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Tomato Disease ID

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Tomato Disease ID

Post  AZDYJ2K on 4/18/2011, 3:00 am

Below are some pictures of my sick roma tomato plant. I purchased this in a big box warehouse store and it had blossoms at the time and looked great. Since it has fruited, however, the leaves have turned nasty.

I've narrowed it down to Septoria leaf spot, early blight or fusarium wilt (using the info from here: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/publications/pm1266.pdf). Some of the fruit have light brown spotting on the bottoms. I also pulled off 2 toms that each had a large black spot on the bottom. Didn't get pics of those unfortunately.

This is my 2nd year sfg'ing and have not had luck with toms. Luckily I didn't plant this one so hopefully it will be isolated when I plant toms in the garden.

Anyone know what this is for sure? Are the fruit going to be safe to eat?

Thank you.




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Re: Tomato Disease ID

Post  shannon1 on 4/18/2011, 3:13 am

So sorry I can't help but if it was me I would dig it up take it back and get a refund. I am brutal with plants that are not doing well. I pulled up a pepper last week that was just not up to snuff so my neighbor took it in and is tring to nurse it back to health. Perhaps I am a little to brutal. Very Happy Great pics by the way.
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Re: Tomato Disease ID

Post  acara on 4/18/2011, 7:29 am

Best guess is Early blight ....

Your spots are too dark for leaf spot & the wilt is too uniform for F.wilt (unless you've had it a while).

Black spots on bottom are most likely early BER (Roma's are notorious for it)

Tough thing about "diagnosing" problems .... you get a lot of combinations of ailments on a sick tomato, so there may be multiple things going on, which make them tougher to diagnose.

I've heard of folks cutting the bottoms of of BER affected stuff & making salsas/relishes with the unaffected part ...... but I can't say I'd be brave enough to try that.

Someone else may be able to give you better advice on "recovery" of the fruit ...... I'm a "when in doubt, throw it out" peep & I trash anything/everything at the first sign of a blem.
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Re: Tomato Disease ID

Post  camprn on 4/18/2011, 10:38 am

Oh dear, it looks like blight to me as well. Where did this plant come from? just curious.
Tomato Blight and other diseases

Previous thread about blight, some good links


This I would trash this plant and any others that look effected immediately;do not compost any of this plant. You may want to remove the soil and only use it for flowers. I would not reincorporate it into the garden.


Last edited by camprn on 4/18/2011, 10:42 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : added a link)
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Re: Tomato Disease ID

Post  AZDYJ2K on 4/18/2011, 12:00 pm

I bought it at Sam's Club and I know they would take it back. However, I was looking forward to fresh vine ripened tomatoes something which I have not had. Sad

Fortunately, it's still in the original pot and has not touched any of my MM. I guess I'll get a few extra plants and keep them in pots and see how it goes.

Thanks to all of you for your help on this.
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Re: Tomato Disease ID

Post  dizzygardener on 4/18/2011, 1:41 pm

Looks like early blight to me as well. My only concern with that though is the yellow at the top of the plant and the pattern of damage on the leaves. Early blight usually works it way up the plant mostly taking hold to the oldest foliage first. Your blight seems a bit too uniform to be early blight. The damage to your leaves appears to me mostly concentrated on the outer edges where as early blight doesn't usually present like that.

I'm wondering if there is something else going on. Some of the damage and the uniformity is consistent with fertilizer burn. This is not to say that you caused the damage. Big box stores and nurseries are notorious for over-fertilizing. Fertilizer burn affects the leaf tips and the outer edges.

Another thing, and I hate to even put this out there, is that this could be late blight instead of early blight. Late blight damage is a lot more uniform across the plant than early blight. Late blight also lives in the soil, so it is possible that the nursery used tainted soil or reused infected pots. This is probably the least likely culprit, but it is possible.

The black spots on the fruit are blossom end rot.

So, I'd guess you've got a combination of early blight, fertilizer burn, and blossom end rot.
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Re: Tomato Disease ID

Post  staf74 on 4/18/2011, 2:33 pm

This does look like a combo illness. Acara and Dizzy seem spot on (eek, no pun intended). I've dealt with early blight before and it climbs the plant from the bottom up and sometimes, with vigorous growth, you can outgrow it and fruiting is still surprisingly good. However, the blossom end rot is clear on the close up of the fruit and fertilizer burn looks a likely culprit too.

Just no point sticking with this one. I usually get these problems MUCH later in the season and at that point, I am willing to put up a fight to prolong harvest but you'll just waste time / money and garden space with this one. Not to mention spreading infection.

Bad Big box store......GGGRRRRR Evil or Very Mad
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Re: Tomato Disease ID

Post  AZDYJ2K on 4/18/2011, 3:51 pm

dizzygardener wrote:
So, I'd guess you've got a combination of early blight, fertilizer burn, and blossom end rot.

