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cousinjordo
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Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

image.jpeg
So ive had my tomatoes in the ground for 2 weeks now and they are growing very well, but I just got back from vacation and found some leaves/stems looking sickly. See attached photo. It's been very wet and rainy/humid here while we were gone (Nashville, TN) and in the 70s. Is this something serious or is it just symptoms of the cool wet weather. What should I do? All I have done so far this year is Epsom salts at planting, mulched with rotted straw and sprayed with neem oil for those awful aphids :shock: . Plants are still booming new growth and it all looks very healthy. Any help is appreciated!!!

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

Is this all over the plant, or just at the bottom part of the plant?

If it's just at the bottom of the plant, I'd blame it on fungus, but I thinks it likely everywhere.

Usually when I see this in my garden it's because I either did something to the rootball when I planted it, or the plant was really rootbound when I planted it.

I've seen over fertilized plants do that as well.

Overwatering or under watering can cause it, too.

Mainly this all over indicates an issue with the roots either being disrupted, or unable to get the nutrients to your plants. I think if it's planted in the ground, it'll likely recover on its own in time.

If it's in a pot, we need more information from you!
Lindsay
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USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

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cousinjordo
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

Thanks for the reply Lindsay! Yes, it is in the ground. It seems to be random over the whole plant, but the leaves at the bottom seem to have marginally more...it doesn't seem to exclusive to one side of the plant or anything like that, just kinda random branches here and there. I have not used any fertilizer other than compost and epsom salt (if you consider that fertilizer).

Should I do anything or let it ride it out and see how they continue to grow? I will probably continue neem oil on a 7-10 day basis just to keep aphids under control.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

I'm a fan of neem oil. I use it weekly. I do think it helps with fungal issues as well. When you spray. Make sure you're spraying after the sun is off your plants. That will prevent any type of burn from the oil on the leaves in the sun. A brisk spray with the hose can do wonders for the aphids.

If the bottom leaves look poorly, I would remove them, and clean your nippers with rubbing alcohol.

I do consider Epsom salts a kind of fertilizer, but not in the typical form. I use it on my roses. It wouldn't cause that though... Maybe if you dump a lot of it on there...
Lindsay
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cousinjordo
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

Okay, I'll see how they look when I get home today and act accordingly. If it isn't progressing much, I may just let them hang out and see what happens. Not too late to yank and replace if I absolutely have to...but I'd prefer not to!!

I did just post some pictures and info on my garden in the photos forum if you'd like to see!

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 79&t=68169

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

OooooOOOOOOoooo! Pretteh!!!

Mulch helps with fungal issues as well. Don't pull your plants, just manage them as best you can. Here, there's nothing I can do but try to hold off the inevitable. Blight is just gonna happen where I live. The plants usually do very well, in spite of the blight. Even comeback in the fall once things cool down and dry out.

I think you should just remove the lower branches and keep going with the neem oil. I do think it's just from transplant. I don't think it's a serious issue, and that doesn't look like blight to me.
Lindsay
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USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

Image

Tomato trees! They're all the rage these days!!! 8) :roll:

Here's what that one to the left looks like now!

Image
Lindsay
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cousinjordo
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

Are you just tying them to a single stake? Thus the "tree"?

My tomatoes actually seemed to be looking better already! Another wet, cool day here, but the weekly dose of neem oil given Sunday seems to have helped! I will get a picture and post this evening.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

I do tie them to a single stake, but they resemble trees because I removed all the leaves from the bottom half. :()

When they start reg rowing lower shoots, I will start going laterally with them. Most of my giants like The Germans, Russians, and Brandywines get over 6-7 feet tall. Tying string between the two posts and then tying the vines to the strings. Like this!:

Image

THATS what blight looks like btw. Late blight. The REALLY tall one in the back is Orange Amana and it's over 7 feet tall!
Lindsay
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cousinjordo
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

Cool idea, never seen that before! I have thought about doing the single twine method directly over a tomato plant and just twisting the plant up it, but didn't want to build the full frame. I almost bought concrete mesh and just did panels between T-posts this year (I will do this next year) because it seems like the easiest way to access, pick, weed, etc with the added benefit of not having to constantly retie. I ended up getting those tripod frames from a big box store for super cheap at the end of the year last year ($0.50 ea!!) because they didnt have a tag and the guy didn't care...I just bought all they had haha. I have a coworker that swears by them so I'll see how they do...they feel cheap though :? I didn't have enough, so I just did the string weave for the last row. My grandfather has been gardening his whole life and has always done it like this. He's 87 and still growing a full garden, God bless him. :()

