Tomato Blight

sapman(z5 NY)July 12, 2009

I need some help or opinions from the members. I cut way back on growing my own plants last year, not canning as much. Last year I just bought a few larger tomato plants at Wal-mart, and had very good results for table tomatoes. Done the same this year, it was a flop. I put 8 plants in my raised bed, they took off great, were all blossomed out. We has a real rainy, cool spell, but no frost, last part of June. Then they all turned black and died, almost at once. I was told B.E.R. (but I had no tomatoes). Yesterday a son-in-law told me he heard that a supplier of Wal-mart was infected with something and thats what I probably had. Anyone have any input ?

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Yes, it isn't really relevant to this forum but you will find several discussions about this over on the Growing Tomatoes forum here as well as on the NE Gardening Forum since the NE is where the problem is focused. Those discussions provide links to all the news articles about the problem.

It was an infection of late blight (P. infestans) that resulted in all the plants being pulled from the big box stores but many infected plants were already sold.

You are right that BER affects only the fruit, not the plants, but late blight is death to the plants.


Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Tomatoes forum

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 1:47PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I will answer. BRE (Blossom End Rot) is only when tomatoes grow very rapidly under very hot conditions with plenty of fertilizer. It also is common with elongated tomatoes lile San Marzano and a other plum types. Its a lack of enough calcium for the plants. Sprays of calcium chloride on the foliage will help reduce it, as will weather, once it moderates to a little lower temp. Planting tomatoes in the same location every year can cause the blackening and blight you see. Its soil borne and travels from the base leaves and stems all they way to the top witin a couple of weeks. One year, I lost 70+ plants to blight, as they were planted in a previous tomato location. A few fungal sprays can help reduce that. Serenade, Captan, and even an antibiotic can be sprayed on the foliage to reduce the blight. Once it takes hold 5 day intervals of spraying are necessary. Never water with a sprinkler, as the leaves don't like excess water I use soaker hoses. This year, I only planted 4 tomato plants, all grape type and they are just now starting to blossom. No signs of any disease, as they are far away from any other previoulsy planted location.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 5:49PM
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