My formerly fabulous tomato plants have all died

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Hi!
This is my first post. I'm new to gardening and was very excited about growing my own stuff until disaster struck.
I live in a very rural area and there is no other home in sight. Only wooded areas and some cleared vacant lots.

In March, my tomato plants began bearing tomatoes. They were FAR better tasting than store bought tomatoes.
Through Mid April they flourished and I got great tomatoes about every other day.

Then, about the 2nd week of April I noticed some leaves on some stems looked wilted. I figured it was the dryness so I watered them.
But over the next two weeks, they got worse and more stems wilted and some were turning brown and drooping.

During the last two weeks of April the got worse and eventually most of the vines were looking brown splotchy, dead or drooping with yellowing leaves.

By mid May I realized I was going to lose all my tomato plants. I have no idea what happened.
They went from vibrant, deep green and bearing fruit to decimated and dead or dying.

All that's left to do now is to pull up all the vines up and put them in the garbage.

So to the best of my knowledge, here's the factors that could have been a contributor to their demise.....

1). In early April I started watering them because it was very dry here. We have well water so it has been through a water softener as far as I know.
It's possible it's direct well water but I have to check to see how the previous owner did the water back to the garden. I've owned the property only about 9 months.

2). I probably used the wrong fertilizer on them. This is my very first time dealing with gardening and I thought that fertilizer was fertilizer and some was in the storage shed so I used it.

3). Around the middle to last week of March, an adjacent property owner had a crew of 6 men who heavily applied herbicides to his entire vacant lot property (1.25 acres). Today (just over two months later) his property is still all brown and nothing is growing. However, his property is about 800ft from my garden so I'm not sure that could have had any effect.

4). I used Natria 706250A Neem Oil Spray and Bonide Captain Jack's Tomato and Vegetable Spray pesticide on my tomatoes a few weeks before I really noticed any problems.

5). Around the first week of May I noticed squirrels around my tomato plants a lot and found many of them damaged of half eaten. I also have rabbits and birds that I've seen around my tomato plants.

Here are some photos
If there's any suggestions I would be grateful but I think these are all dead now.

Thanks
 

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From the pictures it appears that the problem is not fertilizer toxicity or herbicide drift. From what little I can see it appears more likely to be fusarium wilt or verticillium wilt, probably fusarium wilt. Were the varieties of tomatoes resistant to these two diseases?
 
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Chuck,
I don't know because I didn't plant them.
Thanks for the reply.
From what I've read, those two diseases are a death sentence and I need to burn the plants, sterilize the soil and tools and find a new spot, is that right?
 
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Chuck,
I don't know because I didn't plant them.
Thanks for the reply.
From what I've read, those two diseases are a death sentence and I need to burn the plants, sterilize the soil and tools and find a new spot, is that right?
That is correct but, removing and replacing ground soil is prohibitive. And there is no guarantee that the fungal spores of the disease will not just blow in with the next heavy breeze. What you can do is not plant anything related to tomatoes in that area for 2 or 3 years. Another thing you can do now is to remove and destroy the plants including all other vegetation and covering the area with black plastic until next spring. You have enough heat in Florida to effectively solarize the soil killing the offending fungus. And next year only plant plants that are resistant to diseases. This means do not plant just about all of the heirloom varieties. Only plant plants that have the resistance codes on the seed packet or plant label.
 
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He cutoff the bottom of the plant just above the roots. You need a clear glass or jar with water. You let it soak for a couple of minutes and you lift up the plant off the bottom of the cup or jar leaving it in the water and if you see the sticky milky white looking stuff seeping out that is the proof. He used some sort of jewelers eyeglass . Not sure what you call it. It was very obvious once you could see it.
 
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You might be familiar with Bill Finch. He claimed he had a way around it. He said you build up layers of leaves above the soil and you can eventually plant the tomato plant in the leaves and not have to deal the soil. I don’t know how the plant could anchor its roots in the decaying leaves. I would imagine it would need a lot of support
 

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