How are your tomatoes doing? Late blight?

siennactJuly 27, 2009

I thought one of my plants had it a couple of weeks ago. I cut off the sick part and got rid of it, but then the plant didn't die. Now a few of the others look to have it and are deteriorating quickly. My five year old and I are very sad because we planted a lot of tomatoes this year.

I'm going to rip them out tomorrow and plant lettuce. I think we got three cherry tomatoes.

How are everyone else's tomatoes doing?

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ctlady_gw(z6 CT)

No blight (yet) for us, but I know plenty of folks who have it. Not many tomatoes, either, with all this rain and cloudy weather. A bust year, no matter how you slice it...

Be sure you dispose of your infected plants by either burying them at least 2 feet deep OR put them into a dark plastic bag and tie it tightly. Leave it in the sun for the rest of the summer to "bake" the spores. You don't want to just put your plants in the trash...

Here is a link that might be useful: Useful disposal info for late blight victims

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 11:11PM
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All 6 of my Big Boys, 1 Bush Beafsteak, and 1 Early Girl pulled up and double bagged on Saturday. What a bummer too. This is my first garden and the 6 big boys were still growing strong, until the brown spots on the stems, that is. I started cutting the browning leaves off, then it was the brown stems. It was dying faster than I could prune. I realized it was a losing battle. Better luck next year I guess.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 11:58PM
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This is terrible news. The NH Farmers Bulletin said late blight was spreading. UNH Cooperative extension has some good photos showing the difference between early and late blight. Some of my tomatoes have early blight on lower leaves. There are also recommendations for removal and disposal. Wash your hands well.
Paul, hopefully a neighbor will have a surplus of tomatoes to share. This is an unusual year. Poor seed germination in the spring. Some plants bolting early.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 7:48AM
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Thanks, that's a helpful link. Great photos.

Ironically, my plant that is doing best is the one from HD.

Here is a link that might be useful: early vs late blight photos

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 8:31AM
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spedigrees z4VT

Now I'm scared. My cherry tomato and roma tomato plants both are thriving despite a precarious start. I was feeling encouraged by the sight of healthy looking green fruit, but my plants are weeks behind yours. Do I need to worry?

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 4:52PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

When I first heard of this, for some reason I thought it was not in CT, but perhaps MA and RI. Then I found out that the farm up the street, a mile away, had it! And he started his stuff from seed, which was another surprise to me - I thought it was coming from a few suppliers who sold starts.

Anyway, it's hitting pretty close to home, so I'm keeping a close eye on my tomatoes - and keeping my fingers crossed!


    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 5:29PM
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spedigrees, my tomatoes aren't even as far along as yours so I think you're fine. I put mine out but then we had a light frost. The plants were covered but I think the long period of cold slowed down growth.

This is a weird weather summer. I have a 2 yo lupine that is now blooming for the first time. Most of my daikon radishes are bolting.

Last night at Curves one of the other members said her tomato plants didn't look very good. Stems turning black. She gets the Farmers Bulletin but hadn't noticed the articles about blight. I told her to check the UNH web page for photos but it sure sounded like they had late blight. I've read the spores can travel for miles.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 8:10AM
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spedigrees z4VT

Thanks defrost. I put my tomatoes and annual flowers into the ground very late this spring, not daring to chance the predicted frosts which continued until the first week in June, maybe later.

I guess time will tell. I hope those travelling spores will miss me!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 10:28AM
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mayalena(6 - MetroWest Boston)

Our CSA in Lincoln MA just pulled hundreds of tomatoes. We had a total of two! Everyone is miserable. They've also lost some potatoes. Waaaaa. Apparently, late blight is affecting crops from Maine to Ohio. Do the spores winter over?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 7:27AM
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So far so good. All from seed, plus we live on an island (Nahant), isolated. Belle Stars, SunGold, San Marz, Brandywine and Costaluto Fiorentino all thriving.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 3:29PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

So far so good. Mine also all grown from seed and got planted in their huge pots very, very late this year.
Once planted, in July, they have bolted at least 1 foot in the past 2 weeks and some have bolted 2 feet. All have buds, flowers and a few have some tiny toms on them.

Last year was bad with fungus on them from all the rain in July, a whole month of it, this year was cold, cold spring, then rain, rain and more rain. Now rain, heat and humidity.


Cherokee purple
black cherry
white wonder
yellow cherry
xmas grape
sweet 100
tiny tim


    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 6:55PM
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I went to look at some tomatoes and I swear that they have late blight and early blight at the same time! Holy crimoly!

So I thought I would look up some control methods and resistant varieties. Apparently, at least with late blight, they seem to be saying that you have to nip it before it hits. Also, they only list one variety of tomato that may be blight resistant, but they say it does not hold up under heavy disease fire.

I have a tomato plant in a pot that has a few blossoms and a tomato on it. My neighbors are warned that I better not catch anything from them. I have been growing that one tomato for awhile now. In any case, my plant looks good.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) -- Late Blight

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 10:06PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Drat! I think I have it!

My tomatoes are glorious this year. They have gotten so huge that I was thinking I should have planted them farther apart, so I went out Saturday to cut back some of the leaves, and I saw something suspicious.

