Tomatoes rotting after harvest

vanisle_bcOctober 18, 2013

I grow my tomatoes under cover but not enclosed, and water the plants at ground level only. After a fairly good harvest this year, with the tomatoes nested in newspaper-lined baskets as we always do it, more than half of the fruit have rotted; they developed soft brownish zones and a mold or fungus spread among them. This has never happened to me before. Several of the varieties were new to me, from seed obtained by exchange, but the problem was not limited to those new ones. Many of the larger fruit had circular shallow cracking around the top at harvest but seemed otherwise healthy.

I wonder what caused this problem, whether I can plant in the same bed next year and whether I can use seed from fruit that seemed unaffected although it was mixed in with the others.

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

Sorry to hear about the problems but it is impossible to diagnose from just a description as there are many possibilities. Would it be possible to post a picture of some of the fruti with a close up of the damaged areas?

Were the plants them selves healthy? Any symptoms of disease? Molds may only be seasonal or a results of your storage conditions - usually too damp and cool. Can you separate tne healthy fruti from the affected ones to slow the spread?

Dave

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 4:37PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Did your plant get disease like Late Blight or Gray Mold(Browning blackening stems ...) ?
Mine got that disease and because of that the fruits were affected (rotted, did not get ripe). Your case could be different.
A picture of your plants can be helpful.

This post was edited by seysonn on Fri, Oct 18, 13 at 17:25

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 5:03PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I read on another forum that green tomatoes can be damaged at around 40 degrees F and then rot later. Are you talking about tomatoes picked green? This fellow was from Washington state I believe and he picks tomatoes green and ripens them indoors.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 10:24AM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

The soft brownish zones sound to me like anthracnose which is a very common fungus that seems to appear most often on the surface of the fruits when the temps get cooler.

See link at the bottom for a general Google search, Be sure to look at the images, the Cornell and Examiner links and look for the zonal growth inside those areas..

The circular cracking you refer to is called concentric cracking and is very common. If there's too much moisture when they are outside the cracks can reopen and be invaded by just normal flora in the air and that can initiate a rotting process.

Here's a general Google search for that.

https://www.google.com/#q=tomato+concentric+cracking

Carolyn

Here is a link that might be useful: Anthracnose

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 12:30PM
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2ajsmama

I thought anthracnose was more black. The brown sounds like late blight - did they look like this?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 5:19PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Darn, my link above isn't working for me for me so here'a better one I linked to

The color of the central portion of the lesion can vary in color if the skin is broken and fungi and spores in the air can get in.so that's why you see different colors with the pictures from Google IMAGES.

Carolyn

Here is a link that might be useful: Anthacnose

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 5:43PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

My DSL line is unstable so let me try again/

Here is a link that might be useful: Google Search

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 6:02PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Once more and if it doesn't work just go to Google as I explained above.

Carolyn

Here is a link that might be useful: Google Search

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 6:07PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Never fear, Carolyn. All your links worked fine for me. Ugly stuff.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 7:15PM
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2ajsmama

Whether it's anthracnose or LB, clean the beds up and trash the debris. I wouldn't save seed though CAES says you can if you do a hot water treatment. Anthracnose can persist in the soil so rotation is called for, if LB and you dispose of all debris and pull volunteers you don't have to (it shouldn't overwinter, needs living tissue) but rotation is still a good idea.

I knew the black spots were anthracnose, didn't know the orange spores were too. I've got a lot of those on the ones ripening in my basement - I'm sure it started in the field during June but didn't help that we turned the dehumidifier off when I noticed my tomatoes shriveling instead of ripening.

Here is a link that might be useful: CAES anthracnose page

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 9:47PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Ohio, I figured it out so now I can see it as well.

You have to hit WEB first, then IMAGES and then all those lovely pictures of Anthracnose affected tomatoes appear.

Now I can sleep better, but I used to be able to just link to such Google IMAGES directly.

Carolyn,whose DSL line is still being tempermental.Sigh

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 10:50PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

I am very grateful for this discussion, and especially the images from Carolyn and the CAES anthracnose page from AJsmama. I didn't have this problem this year, but I have in the past. And this discussion reminds me again of why it's best not to compost tomato vines. Thanks for the lesson.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 11:09AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Very well. Can you discuss rot due to Grey Mold or Late blight and their implications ?

Below is a picture of the infected plants. That was EXACTLY what happened to my plants . The rots were more black and scattered .

This post was edited by seysonn on Sun, Oct 20, 13 at 14:26

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 2:19PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

That was the plant ;
Here is the fruit affected by Grey mold:

It seems that all the rots starts from the point of stem joint.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 2:36PM
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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

Dark colored stems that you show can be found with many tomato diseases, but usually there are leaf symptoms and sometimes fruit lesions that can help make the diagnosis.

As for the fruit you show, I see a fungal infection, the spores are gray, on top of possibly an anthracnose lesion, and no doubt just a harmless one from the air which was able to grow there b'c the skin was broken theee, giving it a point of entry. So IMO that fungus infection was initiated not near the stem, but within the initial lesion on the fruit.

I can't say it's the pathogen Grey Mold b'c the earliest symptoms of that disease are found on the leaves, same as for Late Blight, with which it is often confused.

Carolyn

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 6:44PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Thank you Carolyn.
I copied the picture from internet and they said that the disease had been GREY MOLD. That is what happened to my tomato plants in mid September and it progressed very fast.

So my main concern was virus. Now hopefully I can rest. LOL

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 5:08AM
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ediej1209(5 N Central OH)

That looks like what we got hit with, too. Within days everything was dead. That's the stuff of nightmares, for sure!!

Edie

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 12:30PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Gray mold or botrytis is another disease that survives on plant debris over winter and can also be seedborne. I am being reminded again of the importance of prevention. So sorry this happened to you.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 12:46PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Gray mold or botrytis is another disease that survives on plant debris over winter and can also be seedborne
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Thanks
In that case, a question comes up: IS THE BACTERIA SOIL BORNE OR AIR BORNE ?
If it is soil borne how did it get into my beds. It was the first year that I built and used them with purchased soil/compost. BUT then I bought all the seedlings.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 11:06PM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

Pick them a little on the green side and dip them in a solution of bleach and water to kill any nasties on the skin. Let them dry and then box them up. They'll keep then.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 7:29AM
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