Ever Heard of Late Blight?

Written by Doug Oster on .


What a year for tomatoes!

Late blight has been an epidemic, but what breaks my heart is all the readers who have pulled out their plants assuming they have late blight.

Whenever we have a wet cool spring and lots of rain in the summer tomatoes will always have fungal issues. Usually that means early blight. That's when the oldest leaves turn yellow, then brown, dry up and wither away. Usually the plants will still provide lots of tomatoes.

But when late blight hits, the fruit is affected and the stems will turn grey or black. It's a bad disease for the plant and when it's been diagnosed as late blight the plants should be destroyed.

I think I've got it on my plants, but I'm not pulling anything out until I'm sure. I guess it's wishful thinking that the rest of my plants won't get it, or these will out grow the problem and I'll get tomatoes.

Take a look at one of my 'Italian Tree' tomatoes, it's starting to ripen, so I'm going to leave it on the vine and cut out the bad section. This is the first year I've grown 'Italian Tree,' and I love it. The plants are about eight feet high and the tomatoes are meaty, tasty and prolific. I just hope they beat the blight. In the bottom photo is a "normal" fungal issue for a tomato plant, this one should still produce lots of tomatoes.



Here's a photo of a tomato leaf showing fungal issues, but not serious ones. This plant should still produce plenty of tomatoes.


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