Are my tomatoes doomed?
August 29, 2010 8:01 PM   Subscribe

Do my tomato plants have late blight? And if so, is there anything I can do other than destroy them?

Some of the unripe tomatoes on my plants have brownish lesions and spots of what looks like rot on them. After a bit of googling, it seems like it might be a symptom of late blight. A few of the leaves look like they have signs of blight as well. I haven't noticed any significant spots on the stems though. Here are some pictures I took of the fruit and leaves. Does this look like late blight?

If it is late blight, is there anything I can do about it? Most of the information I've found says to pull up the plant, put it in a plastic bag and send it to the landfill asap. But a few sites I've read (this, for example) seem to indicate that if it's not widespread on the plant, I can apply a fungicide and trim out the affected sections. I have another plant growing next to it. Will I need to destroy that one too even if it doesn't show any symptoms?

More details... this is in San Francisco (Noe Valley to be exact) and it's been very, very foggy and cool all summer. The plant with the problem is a "Bush Early Girl" and the one next to it is a "San Francisco Fog." I'm growing them in an Earthbox on my patio. Also, I'm kind of new to the whole gardening thing so there's a lot I have to learn.
posted by milkcrateman to Home & Garden (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
How to distinguish late blight from other diseases and disorders with similar symptoms. From the page on drought stress: Large plants in small pots are especially difficult to maintain with adequate soil moisture.

And from "Avoid the late blight blues": Look for white fuzzy growth, especially on the underside of leaves.
posted by domnit at 10:03 PM on August 29, 2010

The lack of stem lesions suggests it might not be late light blight. Pop a sample in a ziplock bag and heck with your local cooperative extension.

The self watering system you're using may not provide enough water for the plant.
posted by zamboni at 5:21 AM on August 30, 2010

Thanks for the info domnit and zamboni! I won't have time to take a sample leaf to anyone until later this week, but I'll definitely give that a try.

I try to keep it watered well, and the earthbox has a reservoir that doesn't get empty between waterings. However, the plants are massive, so maybe they still aren't able to get what they need. Other than the fruits with the weird "rot" and the suspect leaves, the plants have lots of flowers, new fruits, nice leaves and are about 4-5 feet tall.

Would drought stress account for the problems with the fruit?
posted by milkcrateman at 9:24 PM on August 30, 2010

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