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Tomato Disease

Hi, Was hoping to get some advice from seasoned gardeners. My husband and i are on our first year garden, and i will admit i have spent more hours than i should on you tube learning gardening techniques. However, i have reached problem with my tomatoes that i need some specific advice.

WE are in TN and it is hot and humid. Everyone i asked here on advice on where to plant (im from montana, much different climate) said you should always plant full sun. So thats what we did. I don't know if the problem we are having is from too much heat and sun, and no afternoon shade... that could be one factor.

The other thing we did was sucker down to one main stem on the heirlooms.... that could be another factor - maybe too much vegetation loss for the heat?

Then I - in my infinite wisdom- thought that throwing grass clippings on to the vines from the riding lawn mower might provide some insulation mulch for the heat). I didn think that peopel that do this probably place it under the vines not "throw" it. So i think i might have given our vines early blight.

Please let me know what you think the problems are and if there is anything i can do about it. My poor husband has gotten really into the garden and spends hours out there. The tomatoes are what he was most excited about- So i really want to save these tomatoes for him.

Green Thumb
Posts: 590
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:19 pm
Location: Pacific NW

Re: Tomato Disease

I see several problems, one you probably removed too many leaves from the heirloom tomatoes. All fruiting plants require multiple leaves to feed each fruit (the amount depends on the type of plant/tree). If you remove too many leaves the tomatoes will sunburn and the plant will be stressed. Suckers are the little vines that start growing between the main stem and an existing larger side branch. Anything else you remove is not a sucker.
Yes the mulch goes on the ground under the plant not on it.
The plum tomato doesn't look too bad in the picture at this time. If it was me I would harvest all of the heirlooms that are ripe or near ripe, then pull out the plant, hang upside down away from the rest of the garden, not to spread anything it is suffering from. You are right that the humidity can be a real problem, but so can very wet- very dry and back and forth. Note in their native habitat the tomato is a perennial. My tomatoes weathers a 10 day streak of really hot weather, but I kept them well watered every morning with only a few dry rot tomatoes, meaning it still wasn't enough water for those two heirlooms. Note heirlooms are less disease resistant than the hybrids and standardized breeds, but I grow about 1/2 of them anyway because we like them and are willing to take the risk.
I want to commend you for working on your gardening skills, gardening has a learning curve so don't feel bad if something goes wrong for you. Even people who have gardened all their lives have things go wrong some years, that is the nature of "farming".

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