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cousinjordo
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

Lindsay - I also saw in your photobucket account it seems you have your fair share of hornworms. Fortunately I haven't had issues with them at my new house, but I am armed with spinosad for my armyworms. They INFESTED my orange oxheart plant last year in september and ruined all my fall tomatoes while I was on vacation. I'm told Spinosad works awesome for any kind of worm and its totally organic. I buy it at Co-Op in a concentrate. It's called Captain Jack's Dead Bug Spinosad. Kills and prevents supposedly.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

I'm not sure of spinosad. I put that on any hills.

Bt is appropriate for caterpillars. I would use it first.

We never used anything for them. Just handpicked, but it was a CONSTANT battle....constant. We had army worms too.

Bt WILL give you good results with having to use the strength of spinosad.

I'd try hand picking first though... And looking for egg groupings on the leaves.
Lindsay
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cousinjordo
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

Okay, well...crap. I have no idea what is going on with my tomatoes. I don't know if I have some combination of diseases or one I just can't identify. The plants are still growing, setting blooms, and even setting fruit...seemingly pretty well.

But I cannot for the life of me figure out what all the black spots are. I'm leaning more towards septoria leaf spot right now, but maybe thats because it seems to be the least devastating of the variety of diseases and thats just what I am hoping it is. I've pretty much ruled out blight because the symptoms are small black spots, not the tell-tale bullseye circles on the leaves. I guess it could also be bacterial spot or speck, but I don't know how to specifically tell the difference despite reading numerous articles on each of them. I sprayed with copper fungicide last night. Maybe that will help. I have no idea what to do. I just don't want to lose my crop of tomatoes or have a crop that I don't feel comfortable eating. Tomatoes are mine and my wife's favorite, so this is a devastating thing to see them slowly be attacked by something I cannot control.

Anyone else care to jump in on my pity party? I'm awfully bummed about this. :(

I kinda just want to rip them all up and plant new ones, but I feel like it will just happen again since there's spores obviously in the neighborhood and I'd have to put new plants in the same spot at least this year. I guess I will continue the neem and copper regimen every 7 days. It seems like the disease perks up on weekly intervals so maybe the fungicides are helping.

This sucks. :oops: :cry:

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digitS'
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

cousinjordo wrote:I'm leaning more towards septoria leaf spot right now, but maybe thats because it seems to be the least devastating of the variety of diseases and thats just what I am hoping it is. I've pretty much ruled out blight because the symptoms are small black spots ...
My tomato plants seem to have this most every year, to a greater or lesser extent. With a couple dozen tomato varieties in the garden, I really notice that some are more susceptible than others. There are hybrids with disease resistance that sail through. Heirlooms that may or may not be susceptible.

This is not the cool, wet Pacific Coast. Still, we usually get weeks of cool, cloudy weather in the spring months. The ancestors of our garden tomatoes grow wild in one of the driest places on earth. I once discovered several plants that were not Early Girl, from my packet of Early Girl seed. I grew them for 2 seasons. The fruit was exactly like Early Girl but the foliage, was not! And, after a month or so in the garden, I could stand at a distance and look down the rows of all my tomatoes and identify the 4 "mystery" tomatoes by their yellow leaves. I guess I got the non-resistant genes in those seeds.

Yes, I think of it as septoria. Cornell has an easy to use guide to tomato diseases (link).

Cleaning off the leaves is about all I have ever done. This is a Wild West climate ;) once we get to summer. Generally, they may be stunted by our spring weather but can come out of foliage problems when we get into better, tomato-growing weather. Wishing you the Best of Luck.

Steve
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imafan26
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

Tomatoes and other "hairy" plants pretty much do not like to get water on the top or rained on. HIgh humidity will cause fungal and bacterial issues. It looks more like bacterial spot to me than fungal. Canker would also cause wilting and it would start usually with the lower leaves.

In wet and humid weather, it is best to be proactive and use an antifungal spray before the problems appear. Repeat according to label instructions as long as the environmental conditions persist.

Good sanitation is required. Remove and destroy infested leaves. Make sure you wash your hands tools, or wear gloves and wash your hands and try not to touch anything that is not infected.

