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What is ruining my Supersweet 100 fruit?

Posted by amunk01 7a, Edmond (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 22, 13 at 13:26

Ok, I'm a newbie but I cannot figure out what is causing these brown rings all over my tomatoes? This plant was purchased at a local co-op, planted 4-8. Its over 6ft now but has grown spindly with very stunted leaf growth. Flower production/fruit set has been pretty good but the birds got the first dozen and now this is happening to all of them. I've pulled a fruitworm off of it, and I have lots of yellow striped Armyworms, even a hornworm or two but I have not witnessed any of these pest doing this type of damage. Also none of my other plants have these rings on their fruit (although these pest are garden-wide)? If its disease I don't want it spreading! The damage looks like someone took a marker and just made doodles and looptiloos (is that a word?) everywhere.. Anyway, any thoughts would be appreciated! :)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What is ruining my Supersweet 100 fruit?

It is hard to say. I appreciate that you gave us a wide variety of the fruit to look at, and that you included foliage as well. Great job of showing us what you're seeing!!! The photo is good, but a close up of one fruit might be helpful. Whatever it is, I don't think I've ever seen anything like that on small tomatoes.

It can take time to diagnose a tomato plant issue because many diseases and disorders look almost identical to each other, so please don't be frustrated if it takes a couple of days and many people's minds to figure out what is wrong.

So, here's what I will suggest. I am going to link the "green fruit" page from the TAMU Tomato Problem Solver for you since you can sit there with the tomatoes in front of you and compare them to the photos. After you've done that, please tell us if what you are seeing resembles anything on that page, and if so, which one it resembles the most. If nothing on that page seems like the answer, then we'll move on to a different trouble shooting website and we'll look for an answer until we find one.

If your leaves have brown concentric circles on them (kind of like a target or bullseye) with yellow leaf tissue (sometimes just general yellow tissue but sometimes like a round halo around the brown spots) around the brown concentric circles, then your plants have a fungal disease called Early Blight. I sometimes get Early Blight on some of my plants, but it never progresses enough to move from the leaves to the fruit.

If your leaves have circular brown spots or specks, it could be bacterial spot or speck, and both of those can infect fruit. When I've had those diseases on large tomatoes, my fruit didn't look like yours do now....they had smaller spots or specks.

Any time anyone has rings on their fruit, it makes me think of Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus, but I don't necessarily think that's what your plants have because only some of your fruit have rings...others have lesions in oval shapes or blotches. TSWV can present in various ways, though, so I'm not ruling it out at this point, but I'm leaning towards not thinking that is what it is....unless you are getting raised up 3-D areas in the exact same spot as the doodles and looptiloos. However, if it were to ultimately be ID'd as TWSV, don't panic. It won't spread to other plants like some diseases do, and it can hit only 1 of 2 plants and not all of them because the thrips that carry it get blown by the wind randomly onto plants here and there.

Maybe somebody else has had this on their fruit before and can quickly ID it for you. Scott? Jay? Busy1? Y'all grow lots of tomato plants. Have y'all seen these brown spots on fruit before?

Finally, if you think your fruit most resembles the photo of the green tomato with Late Blight, take a deep breath and relax. Every single time I've ever seen anything that I thought might be Late Blight, it was something else. I'd be really surprised to have Late Blight in OK right now with the temperatures we're having. Also, what the Problem Solver page doesn't tell you in the brief explanation of Late Blight is that it hits and kills you plants so quickly that your plants normally are dead almost before you realize there's an issue. Even though your fruit might somewhat resemble their Late Blight photo, the odds of your plants having LB right now are between slim and none. (That's a good thing because it is terminal and will quickly wipe out every plant.)

Also, does the fruit go on and color up and ripen, or does it stall and stay green and brown and then fall off the plant and rot?

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato Problem Solver--Green Fruit Disorders


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RE: What is ruining my Supersweet 100 fruit?

Thank you Dawn, you are truly wonderful! I will look at that link asap. Yes, the fruit continues to ripen (see photo) but today is the first time I've gotten to see one not eaten by birds so I noticed the discoloration.. I've looked through all the common tomato viruses/fungi/bacteria etc but can't match all the symptoms to just one thing?
Some foliage has damage but it appears to be random to me and begins at the top. Seems to start at the growth tip/blossoms/flower stem by turning yellow then progressing to brown.. not all blossom I find go bad in one group though. I've been promptly removing any I notice since this began 2 wks ago, but its progressively moved randomly throughout the plant, the fruit damage began 5-6 days ago. The brown damaged areas are recessed not raised, but the ripe fruit (pictured) shows no skin damage just discoloration. Ill keep you posted on what i find through that link. (thanks again!)


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RE: What is ruining my Supersweet 100 fruit?

