London (change)
Today 15°C / 12°C
Tomorrow 18°C / 12°C
11 messages
15/08/2014 at 18:23
Argh. My tomato plants have been doing so well this year and I've had the first fruits ripening over the last week or so. It's rained just about every day this week so I haven't needed to water and haven't been out to look at them for only the last 48 hrs. Yet, in that time, they've clearly developed something nasty. All the lower leaves have gone papery and have rips in them. Stems and fruits have small pale pock marks on them. Fruit stems seem to have gone brittle - I handled an unripe one and it came off easily in my hand. My fear is blight. But none of the leaves are yellow or brown. The marks on the fruit are small indents but don't look as sinister as pics of blight I've seem online. Could it be too much rain? We've had daily, heavy showers for the last week or so - including some pretty vicious thunderstorms. Could the strong winds have ripped the leaves and other symptoms are too much water? Will post pics tomorrow. Depressed.
16/08/2014 at 07:35

Photos will help, Bf. How did they look when you last saw them?

16/08/2014 at 08:23

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/56698.jpg?width=360&height=350&mode=max

 

Thank you italophile!

here you go 

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/56699.jpg?width=360&height=350&mode=max

 

16/08/2014 at 11:10

Holes/rips might be from hail damage as you mentioned storms.  Another possibility is slugs/snails - they always climb up things during extended periods of rain.  Lower leaves on tomatoes invariably start to look tatty at this time of the year anyway though - as soon as they start to turn a bit yellow you may as well cut them off.  The plants look healthy enough to me and there seems to be no sign of disease.

16/08/2014 at 11:20

I agree. The marks on the toms look like either hail damage or bugs having had a suck. 

16/08/2014 at 11:39
Ah, hail! I didn't think of that - that's the answer... Thanks guys! I've already removed all leaves below bottom truss. Should I get rid of damaged leaves higher up too tho?
16/08/2014 at 12:56

I wouldn't worry about damage on the upper leaves - they will still be doing their job of feeding the plants so leave them unless they become diseased.

18/08/2014 at 09:59

My tomatoes have changed like this too, following an absolute *pounding* by hail last week. I'd never seen anything like it!

There are even 'chips' knocked out of the vines themselves, and a load of yellow flowers knocked clean off the plants.

This is the first year I've planted tomatoes, and I planted them rather late. None have ripened yet, with most fruits still being about an inch across. So now that the weather has changed, will this slow down growth? I'd be disappointed if just as I get a load of fruits growing on my vines, they all die off because of the cold.

18/08/2014 at 10:17
Yes mine are the same from the hail. Thanks to those above for the diagnosis! I'm in a similar position Tomsk. I deliberately waited until late in Spring to get mine started from seed because last year, with one of the coldest springs on record, my toms were getting light starved as I had to keep them inside as there were still frosts. Of course Sod's law has meant if I'd started them earlier this year they'd have been fine as it was a dry warm spring. Sigh!

I wouldn't worry too much if yours aren't ripening yet. Main thing is if they're pretty much up to size as then they'll easily ripen inside (egg boxes, with bananas in drawers etc) but I'm hoping that this more changeable August might lead to a drier warmer September anyway.
04/09/2014 at 13:46
So, having worried a few weeks ago about blight - when it was rightly pointed out that instead my toms had suffered hail damage - I have unquestionably found some blight this time!

I get the free alerts from Blight Watch and for the first time this year got an alert at the end of last week. Sure enough, yesterday I found two of my plants with a 'scorched' appearance across fruit and stems, wet sunken patches on leaves etc.

I salvaged what fruit I could from those plants and then binned them. I've now given the rest of the plants I have a close inspection. Probably half of them have the odd shrivelled brown fruit and some dark patches on the stem - but otherwise those plants look healthy. So I've stripped off most of the leaves, thrown away any affected fruits and am now hoping for the best.

As it is, in SE England where I am, the extended weather forecast seems good, no rain on the horizon at all. Does what I've done above sound ok therefore? Or do I still risk the blight spreading and should cut my losses and pick everything?
05/09/2014 at 08:10

Definitely cut your losses and pick everything - don't put stems, leaves and affected fruits on the compost.  Once blight starts it spreads rapidly - overnight in my case (also SE England).

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