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Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

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May 14, 2010

Tomato Planting and Disease~Has this happened to you?

This year, instead of planting my tomato plants in the ground, I'm trying a container instead.  The main reason for doing this is that every year my tomato plants and the fruit end up with brown spots on them.  I've tried a few different things to try and discourage this, like lay out straw underneath the plants, planting them in a different spot every year but nothing seems to work.  So about a month ago I bought a patio variety to plant in a container.

Well, I just read an article about Late Blight.  Late Blight is a disease that infects tomatoes, potatoes and a few other types of vegetable plants.  This disease, which is not harmful to humans, is extremely contagious and experts say it most likely spread on garden center shelves to plants not involved in the initial infection. It also can spread once plants reach their final destination, putting tomato and potato plants in both home gardens and commercial fields at risk.

Here is what it looks like.......

photos (4) by Cornell University

After seven years, I now know why brown spots emerge on my tomatoes.  The first sign is often brown spots on plant stems, followed by nickel-sized olive-green or brown spots on the tops of leaves and fuzzy white fungal growth underneath. Tomato fruit will show firm, brown spots.

Tomato plants have just been removed from stores in half a dozen states as Late Blight makes its earliest and most widespread appearance ever in the eastern United States.  The plants have been removed from Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Lowe's and Kmart stores in all six New England states, plus New York. Late blight also has been identified in all other East Coast states except Georgia, as well as Alabama, West Virginia and Ohio.
Click HERE to go to more information on this disease.

It's recommended to purchase plants from your local nursery or to start plants from seeds yourself to discourage the disease.

Well, I bought my little patio tomato plant from Kmart, one month ago.

No signs of Blight yet.  Hopefully my plant will escape this disease.

Have you ever come across this problem? 

At least now I know what the brown spots are caused by will be able to take proper action in the future.
Hope this information was as helpful to you as it was me.

Happy Friday!  Cheers!
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