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10/08/2012 at 19:01

I've seen the beginnings of blight on one of my tomato plants which is planted in the ground, the main stem is quickly turning black. The plant itself isn't heavy with fruit and has just a couple of medium sized toms which are far from being ripe and a few new flowers brought on by the slightly warmer weather over the last few days.

Question is how effective is Bordeaux Mix, and is it really worth it for a plant which has so far produced so little?

10/08/2012 at 20:07

Have you got other tomato plants which are clear so far?  If so I'd put a binbag over the affected plant, pull it up, seal it in the bag and get rid of it somewhere, to try not to affect the others.  If the stem is already affected I wouldn't hold out much hope for it.

I've got 6 Marmandes and 7 Red Alerts in pots outside - the Marmandes have got a few well developed fruit and a lot of flower, and for the last week I've noticed a few small signs of blight on some leaves.  I cut them off immediately, seal them in a plastic bag and they go in the bin.  I've moved the plants so that there's more distance between them and check them 3 times a day removing any affected leaves and keep all my fingers crossed.  So far so good.  

It's so annoying 'cos in goodness knows how many years of gardening, these are the best looking tomato plants I've ever grown - so far, and in such a rotten year too!

The Red Alerts, which are next to the Marmandes, are showing no signs of anything - so far!

10/08/2012 at 20:40

It was planted in a large raised bed with one other tomato plant with plenty of room around it and hardly ever (I think pnly twice actually) watered. I thought the one next to it was ok but having just had a look it does appear to have it too, I've pulled up the first one and cut off the infected parts on the second. Will keep a close eye on it as you suggest.

It's so disheartening when you grow things from seeds and care for them for so long to have to pull them before they've produced a single tomato. Poxy blight, but on the plus side I may have a new flower bed to plant up and the 6 or so tomatoes growing in the front garden seem fine.

Thanks for your advice Dove.

10/08/2012 at 21:14

Bordeaux Mix can be effective - it depends on whether or not you want to use it.  On the plus side, it is accepted, I believe, by the soil association as being organic.  But it's still a mix of copper etc that you may prefer to avoid.

Personally, I have used it successfully in the past.  At the first sign of blight, I cut out all affected parts, sprayed with Bordeaux and made sure that all the fruit that was subsequently harvested was well washed. 

It is called Bordeaux mixture btw because it was first used in the vineyards on Bordeaux.  The blue colour was also designed to deter casual grape pickers from stealing the ripening grapes.  (Or so I read somewhere - could just be an old wives' tale of course )

 

11/08/2012 at 08:30

 Today is the first morning for about a week that I've not found any signs of blight on my Marmandes!  Keep your fingers crossed for me please!!!

11/08/2012 at 09:03

Leggi, if the stems are quickly turning black it sounds like it could be Late Blight. If so, there's no saving the plant.

In general, spraying once any fungal disease symptoms are already present is a waste of time and money. It's too late. Spraying has to be preventive, meaning you spray before the spores arrive, starting a couple of weeks after planting out, then weekly or so afterwards, respraying if it rains.

Spraying doesn't guarantee you won't get fungal disease but it gives you a solid defence.

Dove - good luck!

11/08/2012 at 10:58

Thanks Italophile 

I've just been reading this http://www.harrowinleaf.org.uk/tomatotrials.html

very interesting.

11/08/2012 at 15:41
Italophile wrote (see)

Leggi, if the stems are quickly turning black it sounds like it could be Late Blight. If so, there's no saving the plant.

In general, spraying once any fungal disease symptoms are already present is a waste of time and money. It's too late. Spraying has to be preventive, meaning you spray before the spores arrive, starting a couple of weeks after planting out, then weekly or so afterwards, respraying if it rains.

Spraying doesn't guarantee you won't get fungal disease but it gives you a solid defence.

Dove - good luck!

Thanks, I think I may have to start regularly spraying them next year then. This is my fifth year of trying to grow tommies and my fifth year of blight. I've done all I can think of, not watering at all unless the plants wilt, changing the soil they grow in, giving them more room to grow (raised bed went from having 6 plants in it a few years ago to two this year) and trying to grow them in different parts of the garden has lead me to trying some in the front garden this year.

It appears that blight seems to be a problem in my area so I will just have to keep spraying if I ever want a good crop of home grown tomatoes.

This years crop so far - half a cherry tomato.

12/08/2012 at 07:37

You're not crossing enough fingers!  

This morning two of my Marmandes have black patches on the main stems   As soon as OH is up and has had a cuppa, I'll get him to move them away from the others (I slipped a disc last week )  

Although one of them is the only one with large toms on so far,  I think I shall have to bite the bullet and bag and bin them in order to protect the others - oh it's fun this gardening lark, isn't it?

12/08/2012 at 08:22
Dovefromabove wrote (see)

Thanks Italophile 

I've just been reading this http://www.harrowinleaf.org.uk/tomatotrials.html

very interesting.

