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Latest posts by Italophile

Dreaded Tomato Blight

Posted: 13/08/2012 at 07:29
Dovefromabove wrote (see)

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?

If they're well isolated it can't hurt to keep a watching brief. If it's LB, it will spread across the plant within a week or so.

Dreaded Tomato Blight

Posted: 13/08/2012 at 07:25
Leggi wrote (see)

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.

I don't know whether it's a magnesium deficiency, Leggi, or just the beginning of the end for the foliage. Here's LB on a young plant with failing foliage:


Dreaded Tomato Blight

Posted: 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.


Greenhouse after tomato blight

Posted: 12/08/2012 at 09:25

ishlac, cutting your losses depends entirely on what sort of fungal disease you've suffered. Is there any chance of a photo of the problem? Greenhouse toms can suffer fungal problems that outside toms don't simply because of the enclosed growing environment.

Grafted tomato plants

Posted: 12/08/2012 at 09:21

Overnight I emailed a friend in Sydney who tried grafted toms this (last, SH) season. He said they started producing earlier than the traditional plants but the traditionals caught up later. Overall, the grafteds probably produced a bit more fruit but nowhere near enough to justify the exorbitant cost.

Dreaded Tomato Blight

Posted: 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.

Fruit trees

Posted: 12/08/2012 at 09:03

All three can need pollinators, Pdh, another tree of a compatible variety to pollinate the blossom. What varieties do you have?

Dreaded Tomato Blight

Posted: 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?


Dreaded Tomato Blight

Posted: 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?

Dreaded Tomato Blight

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

Thanks Italophile 

I've just been reading this

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.

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