Tomatoes need good air ciculation so staking or caging is the best way to control sprawl and save space.

Water at the base of the plant and mulch to reduce splashing

Remove the lower leaves and suckers for larger fruit and to open up the canopy more. You don't need them and they are usually the first to get infected. Unless you have space to trellis or tie up a lot of suckers, the crowding in the canopy will reduce air flow and you will have more problems with powdery mildew.

If you are new to growing tomatoes, look for cultivars that are recommended for your area.

https://extension.tennessee.edu/publica ... P291-K.pdf



https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/vege ... em-solver/
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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

Septoria almost always shows up here as well. It does its damage while my plants are sweating it out and stressed in the heat. Then in the fall when temperatures are more moderate, I usually get a little respite in the damage, and I'll even get another flush of fruit. (Sometimes the fruit have spots, too!)

Here it's not if, it's when.

I grow what I like to eat, regardless of if it likes to grow here or not. I try to be accommodating for the ones that aren't happy here. I've not found cultivars with super heat tolerance and disease resistance to be extremely palatable. I mean, better than grocery store, but not yellow brandywine, or Amana Orange, or pink Russian, good. I grow for flavor, and sometimes visual interest! That comes with finicky plants that get whiney and problematic when they don't like their place!
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

I like that Texas A & M site too, Imafan.

I'd hoped that Tennessee extension would list some heirlooms. Hmmm ... No!

Why not? The Sudduth family of Tennessee grew Brandywine, Sudduth's. Cherokee Purple was from Sevierville, Tennessee. One can hardly find heirlooms that are better known. By the way, I do a work-around with those two. Being risk averse, I avoid 80day varieties, expecting that here, they would have trouble ripening fruit. However, a cross between Brandywine and Cherokee Purple has been in my garden for several years. Gary O Sena does real well :)!

Steve
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

I don't have much trouble with Cherokee purple. In fact, I grown 6 times more CP than any other type here! It generally does well. Plants are sturdy, big, lush, but they still get blight, and septoria. Regardless of how careful, or clean, or cautious I am with whatever prevention measures I use. It's not a HUGE producer for me, but what I get is usually VERY good in flavor, which is why it gets so much real estate!

Brandywine is a bratty plant here! Yellow and pink, moreover than red. I have more trouble with Yellow Brandywine than any other plant in the garden, 3 years running! Including this year, after taking last year off!

Black Krim, Black Sea Man, Black Cherry, most of The Russian and German varieties are not happy here. I have fairly constant physiological leaf roll from them... The green-when-ripes are usually happy, but if I get anything over 105F they just keel over and die. Green Tiger is especially sensitive, and it's completely died to the ground every year I've grown it after 2-4 days of 110F heat.
Lindsay
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cousinjordo
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

You can see my plants don't look awful....
IMG_3063.JPG
IMG_3066.JPG
But on further inspection:
IMG_3064.JPG
IMG_3065.JPG
IMG_3067.JPG
IMG_3068.JPG
Top and bottom of an affected leaf:
IMG_3069.JPG
IMG_3070.JPG
So, this is where I'm at. I gave them all a good dose of copper fungicide and neem oil, will continue on a weekly basis as it seems to help hold it off. However, I'm curious if it is a lost cause. I've started to see some similar symptoms on my potatoes now. Do yall think I will be able to have any tomatoes to harvest through the season or is this a death sentence? :( :( :(

Anyone have any better clue what it is I'm actually dealing with based on the pictures?

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

Oh yeah.

That looks like septoria to me.
Lindsay
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cousinjordo
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

Lindsaylew82 wrote:Oh yeah.

That looks like septoria to me.
But with septoria, it shouldn't affect the fruit...right?

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

I think you'll still have tomatoes. And potatoes.

I would just keep up your regimen. Remove the leaves at the bottom of the plants. They can take some pretty severe pruning. If it looks like that, it needs to come off.

Your fruit can get affected. It's a little spotted on the shoulders but still fine. Won't keep as long.
Lindsay
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cousinjordo
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

Thanks Lindsay! I will remove the bad ones...looks like I'll have some "tomato trees" like yours after all!

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Tomato canker or cool wet weather symptoms?

Hahaha! Mine always grow back sprouts from where the lower branches were removed. With flowers and fruit as well!
Lindsay
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USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

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