the wilt. As Martin said, beans do fine. We've also had good luck with asparagus and dill. Zuchinni didn't wilt but may not have been as productive as it could have been. Same for spinach.