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Are my tomato plants going to be ok??

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Are my tomato plants going to be ok??

Post  Windmere on 7/18/2014, 1:37 pm

I have had some serious issues with fungus this season.  I did not have any problems with fungus last year.  Are my plants "gonners?"


Blue Streak.  This started at the most vigorous of all my plants.  Now it's the weakest.  It stopped setting fruit.  The existing fruit is still ripening.

 
Garden Peach.  This yellow variety seems to be very vulnerable to fungus.  I stripped off all the yellow/dead leaves (my neighbor though a deer got to it).  This plant is struggling.


Mountain Magic.  This is a hybrid that is supposed to be disease resistant.  I applied a biofungicide, and it seemed to recover.  New leaf growth is fungus free.



Despite the fungus, with the exception of blue streak, these plants are still producing fruit.  When the fungus first started, I removed all the yellow leaves.  Well, after doing that, it seemed to spread like wild fire.  So, I just applied a biofungicide and the yellow leaves shriveled up.  With the exception of the Blue Streak, there is new growth that is free from fungus.  Anyone else having fungus problems?  Are your plants still producing?

I have one  (Sungold) that is producing much fruit and seems to be the most fungus resistant. The flavor of these tomatoes is outstanding.  These rarely end up coming inside because they are often eaten from the vine!


My daughter rescued one of my 3" pot tomatoes after it fell.  The poor thing's stem was snapped right at the base.  Well, she planted it... and it flourished!  Also, it's planted in a location far from my plants that are struggling.  Absolutely no fungus issues.


 

What's going on with your tomato plants?


Last edited by Windmere on 7/18/2014, 1:41 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typos)
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Re: Are my tomato plants going to be ok??

Post  sanderson on 7/18/2014, 1:44 pm

I'm sorry your tomatoes have been so affected. That last plant looks great, though.
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Re: Are my tomato plants going to be ok??

Post  yolos on 7/18/2014, 3:28 pm

I have it every year.  I am surprised that this is your first year getting the diseases.  I am still learning how to manage them. 

First thing you have to do is remember, because of our climate (humidity and temps) and wind patterns coming up from Florida, you are probably going to be hit by some disease or other.   Therefore, current management strategy by the Fayette Co expert is to start spraying before you get the disease.  For example, early blight cannot be cured, only prevented.  Use copper fungicide or Daconil (or your choice to prevent the occurrence).  Once a leaf has been infected it must be removed, it cannot be cured.
Grow your own transplants
No overhead watering
Mulch
Do not work with the tomatoes when they are wet. 
Continue using fungicides every 10 days or so.

If you see diseased leaves, remove immediately.  According to the Fay co extension office, clip a leaf then dip the clippers in bleach/water solution, then clip another leaf, and keep repeating.  This is a pain in the but.

Also, do not wear clothing that is baggy.  If it comes in contact with a diseased leaf and then you move on to the next tomato, you can transmit the disease.  When I am clipping diseased leaves, I wash my hands in the bleach solution before I move on to the next tomato.

You have to stay on top of these diseases.  Once they get out of hand, you might as well just remove the plant.  I planted 18 tomato plants.  This morning I decided to remove two of them that are too far gone.  I have plenty of tomatoes from the other plants so I am not trying to save them until the fruit matures. 

My tomatoes have lasted longer this year than any past year because I have been following some of the above suggestions.  I did not start using the fungicide (copper) until after I noticed diseased leaves.  Big mistake.  And I have only sprayed 3 time this season.  It doesn't help much to spray if you do not remove the infected leaves and that is the worst job in gardening (removing diseased leaves).  I keep saying I will do it tomorrow and then keep putting it off.

Sorry for all your troubles.  I am very envious of looking at many of the pictures on this forum and seeing healthy tomato plants that are not missing leaves and stems on the bottom 2 - 3 feet of the plants.
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Thanks!

Post  Windmere on 7/18/2014, 3:39 pm

Yolos, thank you so much for your advice.  I did not know about soaking clippers in bleach.  No wonder the disease spread so rapidly.  I have been using fungicide... but like you... I did not use it until I began to see a problem.

You are so right about this bleaching process being a pain.  I'm not sure I'm up for it (ha ha... no I really will do it).

