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Gray Mold - Tomatoes

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Gray Mold - Tomatoes

Post  timwardell on 6/1/2010, 9:49 pm

Anyone every battle Gray Mold on your tomato plants? I believe that's what's afflicting my Mr. Stripey and Pineapple tomato plants (both growing in Earth Boxes btw). I've never dealt with it. According to "Gardens Alive" it spreads through plant tissue so there may not be much I can do. *sigh*
Any thoughts?
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Re: Gray Mold - Tomatoes

Post  mckr3441 on 6/1/2010, 10:01 pm

I can only offer my sympathies, Tim. We've never had to deal with anything like that.
Lots of folks will want to know your outcome, I'm sure.

Keep the faith!

Claire
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Re: Gray Mold - Tomatoes

Post  chocolatepop on 6/1/2010, 10:08 pm

Ah man Tim, I'm sorry! Sad
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Re: Gray Mold - Tomatoes

Post  Lavender Debs on 6/1/2010, 10:09 pm

Oh Tim, I'm So Sorry!!

My only advice...hand washing. But I'm sad for your beautiful garden.
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Re: Gray Mold - Tomatoes

Post  martha on 6/1/2010, 10:16 pm

I'm sorry. From what I have read, keeping the plants trellised reduces the risk. I'm guessing yours were, though.
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Re: Gray Mold - Tomatoes

Post  Chopper on 6/2/2010, 1:23 am

I find tomatoes can still give an OK harvest even when some disease is present. What I do is take of any obviously diseased part and toss it in the trash, not the compost, of course. If the mold is only affecting some of the plants, toss what is bad and see how it goes. And if there is something that you might use to keep the rest of the plant from getting it, even better. But, I am surprised at how well tomatoes can produce under less than perfect conditions.

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Re: Gray Mold - Tomatoes

Post  Kabaju42 on 6/2/2010, 1:43 am

Found this link that might be interesting

http://gardening.wsu.edu/library/vege002/vege002.htm

How do you feel about using fungicides on your plants?
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Re: Gray Mold - Tomatoes

Post  timwardell on 6/2/2010, 11:39 am

To answer a few questions that have been asked...
The plants are trellised.
They are in Earth Boxes - an experiment I was doing to see how they would do compared to those planted in my SFG.
I'm still not entirely sure it is gray mold - it could be early blight. In either case I am treating with a fungicide. It is starting to get HOT with temps in the mid 90's the last few days and temps of 100 expected by this weekend. From what I've read the heat may help control the mold IF it is gray mold. I'm not seeing anything on the fruit, but the stems are withering away and turning brittle and brown. I'll give it another few days and if nothing seems to change I'll rip them up and plant something else.
I'll be posting a video update of my SFG later to day in the lower south regional forum. You can see what I'm dealing with by watching it.
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Gray mold.

Post  GloriaG on 6/2/2010, 12:11 pm

Tim,

I have used Daconil 2787 very effectively against gray mold. However, in looking at the instructions, it doesn't indicate that it's a "cure" for this fungus. It's safe on tomatoes and does keep the mold from spreading, so it may help save the rest of your plants. You might want to do a little research.

I'm also growing my tomatoes in Earth Boxes and through trial and error, I've come to realize that over-watered Earth
Boxes creates a humid mini-climate for the plants they contain - same
principle as putting indoor plants on pebble treys to create a cone of humidity around them. Initially, I had trouble with BER (blossom end rot) until I dramatically reduced the pH of the soil and added some extra calcium (crushed up a couple of 500mg OsCal tablets).

You might want to check that your pH is in the lowest acceptable range and that there's really good air circulation around the plants.

Good luck,
Gloria

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Re: Gray Mold - Tomatoes

Post  timwardell on 6/2/2010, 12:26 pm

Thanks for the tip GloriaG. I do have good air circulation and I've crushed up some Tums to fight the BER on one of the plants. The pH is off the scale alkaline according to my test meter. I have some aluminum sulfate that I use to turn my hydrangeas from pink to blue. You think that might work to acidify the soil in my Earth Boxes and bring the pH down a bit? - Not sure why it's so high. One is filled with the same Mel's Mix that's in my SFG (which also has high alkalinity despite Mel's assurances in the book that it should be close to neutral) and the other box is filled with a vegetable potting mix I bought at Loew's (because I ran out of MMix).
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Gray mold.

Post  GloriaG on 6/2/2010, 1:00 pm

Tim,

That's exactly the problem I had with one of the EB's - I think it's because they're almost semi-hydro, the soil doesn't have the same "buffering" effect of the regular SFG. Where we live, our tap water pH is almost off the scale at 9+ so every time I water, I'm adversely affecting the pH.

I have two boxes. Used the same mix (approximately Mels Mix) in both.

One box has two grape tomatoes - pH was originally at about 4 and remained there. I have HUNDREDS of tomatoes on those two plants and have been picking 10+ almost every day for the last week.

The second box has a Parks Wopper and Better Boy - pH on this box was way too high right from the start. Every tomato had BER.

I was about to scrap everything in that box but decided to give it one last try and added hydrated lime plus two crushed OsCal 500mg tablets. I used 1/4 cup lime in 1 gallon of water and found it was too much at one time. Shocked the plants a bit, but brought the pH way down to the 4 range. I seem to have fixed the BER and am now getting nice looking tomatoes.

I've visited the EB web forum and the single largest complaint is that tomato BER is common in the first year. After that it seems they stabilize and the pH is able to be controlled better. (I'm not sure why this would be the case unless it has to do with crop rotation.)

Hope this helps and good luck with them.
Gloria

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