My friend, who had to pull out tomatoes, came over in the rain yesterday and confirmed my fears, but we were hopeful that perhaps I could just cut off the leaves.

Well, today I went to do just that, and noticed brown spots on the stems, and one tiny tomato is looking pretty bad.

Sigh. I guess all 15 plants will have to be ripped out.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 8:53PM
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I've had problems with nearly everything here in central Conneciticut.

With respect to tomatoes: I'm growing five Brandywine and they are not doing well. The four Sweet 100 are producing at this time more than we can consume. I'm familiar with "early blight."

What I'm finding is that the Brandywine has something that I've not seen before: the leaf turns black and dies.

Is this "late blight?" I've never seen this before.

The rain in Connecticut has been awful. I sprayed today all of the tomatoes with a fungicide. Hoping that will help.

Now to the "problem:" There is some bug ( I think) that is eating leaves from nearly _all_ of my plants. Peppers, Tomatoes, Green Beans, Basil, Hasta, but not Cucumbers, Squash, nor Peas.

What would eat leaves of some but not others?

(btw, I've killed many slugs, and I can't concieve that there are enough slugs that eat and disappear in the cloak of night. Must be something else.)

Sprays of Seven, Neem, and _what_shall_not_be_mentioned was used.

I can provide photos.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 9:47PM
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I just saw a post from a CT gardener on Chowhound's forum that they had to pull their tomatoes. They went away for 4 days. Left beautiful plants and came back to dying plants. It happens that quickly.
Extension has noted that people should wash their hands well after handling diseased plants. I may be a little too nervous here but I would also be concerned about clothes esp shoes becoming contaminated while walking near diseased plants. We are supposed to check our plants daily. So far I have some early blight only. Tomatoes are growing. We had one tomato from a Stupice, an heirloom variety from Checkoslavakia, 1-2oz fruit, extra cold hardy/ripens early. Cherries don't appear to be ripening. But with a second day of sunshine, maybe ripening will start to happen.
After pulling out volunteer tomato plants all season I finally decided to let one with blossom continue to grow. It had been hiding among the sugar snaps.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 8:50AM
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There are just so many diseases of tomatoes, many of which look alike, so I hope that people are not pulling up their tomatoes when it is really something else. I have thought that I might have it several times, but my tomatoes are all still here.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 5:47PM
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They 're here!

The question to you experienced gardeners: is it likely it will come back next year? We just had a solid downpoor, I assume the "spores" or whatever this organism survives on happily infested the soil and will reemerge as soon as conditions are favourable. Secondly, your opinion on the idea that if you eliminate the infested part, you may control the disease? Essentially, I am wondering, if you had the blight, what is the likelihood it is coming back?

Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 11:09PM
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I would say under the same circumstances, the blight would return. Definitely don't plant tomatoes in the same area. Also, mulch around the base of the tomatoes.

I could not find a blight free tomato, but some varities are supposed to be more resistant. (Just one variety I think!)

This film is a nice intro to preventing disease in tomatoes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato Blight Prevention and Maintenance

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 10:38AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Interesting links. I have not seen any sign of these blights on my 4 tomatoes so far. They were started from seed, and the small veggie garden is in back yard and fairly isolated. With the recent warmer weather, the tomatoes, basil and heat loving annuals are finally putting on some size.

Crossing my fingers this blight doesn't come here. X

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 10:41PM
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So far so good (crossing fingers!). I have Tommy Toes and Black Krim, started from seed. Nothing's ripe yet-- the very wet June set them a few weeks back, I think.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 6:39PM
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So is this thread alive in 2010? I have black lower stems on my full height tomatoes in Portola Valley Ca. I will try picking off all the dead leaves I can and applying fungicide. Nothing is to strong for the disease. Worst case, it is June 21, summer solstice. I can start again with a fall/winter planting. But this really pi..e. me off! Any sympathy or suggestions? Do I need a green house in California to grow tomatoes?


    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 11:59PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

red2erni, must be very frustrating. There is an active thread on this subject on the Organic Gardening forum. So far, my tomato plants are healthy, but it's early here to see that, I think.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 2:35AM
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I'm not giving up so easily on late blight. there is a lot of information on late blight on the internet. one post I read stated success in delaying death while getting tomatoes with frequent applications of fish fertilizer. Bayer serenade is omri certified for organic production and is primarily a biological and available at almost any garden center. a product from us ag llc out of Lutherville ga classified as an adjuvant called c4 has an effect on fungus and insect pests. its not 'organic but designed to reinforce friendly soil biology and help raise brix levels. there videos about baking soda as a garden fungicide. it works by ph regulation. last year i read a study on this and baking soda did not effect sodium levels in the soil. it's apparently stable and doesn't give up its sodium. even if it did you could neutralize that. I'm also hitting it hard with microbe teas made from fish both emulsion and hydrolyzed as well as tomato tone as it has a beneficial microbe package built in [and boy do the weeds love this stuff]. also check out the t and j enterprises website it's interesting. I'll try their product either later or next year it is intriguing. maintain a high brix readings in your plants that's the best way to avoid pests use nematodes for grubs. in this day and age there is no reason in my mind to wave the flag of surrender in short 'I've have not yet begun to fight'. even if I lose this battle the war is not yet over.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:57PM
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