Also, thank you for the tip regarding baggy clothing.  I am pretty worried about infecting my daughter's yellow pear tomato.  It is doing fine right now... like I said... it is far away from the infected tomatoes.

I'm really glad you took that Fayette County Extension Office class.  I'll be signing up next year!  And thanks for the kind sympathetic words....  sigh.
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Re: Are my tomato plants going to be ok??

Post  donnainzone5 on 7/18/2014, 4:41 pm

I read recently (but can't recall the source) that Lysol is the way to go for disinfecting clippers, pruners, shears, etc., since it does not pit the metal.
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Re: Are my tomato plants going to be ok??

Post  yolos on 7/18/2014, 5:02 pm

@Windmere wrote: I am pretty worried about infecting my daughter's yellow pear tomato.  It is doing fine right now... like I said... it is far away from the infected tomatoes.

Last year I had blight early in the season in my SFG garden.  I then planted 4 tomatoes in pots about 30 yards away from the garden.  They came down with blight shortly.  Then I planted another 4 plants in pots about 100 yards away from the last planted tomatoes.  They eventually came down with the disease also.  I did not realize at the time that I was the one spreading the disease to all parts of the yard.
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Re: Are my tomato plants going to be ok??

Post  Windmere on 7/18/2014, 6:15 pm

Sanderson:  I forgot to mention, thanks for your kind words.

Yolos:  These diseases really are something else.  I forgot to ask you... what ratios do you use for the bleach mixture? 

Donna:  I'll keep in mind your suggestion.  I do not have lysol on hand... but I do have lysol wipes.  I might just go ahead and do what yolos mentioned... and then clean the metal really well.
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Re: Are my tomato plants going to be ok??

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/18/2014, 6:20 pm

The bleach solutions I've read recommended vary from 5 to 7%. Given that at the end of your session you're almost certain to rinse off your instruments anyway, is pitting the metal really a danger?

Yolos, great advice. Like you, I always get some disease or another and have come to expect it. Immediately picking off leaves, and keeping soil off healthy leaves, seems to make a huge difference to me. Also, disposing of the leaves properly in the trash, not the compost pile or throwing them somewhere that they'll just serve as a reserve for the virus.

Some fungi and viruses are spread merely in the process of removing infected vegetation -- the spores get shaken out and spread. So clipping the leaves over a bag or pot it can immediately drop into can help, and is usually better than letting plant material drop to the ground and picking it up later.

Most of my tomatoes this year were up-planted into larger one-gallon containers. Some of those had soil that I had thought was okay, but was infected with something or other. The planted were then severely stunted or died. I threw plants, soil, and pot in the garbage.

Some, though, looked okay until they had been transplanted into the garden. None of them are thriving, and some really need to go, even after extensive plucking off of infected leaves. Thank goodness I practiced better hygiene in a different garden area, where at least I have some tomatoes that are thriving.


Last edited by Marc Iverson on 7/18/2014, 6:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Are my tomato plants going to be ok??

Post  Windmere on 7/18/2014, 6:27 pm

Thanks Marc.  I especially like your idea about clipping over a bag.  Sorry to hear about your tomato woes.  I guess it makes me feel a little better that I'm not alone.
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Re: Are my tomato plants going to be ok??

Post  donnainzone5 on 7/18/2014, 7:09 pm

Windmere,

I bought some Lysol wipes.

I don't recall whether I rinsed off the tools that were soaked in bleach, or not.  At any rate, they ALL pitted.
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Re: Are my tomato plants going to be ok??

Post  yolos on 7/18/2014, 7:22 pm

@Windmere wrote:Yolos:  These diseases really are something else.  I forgot to ask you... what ratios do you use for the bleach mixture? 
I do not remember the recommended ratios that the extension office told me but I use 10% bleach (approx.).  Poor it into a large plastic cup and eyeball it.
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Re: Are my tomato plants going to be ok??

Post  sanderson on 7/18/2014, 8:11 pm

I use 50% alcohol in a spray bottle.
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Thanks

Post  Windmere on 7/19/2014, 11:00 am

All good tips everyone.  Today it is raining...  I will try your ideas when dries up a bit.  I am thinking that the spores of loving this soggy day.
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Re: Are my tomato plants going to be ok??

