camelhive
Full Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:49 pm
Location: Northern California

Tomato plant dying? - Late Blight....

Hi,

I've got two Stupice Heirloom tomato plants. Both were bought as siblings and planted 2 months ago; both grew nicely and started bearing fruits (none of which is yet red). The plants are kept in a cone shaped cage (not too effective, I know, the plants started flowing over the cage's top now).

The plants are 6 feet apart, placed in a 1 ft raised bed with a total of 2ft dug and mixed soil. the soil is Miracle Gro "Organic Choice" mixed with the local soil (which is clay). The plants are subjected to similar temperature, wind and sun. The local temperature where I live (Mountain View, CA) have recently dropped to 42-60.

I've noticed that one of the bushes started having black-brown patches along the leave vines and branches, leading to the leaves and branches to decay. When this occurs on one of the heavier branches, this eventually leads to the collapse of the top of the branch. The other plant doesn't appear to suffer from any of these problems.

[img]https://i51.tinypic.com/de3d.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i55.tinypic.com/rbfvgy.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i51.tinypic.com/243p6jr.jpg[/img]

Any suggestions on the cause of this and what I should do? Sorry in advance if this is a FAQ - please forward me to a relevant thread if so...
Last edited by camelhive on Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

TZ -OH6
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2097
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

99% sure its late blight. Highly infective. Pull the infected plant and bury, burn or put in trashbag and then spray all other plants with either Daconil-Chorothalonil or copper fungicide...and pray.

camelhive
Full Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:49 pm
Location: Northern California

Oh dear

Oh dear, I guess you're right. Thank you so much for the quick response, I just wish for better news than that. How sad...

The description and image of what seem like water-soaked area, as seen in [url]https://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/GARDEN/VEGES/DISEASES/tomlatebli.html[/url], match the symptoms.

As for the Daconil/Chlorothalonil - is it safe for use? Is that a legitimate solution for the organic gardener?

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rainbowgardener
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Safety is an arguable question. Here's a link to MSDS re Chlorothalonil

https://www.falmouthmass.us/cranberry/Bravo%20Weather%20Stik%20MSDS.pdf

you will note it is toxic to honeybees, birds, aquatic life.

Definitely it would not qualify as "organic" gardening.

The copper fungicide is more of a maybe re whether you could still call yourself an organic gardener. Here's a thread we had about that earlier:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15490
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

camelhive
Full Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:49 pm
Location: Northern California

Hi,

Thanks TZ -OH6 and rainbowgardener for your quick responses.

I had to wait till today's morning to observe the actual damage. By now the sick plant has seriously crumbled down - the blight has dramatically affected it. I took it out, cleared the area of dead leaves and will keep it in a heavy plastic bag so it gets heated in the sun - before I throw it away.

The weather condition in the next week is cold and rainy. This gives me very little chance of saving the 2nd plant, which by today showed signs of infected leaves and stems. I've given it a serious trimming and sprayed it with Copper Fungicide by Bonide ([url=https://www.amazon.com/Bonide-811-Copper-4E-Fungicide/dp/B000LNXY22/?_encoding=UTF8&tag=thehelpfulgar-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325]https://www.amazon.com/Bonide-811-Copper-4E-Fungicide/dp/B000LNXY22/[/url]) which proclaims to be an environmental safe product. I hope to save the green fruits on this plant, so it survives for another 2-3 weeks.

I'll keep you posted, thanks again for your help!

p.s. - I found the Cornell Late Blight FAQ very informative - [url]https://www.longislandhort.cornell.edu/vegpath/lbfaq.pdf[/url]

camelhive
Full Member
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:49 pm
Location: Northern California

Ironic end

Hi all,

Just wanted to keep you updated. This is a bit like the ending of Monty Python's Holy Grail:
The plant did well for several days after treating it with Bodine Copper Fungicide and removing infected leaves. Some more (~10) leaves were spotted and removed, but some infected branches showed a return to health.

And then 4 days later temperatures dropped at night, and frost killed the whole thing.

:?

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