Ok I'm pretty sure its Tomato spotted wilt virus, although not all symptoms are present. My foliage isn't exhibiting the common circular spots but the fruit sure it.. I already pulled the plant but after reading more apparently that won't necessarily stop it from spreading since its caused by adult thrips which I have plenty of I'm sure.. Thanks Dawn. I'm going to NEEM all the plants this evening, if nothing else it will make me feel better :) Hopefully no more will get infected since I have a small garden..


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RE: What is ruining my Supersweet 100 fruit?

You're welcome but I don't really feel like I've done anything that helped.

I am not sure it is TSWV. We have had a lot of issues the last couple of years that might have seemed like they were TSWV, but other than one plant in Chandra's garden a couple of years ago, we decided that was not what it was. We had a case like that just last week. For TSWV, Jay is our expert by virtue of the fact that in his specific region, it seems more common than it is where most of us live. It is a matter of geography---his location seems really prone to thrips, which spread the disease.

I've only seen TSWV one time on a plant in my garden, and it has been so long since that happened that I am starting to forget what it looked like in the early stages. Partly that is because at the time my plant had it, TSWV was fairly new and not well understood. I'd never even heard of it back then. My plant did have the classic spotting of the foliage, and the symptoms on the fruit showed up fairly late in the game.

There is something about the appearance of your fruit that seems so familiar to me and there's a voice in my head saying over and over again "C'mon, you know what this is. You've seen it before." Maybe I have, but I sure cannot put a name to it.

One problem with diseases on tomatoes is that often multiple issues exist at once which can make it confusing to diagnose what is happening. Another thing is that there is a lot of variability in the way diseases present themselves.

I don't have enough tomato problems to be able to look at a sick plant and say "It looks like this" because I simply never have seen a lot of disease issues on my tomato plants, and see even fewer on fruit. Now, if your plant had septoria leaf spot or early blight, I probably could diagnose it because I have seen those several times on my plants in the last decade.

Still, I have a nagging feeling that I should know what is on your tomatoes. I'm counting on someone else who grows a lot of tomatoes to read this thread and recognize what is wrong with your fruit. Surely somebody here has seen this on tomatoes before.

Neem won't hurt and might at least help the gardener feel better.

It might not even be a disease causing the issues. There's always the chance it is an environmental or physiological issue, a mineral deficiency issue or even a pest-related issue.

We have a lot of issues here with heat causing uneven ripening, green shoulders or gray wall, and it can be easy to misdiagnose any of those as TSWV.

So, wait and see what others think it might be. Many heads are better than few.


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RE: What is ruining my Supersweet 100 fruit?

I will chime in later. Heading to work soon. I have one question also. Do you see any purpling of the leaf veins, ect? Jay


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RE: What is ruining my Supersweet 100 fruit?

No purple veins.. As for deficiencies, i dont think so, but can nutrient overdose cause this? This plant has been fertilized with sea weed/fish emulsion 3/1.5/1.5 twice, after transplanting in April & mid-May, and Super Bloom applied at the beginning of the cool front a few weeks ago. I have 2` tall raised beds with topsoil, rich mix, and peat moss. I definitely have a variety of pests but nothing extreme. Armyworms are my worst problem and they are still manageable just by hand picking. I also have a Huge junebug population. I have only used NEEM once near the supersweet.. Moisture consistency is probably what I struggle with most. Not sure if any of this info helps.Thanks again!.


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RE: What is ruining my Supersweet 100 fruit?

The pic of the ripe ones look like stink bug damage from what i can remember.
I dont think your fish fert. Would be strong enough to cause any damage.


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RE: What is ruining my Supersweet 100 fruit?

My stink bug damage doesn't look exactly like that, but stink bug damage can be variable. The stink bug damage on my fruit looks splotchy, but not with those rings that you can see in the coloration of the ripe fruit. Or, I guess another way to say it would be that the circular discoloration on her fruit, Busy1, looks more perfect than the irregular splotchy damage my fruit show from stink bugs.

I'm going to link something that shows the kind of cloudy spot damage I see from stink bugs. I'm not saying stink bugs aren't causing her damage, just that if they are, it differs from the kind of damage I see on mine.

It is the brown on the green fruit that bothers me more than the coloration of the ripe fruit. It looks so familiar but I cannot figure out why. Since it looks familiar, I must have seen it at some time in the past. I wish I could remember what it is.

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: Stink Bug Damage on Tomato Plants


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RE: What is ruining my Supersweet 100 fruit?

Dawn, im looking at it on my phone so the pics are really small.
Im almost affraid to comment on the green fruit. I had some look like that from dead top or top rot, can't remember the name for sure.
Work computer is restricted too much on what i can view.


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RE: What is ruining my Supersweet 100 fruit?