Dove, it is interesting, but a pity they just use the generic term Blight. They really should be identifying the pathogen(s). Anyway, the results are unsurprising. Once the spores are in place and doing their dirty work you can't (so to speak) kill them. Any anti-fungal action must be preventive.

12/08/2012 at 08:23
Dovefromabove wrote (see)

You're not crossing enough fingers!  

This morning two of my Marmandes have black patches on the main stems   As soon as OH is up and has had a cuppa, I'll get him to move them away from the others (I slipped a disc last week )  

Although one of them is the only one with large toms on so far,  I think I shall have to bite the bullet and bag and bin them in order to protect the others - oh it's fun this gardening lark, isn't it?

Can you post a couple of photos - stems, foliage, fruit - before they go to Tomato Heaven?

12/08/2012 at 08:39
Leggi wrote (see

It appears that blight seems to be a problem in my area so I will just have to keep spraying if I ever want a good crop of home grown tomatoes.

This years crop so far - half a cherry tomato.

Leggi, is this what your problems have looked like?

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/10746.jpg?width=255&height=300&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/10747.jpg?width=210&height=300&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/10748.jpg?width=240&height=300&mode=max

 

12/08/2012 at 09:01

Hi Italophile,  I've been getting ocasional leaves as in your first pic (well the plants have, not me!) and now two of them have patches on the stem as in your second pic.   Late Blight, n'est-ce pas? 

12/08/2012 at 09:15

Si, è Ruggine Tardiva purtroppo, Dove. I'll stick to Italian. The leaves get that ugly water-soaked appearance and the disease spreads to the stems very quickly. It will wipe out an entire plant inside a week. It's very easy to tell apart from the non-fatal diseases like Early Blight, Septoria Leaf Spot, etc.

It's called Late Blight because, traditionally, it turns up later in the season. It can and will turn up earlier if conditions are right - cool and damp - and particularly if there's been an infestation in the area.

12/08/2012 at 09:48

Yes, I - or rather my tomatoes - suffered badly over the last couple of years in our last garden - small, enclosed and north-east facing.  I had hoped that  in this garden, airy and south-east facing, we might do better, but I'd reckoned without the shocking weather this season - and for the first time in ages I grew some potatoes - the last two plants of which keeled over within 24 hours about 12 days ago!

I'll do what I can to prevent this spreading - I know Marmande is more susceptible than some to blight - but they are a wonderful tomato.  The Red Alert are showing no signs of anything untoward yet - do you know if they're known for being a little bit more resistant?

12/08/2012 at 10:32

Well, spuds are one of the major sources of the LB pathogen. It was the cause of the Irish potato famine, after all. The pathogen can also live on in diseased spuds, whereas, for whatever strange reason, it dies off with the host plant in tomatoes.

Toms are all equally susceptible to fungal problems of all kinds. There are claims being made of fungal-resistance in some hybrids these days but I don't believe it.

It's really only LB - of the fungal and bacterial problems - that requires yanking and destroying a tom plant. I fear that some growers in this forum could be yanking plants unnecessarily. Plants will cope pretty well with the likes of Early Blight, Septoria Leaf Spot, and the like. The leaves won't look very nice, but, with basic housekeeping practices, it will take a dang long time for the disease to affect the fruit and/or kill the plant. In fact, the plant usually dies a natural death from end-of-season cold weather before disease kills it.

 

12/08/2012 at 18:09
Italophile wrote (see)
Leggi wrote (see

It appears that blight seems to be a problem in my area so I will just have to keep spraying if I ever want a good crop of home grown tomatoes.

This years crop so far - half a cherry tomato.

Leggi, is this what your problems have looked like?

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/10746.jpg?width=350


 

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/10747.jpg?width=350


 

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/10748.jpg?width=350


 

Very much like the last two photos on the plant that is now in tommie heaven. I have a photo I'll see if I can upload it.

http://i1048.photobucket.com/albums/s373/leggi2/blight.jpg

 I hope that worked...

12/08/2012 at 18:38

Hm, the yellowing doesn't look like blight to me, although the blackening of the stems does. 

I've moved my Marmandes with black patches on the stems to the other side of the garden and am crossing my fingers - they look really healthy otherwise - or they did this morning - I've not looked recently as we've been out to a picnic 

12/08/2012 at 18:45

I think the yellowing is from a magnesium deficiency, I was about to feed them just before I noticed the stem (that blackened part happened over the course of two days), I haven't needed to water them at all really so didn't get round to feeding.

12/08/2012 at 19:00

I've just been to have a look at the 3 Marmandes with the black patches on the stem - they don't look any worse than they did this morning.  As I said I've moved them over to the other side of the garden and the foliage looks really healthy at the moment and the fruits look good.  I'm thinking that I might just reprieve them for a bit and not bag and bin them just yet - what do you think?

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