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14 messages
13/08/2012 at 15:30

Can someone please help me to identify what is wrong with these tomatoes (var. Gardener's Delight)? They have brownish speckles all around the top half of each tomato. However the leaves look healthy. I have about 16 tomato plants in total but only these two (planted together) are affected. Should I discard them to prevent the problem spreading to neighbouring tomato plants? Thanks very much for your help.

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/10783.jpg?width=701&height=350&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/10784.jpg?width=752&height=350&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/10785.jpg?width=574&height=350&mode=max

 

13/08/2012 at 16:16

Very healthy foliage indeed, which is a good sign.

Are the affected toms smooth to the touch or can you feel the blemishes on the surface?

The first photo shows what looks like a small lump or bump on the fruit on the LHS and what looks like a white substance between the two on the RHS. Am I right or seeing things?

The last photo shows a tom with a small split with black edges that indicate some infection. Is there damage to any of the other affected toms?

 

13/08/2012 at 22:07
I have some similar looking black specs on some of my toms, foliage no where near as healthy looking as yours. After some searching i decided it was a fungal disease called brown speck, apparently bought on by water being on the surface of the tomato for too long
13/08/2012 at 22:28

Thanks very much for your reply.   The affected tomatoes are smooth to the touch. I think the small lump you observed is a drop of water, and I don't think there's any white substance on them (probably a trick of the light). The tomatoes just have a very speckled appearance, which seems to worsen as they ripen. All the trusses on both plants are affected (the green ones are starting to speckle before ripening). I don't think any of the other tomatoes (apart from the one in the 3rd photo) have splits, at least nothing significant enough to notice. I may just cut my losses, since I have lots of other plants that are looking ok. I would just be interested to know what it was, so I could maybe have a chance of preventing it in future.

13/08/2012 at 22:43

Giles - thanks for your reply. I found some info on bacterial speck, but I don't think the specks look the same as mine, since mine are smooth and not indented. Is brown speck something different? I will have another look tomorrow, and maybe pick a tomato and upload a better photo.

14/08/2012 at 01:24

How are you watering the plants.  Is it just the effect of using dirty water or getting water with fertilizer in it on the fruit?  Does it wipe off the fruit?  Do they taste OK? Is there dirty water coming off the roof.

My policy is usually to wait and see rather than discarding healthy-looking plants.

14/08/2012 at 06:04

The tomatoes are certainly fine for cooking - no need to discard them.

14/08/2012 at 07:08

It's not Speck, one of the bacterial diseases. Speck manifests as individual spots, sometimes raised, sometimes pitted. The fact is that the foliage couldn't look healthier and it's rare indeed for any disease to manifest on the fruit alone. I suspect the problem is physiological, possibly a reaction to something along the lines of what Welshonion mentioned.

Don't yank them. The simple test is to pick one of the affected fruit and try it. My hunch is that it will be fine.

14/08/2012 at 07:18

Do not discard them for goodness sake-google is not always your friend

It just water damage-the skins will be a bit tough that it all-and one shows signs of splitting.

 

14/08/2012 at 07:42

Yep. Google and tomato problems can be a misleading partnership.

14/08/2012 at 10:58

Thanks for your help everyone. I have been watering the soil using clean water from the tap (and feeding once a week), but they are outside, so get rainwater too. The marks don't wipe off, the skin is actually discoloured. I was just worried since I have healthy looking tomato plants about 2 feet away. Since no one can match the symptoms to any particular disease, I'm inclined to agree that it's something physiological, maybe a nutritional or watering issue. Must be something environment related, since only those 2 plants in that 1 tub are affected, and my 9 other Gardener's Delight plants, which are fine, were germinated from the same packet of seeds at the same time. The only difference was that I was later to plant out the 2 affected plants, and I think they are growing in multipurpose compost, whilst my others are growing in tomato compost in growbags. Although the foliage is nice and green on the affected plants, the plants in general do look a bit weedy compared to my others, with much thiner stems, fewer leaves and smaller tomatoes.

14/08/2012 at 11:11

Well, if the problem is isolated to that one container, and it has a different mix to the others, you might have most of the answer. Have you tried one of the affected toms?

14/08/2012 at 11:34

Just picked this one:

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/10812.jpg?width=430&height=350&mode=max

I noticed on closer inspection that I could feel some of the larger spots as indentations when I ran my finger over them.

This tomato didn't look very appetising, but I tasted it, and it tasted ok. It wasn't great, but wasn't that bad either. I think the skin may have been a bit tougher than normal.

14/08/2012 at 12:03

I'd pick them as they ripen, cook them and freeze for use in sauces later in the year.  At least that way they don't go to waste.

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