Dawn, im looking at it on my phone so the pics are really small.
Im almost affraid to comment on the green fruit. I had some look like that from dead top or top rot, can't remember the name for sure.
Work computer is restricted too much on what i can view.


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RE: What is ruining my Supersweet 100 fruit?

Robert, have you ever seen Alfalfa Mosaic virus on tomato fruit? That is what the brown spots on the green fruit in the very first photo remind me of, but I haven't seen it on tomatoes in Oklahoma, and only once or twice in Texas a very long time ago.

One argument against alfalfa mosaic would be how very round some of the brown spots on the fruit happen to be. Alfalfa mosaic usually isn't round like that.

I also have wondered about it maybe being gray wall, but never have seen that on cherry tomatoes.

Dawn


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RE: What is ruining my Supersweet 100 fruit?

OK, its officially on two more plants, one in a totally different bed (a hybrid cherry grown from seed); the other right next to where the super sweet was (if I remember correctly a Better Boy from home depot?). Will post a Pict when I get home from work friday night.. If it is a virus, are the fruits still edible regardless of discolorations? Also, I dug up the roots of the 100 today. Everything looked normal & healthy (to my "untrained" eye) but I did come across two mammoth grubs in the root ball. Any diseases spread by those?


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RE: What is ruining my Supersweet 100 fruit?

Well, that is not good news.

Usually if a plant has a virus, there is no risk to any humans who eat the fruit. The same is true if it is a fungal or bacterial disease.

You may find the tomatoes taste fine, even if they are unsightly. However, they may not taste good at all.

Because of the rainfall that has fallen recently in much of the state, I am more inclined to think that somehow the rainfall is a player in what is going on with your plants.

Please let us know how the plant foliage and stems look. A photo of an entire plant would be great.

I sat down tonight and went page by page through two tomato disease books and looked at photos of diseased fruit, mechanically injured fruit and physiologically damaged fruit for a long time and still didn't find anything that matched your fruit symptoms enough that it made me say "Aha!"

I think at this point we have to look at the whole plant for clues and not just the fruit.

If you have used any chemicals anywhere on the property, that info would be helpful too.

Grubs damage roots if they feed on them but you'd see that's manifest itself as wilting if it became serious enough that the plant roots cannot take up adequate water and nutrients.


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RE: What is ruining my Supersweet 100 fruit?

Well I picked one last night off a perfectly healthy looking Bonnies Select plant that is mottled, shriveled and has an almost rotten spot on it. And it isn't BER for sure. I've never in my years of growing maters seen one just like this one on a healthy plant. So far the green fruit on it look fine. Those I've picked before were fine. If time permits I will try to take a few pictures and post them on my photobucket site and link to them. I checked the plant out good so will leave it and see what the future holds. Jay


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RE: What is ruining my Supersweet 100 fruit?

I'm sorry for disappearing! Its been a crazy week! Thank you for all the responses. Dawn thank you for investing so much time trying to identify this too! As soon as I get home ill take a picture of my pathetic looking "infected" plants. The supersweet is composting :) but I left the other two, hoping as this "plays out" maybe we can isolate the problem. They both have extreme leaf curl now and random spots of yellowing on the growth tips and some blossoms (which fall off once yellowed.) Ill post a picture shortly..


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RE: What is ruining my Supersweet 100 fruit?

Jay,

Any update on your shriveled tomato and the Bonnie's Select plant? That sounds so odd. I don't know that I've ever seen fruit on a healthy plant shrivel like that, but if you give us some photos to look at, I'll compare them to photos in my tomato disease book and see if I can find a match.

Amuk, I'll be waiting. I've never had a disease spread plant to plant like that although some diseases do spread from one plant to another. I hope we can figure it out so you'll know what you can do next year to avoid a repeat.

Dawn


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RE: What is ruining my Supersweet 100 fruit?

Ok here's the only pict that clearly shows (apparently I am a terrible photographer as I review the images I took haha) what is happening to leaves, stems and this is happening to the blossoms. I have to set up a photobucket acct or something before I can link the rest although I don't feel like they will help much. Oh yeah! And there are purple veins on the backsides of some leaves now... This plant looks terrible! I'm about to pull out both sick ones for the space! :)

Alexis


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RE: What is ruining my Supersweet 100 fruit?

Alexis,

Thanks for posting the photo.

Can you tell us how the issue progresses?

For example, does the damage start on lower limbs and climb ever higher,branch by branch? Or, does it appear randomly all over the plant at any height and progress erratically? Or (and this could be an important clue), does it strike one limb only or one side only and only damage that area for a while before eventually progressing to the rest of the plant?

