Wednesday, June 2, 2010

2010 Tomato Blight Alert

Some of my internet gardening friends in Ohio are reporting blight on their tomatoes. 

Meanwhile, greenhouse tomato plants in St. Mary's County in Maryland have been destroyed after found to be infected the fungus Phytophthora infestans. Some in nearby Charles County have been destroyed as well. Plants were found to have active sporulation on May 13 despite two fungicide applications.

Univ. of Md. extension plant pathologist Kate Everts reported that the grower who had the original outbreak did keep some high tunnel tomato production.

Last year I had fewer than a dozen decent tomatoes off the more than 25 plants I had growing, and I am NOT looking for a repeat. I'm almost out of all the tomato products I canned summer before last when I had a bonus crop, and buying factory canned organic tomatoes is an expensive alternative.

If you are growing tomatoes, be alert for infestation. I understand a copper spray may be effective for organic gardeners but I haven't looked into the particulars. Your county extension agent should have some recommendations.


  1. We've had pitiful tomato harvests for the last few years. I'm keeping mine in the polytunnel this year, even if it does mean I'll be hand-polinating.

  2. Sure wish I had a polytunnel. Maybe by next year!

  3. We harvested 30 pounds of paste tomatoes off of one San Marzano plant last year.
    I wonder if regular spraying of a probiotic solution such as EM, diluted raw milk or kefir would prevent the blight.

  4. I would think so, since those plants would have higher brix thus more disease resistance.


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