But I did everything right! alternaria canker on toms!

tomatoesaretops(5A)June 9, 2006

so I planted in containers - new soil...no disease. I sprayed with daconil BEFORE any problems emerged.

and yet...I still lost to the tomato gods. ALL and I mean ALL of my tomatoes appear to have alternaria canker disease.

is it because it's been raining so much?

is there ANYTHING I can do to save my babies?

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Just noticed that you are in Massachusetts as well. Could you post some pictures of this? My tomatos have been hit with something as well. Everytime I try to narrow it down to one disease or virus, I see pictures that lead me in a different direction.

I definitely think all of the rain is the cause for the brown spots I am seeing on tomato's leaves.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 11:57AM
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My boyfriend has my digital camera right now - but I'll attempt to describe. The leaves...especiallly the bottom ones, have brown spots on them, mostly under 1/8th inch but a couple that are slightly bigger. Some of the lower leaves are curling as well...BUT...I'm thrill to report that I may have conquered this beast. first I cutoff the really bad lower branches....but my tomatoes were still kindof small so I couldn't take off too much or they'd be dead. as a last ditch effort I re-sprayed my tomatoes with daconil again. I really think it worked! The fungus hasn't spread at all, and all the new leaves appear healthy and happy. It's a personal choice whether to spray your plants...I understand...I've never done it in the past. But I have heard through this forum and the gardening center I went to that it's perfectly safe (not that I'm going to pop the toms in my mouth without washing them first). I'm not going to push though - but I think this might help. I'll harang my boyfriend for the camera and try to send in a pic tonight.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 9:21AM
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I would definitely like to see a picture. Your description closely matches the symptoms I am seeing on my plants. On my plants it starts with small brown spots and as they grow and as more brown spots appear they seem to run together forming undefined areas of brown instead of circles. The design almost looks like some soft of camouflage. I too experienced some curling of the lower leaves.

On Monday night I removed the lower infected leaves and sprayed with Daconil. I've had a close eye on them since then and new growth appears to be normal.

I will continue to spray my plants every 7-10 days for the rest of the season. I am not going to take any chances.

When did you put them in the ground? I planted the weekend before memorial day. And they really got hit with the cold rainy days that followed memorial day weekend.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 12:52PM
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torquill(z9/sunset15 CA)

Alternaria canker and Alternaria blight (a.k.a. Early Blight) are two different species of fungus. Canker affects primarily stems, while blight affects the leaves. It sounds like both of you have Early Blight rather than canker.

EB is very common, particularly when it's raining a lot. Daconil helps prevent new infections, though it won't get rid of the existing spots; remove those leaves as you get new, clean ones, and throw them away (into the trash, not the compost).

Other than spraying, the single best thing you can do is mulch your plants. A thick layer of mulch eliminates the soil splash that happens when rain hits bare ground; EB survives in the soil, and gets a hold when soil gets up onto the plants. So mulch as much of the beds as you can with leaves or grass clippings, things of that nature.

Clear out all of the old tomato leaves and stems at the end of the season and throw them away rather than composting them. You can't get rid of Early Blight, but you can definitely make it only a small issue.


    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 5:22PM
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