Post  1airdoc on 7/19/2014, 1:25 pm

We have this same problem here, and I have found no way to deal with it effectively. I tried the suggestion of clipping infected leaves and washing the clippers in bleach solution (by the way, be sure to dispose of those clipped leaves far away from the garden). This did not seem to help, as blight continued to advance up the vines. I ordered and grew disease resistant tomato seeds. The plants seemed to last a bit longer before getting infected, but they also succumbed. For the last 2 years I covered the soil of the garden with a moisture permeable weed-block material to prevent spores from splashing from the ground onto the plants. that seemed like a great idea, but it did not seem to help at all.

I'm going to move my garden 100yd away from its current location to the opposite side of the house and into a higher, much drier, and sunnier area away from any nearby trees to see if that will help, but I have my doubts. frustration
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Re: Are my tomato plants going to be ok??

Post  yolos on 7/19/2014, 4:21 pm

Doubt that that will help.  The first year in this location (2009) I was heavily infested with diseases on my tomatoes.  At the time, I didn't know what I was doing and I ended up pulling all the plants before I even got one ripe.
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My tomato plants are infected with this fungal stuff as well

Post  Vickie L. Todd on 7/20/2014, 10:25 am

I have never had so many problems with my gardens before.  I have the fungal stuff going on with all of my tomatoes - they started out really great grew to be up to 7 feet tall (are in tomato cages with heavy black plastic down on the ground to both provide protection for the plants, to prevent weeds, and to keep the moisture in the soil.  We have had such dry springs/summers in previous years - black plastic just seems like the logical solution to keep the garden soil from drying out.  Well, this year, the rains have been prolific.  We are definitely not having that problem - having said that, though, tomato plants aren't supposed to be watered from the top, but by watering at ground level - I think someone forgot to inform God of that bit of information.  We now have severe fungal growth.  I have cut leaves, branches, sprayed with fungicide, and still the plants are demonstrating signs of infection.  I am now harvesting the tomatoes (these are still ripening and seem to be doing well.  There continues to be new blossoms and fruit production at the top of most plants.  I think i have two plants right now that just need to be disposed of and destroyed (I think all of the tomatoes on those plants will continue to ripen even if picked early.  I have 37 tomato plants, that I started from seed (used very good seeds to start and took great care to sanitize all containers, soil, etc.).  I am definitely not pulling all 37 tomato plants - will simply have to deal with the plants dying early this year, i guess.  After growing season, though, I do plan on covering this area, moving my tomato garden to a different area, and starting over.  I have heard that using a mixture of Corn starch and water and something else can help to prevent the development of fungus on tomato plants, so will likely do that next year.  In addition my bell pepper plants and marconi pepper plants have developed small white spots on the leaves.  At first I was told this was a mildew.  Now, however, I believe it is the work of thrips and will spray with dawn dish soap, vegetable oil, and water mixture.  In addition we have a serious problem with moles, voles, and ground squirrels, so I have begun to use raised garden beds with 1/2 inch fencing attached to the bottom of the beds.  This has helped tremendously in managing that particular problem, and now I am doing this with every single flower garden I plant as well.  Last year, I had problems with deer eating the tops of my tomatoes and pepper plants (even though we have a sturdy fencing system built around both of those gardens.  This year, my husband decided to make arches with small diameter PVC pipe over the tomato garden (there is nothing attached to the PVC pipe, but it appears to be working to keep the deer out).  I also attached wooden stakes around the outsides of my raised gardens this year so I can attach netting around the pepper beds - but I haven't had to do that yet - perhaps the tall stakes attached to the outside of the beds is sufficient to worry the deer and they are leaving them alone.
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Re: Are my tomato plants going to be ok??

Post  sanderson on 7/21/2014, 4:34 am

Vickie, It sounds like you are having a heck of a time with your tomatoes. Did you just recently start observing this Forum before you joined? If you post some photos of your troubled plants, the members here will be able to see what you are concerned about and then provide you with some possible actions you can take to help the situation. We love photos so don't be shy. happy hi 

And, welcome to the Forum!  glad you\'re here 
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