blight amungus?

digit(ID/WA)September 8, 2008

Hi Everyone,

It might be a good time of the year to assess the blight situation in our tomato patches.

I have some plants that are just LOADED with fruit - can hardly believe it what with the cool Spring and the difficulties the warm-season veggies had at that time. Despite the production, blight is moving in - especially on the determinates.

I've never known if this fungus is early or late blight just assumed that since there's no "late" season in my garden, this would have to be of the early variety. Also, can't blame it on prolonged wet foliage. Heck, we've often got less than 20% humidity by evening here. Clothes dry on the line, overnight. And, my tomato patch is in the bigger veggie garden - a place incredibly open and windy. If exposure was said to cause blight - I'd understand.

photo early blight

Nothing much is in dire straits this year but I've grown varieties of 'maters that I just won't have back in the garden. A Russian variety comes to mind that was remarkably early but most of the plants actually DIED during August!

So, here's the one most affected in 'o8 - Mountain Spring. There's damage even on the stems. The plant has lots of green tomatoes that are ripening and I don't think there's much of a problem there but I've no doubt that the blight is limiting the development of fruit as we move towards the close of the season.

Ildi has a fair amount of the fungus amungus. I'm a little worried about that one. Ildi is an indeterminate soooo, if there's any chance that I can get to the end of September without a killing frost - will that one be toast because of the blight anyway? Shucks . . .

And despite its blight-resistance status, Legend shows some sign of the problem. Just thought I'd mention that even tho' it doesn't seem to have affected its production. They are more fruit than foliage. Gosh, those little plants are loaded with fruit.

Least sign of blight - as usual, Big Beef. Never a hitch, the BB's are kickin' out lots of big, beautiful beefsteaks!


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david52 Zone 6

Aache.....I was just out now picking tomatoes, and now, out of the 60 odd I started with, half had been ruined before and pulled, and now, all but 3 have the dreaded crud - leaves turn purplish, turn wrong side up, and thats all she wrote. Once they get this, no new fruit, and what is on the vine tastes like cardboard. I've actually having one of the worst tomato harvests in years.

Yesterday, I was discussing this with a neighbor, and he said to try adding more phosphorous to the soil- the guy has 3 dozen plants, and only lost 3.

I will try Big Beef next year. Heirlooms are all well and good, and taste great, but if 5/6ths of them die off and I'm only left with a couple bushels, I need to try something different.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 1:41PM
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David, the Russian produced a little fruit before it died.

The absolute worse tomato plants that I ever grew were Beefy Boys. Beefy Boy is an indeterminate hybrid! Supposed to have resistance to wilts but apparently not blights - dependable, tried-and-true.

The plants barely grew and flowered in my garden. By the time fruits began to form, the plants were on their way out! I'm not sure if I remember a single tomato off those plants.

I suppose individual circumstances make for a lot of differences. Purple foliage is supposed to be a phosphorus deficiency, or, at least, that's one reason. All of our tomato plants turn purple during the early weeks because of the difficulty they have pulling up phosphorus from cold soil. Or, so I've read.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 9:45PM
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I've also got the purple veins and distorted foliage on my black cherry plants, but I'm not thinking blight (though they have that too (early blight), but not bad). At the moment I'm thinking phosphorus deficiency or 2,4-d damage (it gets used by the landscapers in the adjacent development regularly). Another possibility, more prevalent on the west slope than the east, is curly top virus.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 12:43PM
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david52 Zone 6

That curly top virus is what I think it is as well. But I'll try adding some phosphorous, cover that base as well.....

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 9:59PM
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