Blight

IMG_4267Dammit, it looks like our tomatoes have been hit by the late blight spreading through the northeast. Despite having carefully raised every single plant but one, which was a gift from another obsessed gardener who raised it himself, it is on the tomatoes in the main garden.

I pulled the cilantro in front of the tomatoes to give more space for air circulation, and cut the stem of the worst affected tomato and carefully removed it, and pulled any leaf stems of other plants that showed signs.  I don’t know if this is enough, I need to do some research and see if an organic fungicide will help in this case, and if carefully mulching with compost to prevent any new spores from splashing onto the leaves will help.

As of yet, the tomatoes in the hoop house look ok, but we will have to be extremely careful to to spread the spores.

So far, the potatoes look ok, but I can’t imagine they will survive unscathed.

I just keep telling myself I am lucky that I am not completely dependent on what I grow for our food supply.  I really feel bad for the local growers who may well be devastated by this outbreak.  Skippy’s Vegetable garden has a good post on late blight, which has links to more resources.

More photos of my tomatoes are below, click to enlarge.

ps:  HELP!  Any and all suggestions from others who have successfully, or semi-successfully, fought this problem are enthusiastically welcomed.  THANKS!

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8 Responses to “Blight”

  1. Daphne Gould Says:

    I swear I had late blight on my potatoes earlier this year. Anytime I see a hint of anything black brown or yellow I immediately cut it off then sterilize the scissors. I haven’t seen it on my tomatoes yet. I’m crossing my fingers. Which reminds me I need to spray with Serenade again. I haven’t done it in a while. And no I don’t think it is labeled for late blight, but works great with other fungi so I figure it doesn’t hurt. I’ve also sprayed with worm tea and aspirin. Again I figure it doesn’t hurt and helps with my other tomato diseases. I have so much fruit set but its not ripe yet. It is the best tomato season I’ve ever had, but if the late blight takes them down, it will end up being the worst.

  2. nancybond Says:

    What a shame…I do hope you’re able to prevent it from spreading and are able to salvage some of your tomato crop!

  3. Robin Says:

    I’ve heard that compost tea might help. Good luck!

  4. mangochild Says:

    Oh no!! Sorry to hear about this…. this has just been a rough year. Can you keep the tomatoes that are currently in the hot house *in* the hot house to isolate them a bit?
    You posted many of my thoughts about the effect of this season on local growers. I am not dependent on what I grow for my own food supply or income, but there are plenty of people who are. What a struggle they must be facing, and after all the expense/labor/time of planting and tending the crops. Sigh.

  5. nruit Says:

    It just figures that in this economy, when many people are gardening to make ends meet, that this would hit us. Keep us posted on your progress. We are checking every day as well!

  6. Bonnie Story Says:

    Have you heard of the nationwide issues with Tomato Late Blight? Apparently just about all of the big-box stores supplied by “Bonnie” (cringe) mega-commercial growers are experiencing late blight and it’s been traced to that grower. Also it spreads all over your garden… it’s really a disaster.

    I first heard of it at the Blogging Nurseryman:
    http://thegoldengecko.com/blog/?p=785

    The veritable media blackout on the topic is a real disservice to gardeners across the country. Visit Trey’s good blog and read up on the situation, it’s possible that you could be affected by this late blight as well. It’s a HEARTBREAKER!

    • Ali Says:

      Hi Bonnie,

      Yep, it is the late blight that is found nationwide, especially in the northeast. We have a “Bonnie Plants” grower just across the river from us, chances are that’s where the blight originated from here. And yep, it is a heartbreaker, that’s for sure. A farm I frequently purchase from will probably lose 40% of their potato crop, and much of the tomato crop, too. Many growers here in Maine will be really suffering this year.

  7. Robin Says:

    This won’t help now but for future use, strip the leaves from the bottom 12″ of the plant. Spores that splash up in water won’t have leaves to land on. Mulching heavily with straw also helps keep spores from splashing up.

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