I did fertilize several weeks ago with Miracle Grow organic fertilizer. I was following the label on the plant to fertilize "lightly" and maybe I overdid it. I used about a teaspoon. Looks like I have multi things going on. Guess I'll hang in there with it and keep it away from everything else and see if I get some good fruit from it.

Thanks.
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Re: Tomato Disease ID

Post  staf74 on 4/18/2011, 4:13 pm

If you are going to stick with it and you suspect you overdid the fertilizer, may I suggest taking the plant out of the pot and flushing it continuously with a hose (a soft shower spray, not on a hard jet spray that damages) for about 5 minutes. That will drain off the excess fertilizer and if the new growth in a few days seems unaffected then you might, just might be able to save it. Diseases are often, not always, ones of opportunity. Over-fertilizing would have stressed the plant to the point where disease can take hold.

I'm interested to see what happens. Pls post another pic when you can.
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Re: Tomato Disease ID

Post  acara on 4/18/2011, 5:38 pm

AZDYJ2K wrote:I bought it at Sam's Club and I know they would take it back. However, I was looking forward to fresh vine ripened tomatoes something which I have not had. Sad

Fortunately, it's still in the original pot and has not touched any of my MM. I guess I'll get a few extra plants and keep them in pots and see how it goes.

Thanks to all of you for your help on this.

Don't let it get you down ...... I've never grown a disease-free & perfect tomato plant in 35+ years.

It doesn't mean you won't get tomatos off a plant, just because it has a little "crud".

Don't think there is such a thing as a perfect heirloom tomato plant in Florida Very Happy

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Re: Tomato Disease ID

Post  camprn on 4/18/2011, 6:03 pm

staf74 wrote:I've dealt with early blight before and it climbs the plant from the bottom up and sometimes, with vigorous growth, you can outgrow it and fruiting is still surprisingly good.
It is my understanding that Blight is contagious and will spread through out an area or region if left out to do so. pale It could impact many plants in your area. At least this is what I have been told.
I would suggest to you that it is important that if you suspect blight that the effected plants be dealt with ASAP.

Some info:

Tomato Disease Photos

From Iowa State University, but a good read.
Tomato Diseases and Disorders

Basic Tomato Info


staf74 wrote:However, the blossom end rot is clear on the close up of the fruit and fertilizer burn looks a likely culprit too.

Just no point sticking with this one. I usually get these problems MUCH later in the season and at that point, I am willing to put up a fight to prolong harvest but you'll just waste time / money and garden space with this one. Not to mention spreading infection. Bad Big box store......GGGRRRRR Evil or Very Mad

I avoid buying vegetable transplants from Big Box stores for this reason. If I must buy starts, I will try to support my local growers. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Good luck and let us know how things go in the future.
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Re: Tomato Disease ID

Post  dizzygardener on 4/18/2011, 6:11 pm

+1 to what Camprn said.

Blight spreads very quickly. You don't want it anywhere in the garden. If you only had a few leaves showing blight you could just pull the leaves off and try to save it, but your tomato plant is beyond saving at this point. Get that thing as far away from everything else as you can. That includes the pot and the soil the plant is in!
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Re: Tomato Disease ID

Post  shannon1 on 4/19/2011, 12:32 am

I am so glad I am not the only one who promptly evicts sick plants. I don't expect perfection nature does not work that way.

@ Acarar "Don't think there is such a thing as a perfect heirloom tomato plant in Florida ." I won't tell Boris you said that. Laughing
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Re: Tomato Disease ID

Post  acara on 4/19/2011, 7:02 am

I'm sure Borris will be the first perfect Florida heirloom (because I'm not growing him ...LOL

Wifey was looking out the window yesterday & commented on how "good" my tomato garden looked this year ....

Glad she couldn't see the knee-high pile of clippings from my morning in the garden, from the vantage point of her bed Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

With mama being preggo & me not being able to use my chemical arsenal, I'm really struggling to keep up with all the Florida Tomato mung.

Hmmmm .... is that a sucker ***snip***
Hmmmm ... is that a spot ***snip****
Hmmmm ... is that a discolored leaf ***snip****
Hmmm .... this one looks okay ..... ahhh, what the heck, better safe than sorry ... ****snip***

Poor plants ..... I've worn out/broken 2 pairs o cllippers this season already Very Happy
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Re: Tomato Disease ID

Post  shannon1 on 4/21/2011, 11:30 pm

My neighbor said I was worrying the vegies by walking around them with the snippers just this morning. Very Happy
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Re: Tomato Disease ID

Post  camprn on 9/24/2011, 7:17 am

So I can compost my blight effected tomato vines! and anthracnose will not survive the winter on composted vegetable matter either. Good News!!! http://extension.umass.edu/vegetable/diseases/tomato-late-blight

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