Pitch the earlies, or persevere?

jackie_(z6 PA)May 5, 2006

After five years of growing heirlooms without a hitch, it seems my tomato karma has turned I've had a dozen earlies out in WOW's for a few weeks (safe planting date is 5/10). Our weather has been weird (hot/cold/hot). Yesterday was 85, but the forecast is for a cool weekend with lows in the upper 30's possible. I've been opening & closing the WOW accordingly. Yesterday I moved the WOW's off entirely because of the heat.

A few show signs of mild sunscald, which doesn't overly concern me. Two of the plants had what I believe is powdery mildew (not sure, never had it before, see pics) and the undersides of the leaves on the first plant were seriously purple (see the veins). I yanked those two plants, but I'm concerned for the others. Since it's still early enough in the season, I'm wondering if I should just pull all the early plants and start over. The plants that are hardening off properly under the carport look fine.

Questions: If this is powdery mildew, is the probable cause too much humidity in the WOW's or something in the soil? I did add some compost from the city center that may be suspect. Since I removed the two plants showing signs, will I be safe treating the rest with a fungicide? I'll be planting out my full crop next weekend. I'd like to stay organic, but I'm not opposed to some Daconil if the situation warrants it. I have the option to pull everything and start over, but I'd hate to lose the earlies... I had visions of a Sun Gold BLT on Memorial DayÂ

Any advice appreciated!

Jackie

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cbars(z5b6a MO-Kansas City)

IMHO - all that you have is sun scald. To bad you tore out your plants because they were probably okay.

Don't take this the wrong way - sometimes we need to stop, take a breath, and then proceed on a logical course. Panic is your last option!!

Also, I seem to remember that you had cold weather just a week or 10 days ago. My family is still in western Pa. Drastic changes in temperature will cause your maters to look off.

Good luck,

Gary

    Bookmark   May 5, 2006 at 3:46PM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

I also agree that it just looks like they got a little sunburn and also maybe some windburn. Sometimes when you put them out, they get kind of purple if the climate outside is a lot different than what they are used to. They seem to snap out of it.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2006 at 8:00AM
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