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Latest posts by Italophile

tomato blight in greenhouse

Posted: 05/09/2012 at 11:36
Jen 2 wrote (see)

I have had tomato blight in the greenhouse for the last 2 years.

Can you tell me if and what treatment i should use to avoid it happening again

Unless you want to spray preventively against fungal problems, all you can do is basic housekeeping. As WD says above, ventilation is a fundamental. More the better. Air circulation is a big help against the fungal spores settling on foliage. I've known people to keep an electric fan set on low to keep the air moving.

Beyond that, keep as much space between tom plants as possible - at least 3' hopefully - and try to avoid great wads of foliage developing on plants by judicious removal of branches and leaves. The thicker the foliage, the less the air can circulate.

Never ever wet the foliage. Damp foliage is heaven for fungal spores.

Try to keep a gap of about a foot between the lowest foliage and the soil. Fungal spores can and will fall from the foliage to the soil underneath and they can splash back up again when watering. The gap helps against this.

The problem with greenhouses is that the closed environment can be an incubator for diseases. That's what you have to work against.

Tomatoes - pinching out

Posted: 05/09/2012 at 11:26

That, and if the plants are close to curtains via disease, there's no helping them.

Tomatoes - pinching out

Posted: 05/09/2012 at 10:51

The sun won't help the plants. The warmth will help the toms ripen.


Posted: 05/09/2012 at 10:50

Well, providing the affected produce and plant material is removed and destroyed, and you plant certified seed spuds the next season, you're in with a chance. The LB pathogens don't live on in the soil. Any infection you get next season will be a new infection. The spores are airborne, travelling on the breeze, and they can travel miles.

Tomatoes - pinching out

Posted: 05/09/2012 at 10:31

If the plants are close to dead, you're better off removing the fruit. It won't be getting any value from the plant. It also depends how far the fruit is along the road to ripeness.

New gardener rose question

Posted: 05/09/2012 at 10:29
biff227 wrote (see)

Great, I had noticed that a couple of surrounding roses has also started to show the signs.  Can I stop this from occuring again??  is it because I live in such a damp climate?


It's the most common rose problem. Nearly impossible to avoid. You can try spraying. Like all sprays against fungal problems it has to be preventive - you have to start before the symptoms appear. It's too late once they turn up. Effectively you're coating the leaves to prevent the fungal spores from getting a grip.

If you feel like spraying, Bordeaux Mixture is about the most common product, though it's going to be banned next year. You'll find other products at any garden centre. Spraying isn't a guarantee against the disease but it helps.

Other than that, it's a matter of dedicated housekeeping. As soon as you see a leaf showing the symptoms, remove it and destroy it. Collect any fallen affected leaves and destroy them too. And be careful of spreading the pathogen via either hands or secateurs.

best flavoured tomatoes

Posted: 05/09/2012 at 10:15

We're in Tuscany, Maud, about 90 mins by train south of Florence, between Arezzo and Cortona.

C. Fiorentino is the better of the two Costolutos, I think. More of a beefsteak variety. C. Genovese is flatter and even more heavily ribbed. They're old Italian varieties but I suspect there has been some fiddling over the years. Neither has the full flavour they used to have. Still, of the two, you have the right one.


Posted: 05/09/2012 at 09:18

Late Blight, that which infects spuds and can infect toms, is a curious beast. The pathogen will live on on the affected produce - spuds or toms if they're left lying around - but not in the soil, and not on stems and foliage providing they're dead. If yours was LB, and the foliage went straight into the compost, I'd be wary.

Tomatoes - pinching out

Posted: 05/09/2012 at 08:42
Bf206 wrote (see)
My Romas are now ripening apace - the fungus-addled plants look shot to pieces, mind! Sungolds also doing well, although another bloomin' stem is going black. Lots of fruit On super sweet 100s and pale green so hopefully comin soon... Black Russians,which have never grown before, more of a concern. Some decent sized fruits but resolutely green.

Hopefully this late warm spell in the UK will do the job tho?

It's your best chance. Temperature is the key. Ultimately, though, you can always ripen them inside. In fact if the temp drops to about 15C outside, it's by far the best bet. Given that it's warmer than that inside. Providing they've begun the change from their dark green they should only take a couple of weeks to ripen.

And a tip: for the larger varieties, sit them on their shoulders.

Tomatoes - pinching out

Posted: 04/09/2012 at 17:28

Oh no! I've done that. And snapped entire branches by twisting off fruit because I was too lazy to go and get the secateurs.

If it has started to change from its dark green it will ripen inside. Give it time, even a couple of weeks. It would be a shame to turn a Pink Brandywine into a fried breakfast!

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