Photos help a lot. It would be very hard to diagnose without a photo. And yet, photo diagnosis with tomato plant issues can be very tricky. The problem is that most things that can affect a plant, whether they are fungal, bacterial, viral, mechanical or physiological/environmental cause damage that looks pretty much the same....yellowed leaves, leaves that turn brown and crispy, wilting, discolored or rotting fruit, etc. In our climate, the flowers don't tell us much because heat causes blossom drop so you cannot rely upon blossom drop as a clue once the temperatures are above roughly 90-92 during the day and 70-72 at night. (Some tomatoes set fruit at temps higher than those, but the temperatures are a good general rule.) Now, if a plant was dropping blossoms when the daytime highs were in the 80s and the lows were in the 60s, that would be a clue we could decipher.

Also, would you classify your area more as rural or suburban? There are things I might suspect as a cause in the country that generally you wouldn't see that often in the city.

When a branch becomes sick, does it have fruit on it? If so, do the symptoms hit the fruit? Do they begin to look like the green and brown mottled tomatoes you originally posted? Or, do the fruit look okay and just fail to enlarge and grow because the sick plant cannot support their growth?

If you use alfalfa in any way---in compost, alfalfa tea as a growth tonic/fertilizer, alfalfa hayt as mulch, etc., that could be a clue.

If you have brought in any sort of organic matter (compost, cow manure, imported/purchased soil mixes or soil-less mixes, that could be an important clue.

It is easiest to diagnose a disease on your own plants because you can see how the plant deteriorates from one day to another, whereas a photo of a sick or damaged plant only catches one moment in time. That is one reason it can be so hard for us to look at a photo and give an answer on an issue we haven't been able to watch develop day-by-day. However, that doesn't mean we cannot figure it out. Just that it is more challenging to do so.

Are the three plants affected so far all in a row or are they scattered around?

Dawn


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RE: What is ruining my Supersweet 100 fruit?

Dawn I meant to take pictures of the fruit and post them. The evening I picked it was one of those evenings when lightning with sprinkles moved in. After I picked it up and headed to the house not sure where I laid it down. I thought I knew where it was but evidently I may of laid it down at one of the stops I made on the way to the house and the wind blew it off. The plant still looks good and continues to set. I really wanted a picture of it. It will be at least 2 weeks before another fruit ripens on it. I will post what the future fruit looks like. Overall knock on wood things are looking good. Like I told some coworkers Monday the next 3 weeks will determine my gardening year to a great degree and especially my tomato year. Although I've picked several fruits they have been really small due to the stress the plants experienced during June. But July was as good as anyone could hope for. I have some fruit set on most and very good fruit set on a few. I may have to yank another Cheff Jeff plant I purchased. If I do that will leave me with four out of the eight Cheff Jeff plants I purchased. And one of them was supposed to be Mr Stipey. Instead it is a red type. A case of probably switched labels. A chance you take when buying plants. I yanked a grafted Goliath plant last week. It fell victim to some form of wilt. I watered it the evening before and had a hole in my drip tape where I must of hit it. I found the leak and repaired it after about five minutes and didn't worry much about it. The next morning the plant looked fine but that afternoon the whole plant was wilted and went downhill from there. It had a tremendous root system. The area was wet but in my sandy loam soil it sure wasn't standing in water. That is the only disease type issue I've had on the grafted plants. I lost one right after transplant due to wind damage. Otherwise so far they are performing well. I have two grafted Big Beef plants and one non grafted Big Beef. All three have fruit set but the grafted have out performed the non grafted plant to this point. I have way more hybrids than normal and probably won't plant that many again. The plants I started late and planted starting in early June through July are out performing the plants I purchased. Still not certain why. I have some new varieties that are showing promise but don't want to jinx them so won't say anything yet. LOL. Jay


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RE: What is ruining my Supersweet 100 fruit?

Jay, I agree that July was about as good as you could expect in most of OK and some surrounding states, but August is off to a blistering hot start. A week or two ago I noticed a "few" spider mites in the back garden. Now they are hosting an international spider mite convention in the back garden, particularly on the cucumber plants, but also on tomato plants. I hate August. The weather is always awful and it can ruin a person's garden season so quickly. I hope August is as kind to your garden as July was.

I read somewhere online that somebody else got a red "Mr. Stripey" tomato that obviously wasn't Mr. Stripey, so I think they may have had a seed mix-up at the wholesale level or something. There's also a lot of black cherry tomato plants from BP this year that are not BC. The fruit are a red grape type.

I look forward to hearing about the new varieties that are doing well now sometime after the season ends. I wouldn't want you jinxing your plants and your harvest.

What I have found with purchased plants is that they outperform my home-grown plants early, but then 95% of the time there is a point where the home-grown plants surpass them and the purchased plants never catch up. I've always wondered why and just have assumed that it has to do with the conditions they are exposed to somewhere in the retail cycle. I don't necessarily think it starts at the greenhouse. I do wonder if they stay in their retail pots or containers too long and if that ultimately affects their entire life.

Dawn


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