Brown spots on tomatoes

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by Saleve, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. Saleve

    Saleve Active Member

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    Location:
    Geneva, Switzerland
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    2:47 PM
    Hello,
    I have six tomato plants, all of which are displaying the same disturbing symptoms:
    1) Yellow / brown leaves
    2) Brown spots on the stems
    3) Hard brown spots on some of the tomatoes
    So far none of the tomatoes have reached full ripeness - they seem to be turning brown at about the time that they should be getting red.
    I'm wondering what I am doing wrong. Ideas would be most appreciated.
    Thank you.
    Saleve
     

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  2. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Hi there saleve--tomato blight attacks all our tomato plants here around this time of year. Looks like Switzerland is not immune either...

    We grow these plants under cover now, to avoid any lingering wetness of foliage.

    You can also spray with copper based sprays apparently with good effect...has to be done after each rainfall however, as it washes off. You may be able to prune away the currently affected material, also clean up any dropped leaves or fruit, then try to keep things clean and dry as possible.

    Sorry, this is a terrible frustration to growing tomatoes...also affects potatoes which should not be rotated with the tomatoes in a garden (we gave up growing potatoes for this reason, not worth the space and disease potential for a less desirable crop).
     
  3. Saleve

    Saleve Active Member

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    Hello Growest,
    Thank you for the diagnosis. I am going to clean up right away. We have had a lot of rain this year, especially at night. Plus, the person with whom I share the garden space likes to water in the evening. I will try to at least put a stop to that!
    Best regards,
    Saleve
     
  4. Diana

    Diana Member

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    I have exactly the same problem here on Galiano Island, BC. I planted around 24 May, but we then had several weeks of cold wet weather. I tented the whole raised bed with plastic during the wet weather, but kept the ends open for ventilation. When the weather turned warm and dry I removed the plastic. The plants had dying leaves and brown spots on the stems early on, but I pruned away what I could. Some spots were low down on the stem though and I left them, hoping for the best. Most of the plants flowered, and there are some tomatoes, but they are turning brown and leathery while still green. I have never had such a disappointing crop. I presume it is early blight? The tomatoes are rotated each year, and this was a new bed, so I don't think it was a soil borne disease. My plants look just like the photos from Saleve. Any suggestons for next year would be welcome!
    regards,
    Diana
     
  5. Anne58

    Anne58 Active Member

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    Hi Diana,

    Since the blight started appearing here in the Lower Mainland I have grown my tomatoes under cover for the entire growing season and have had no problems with either the early or late blight.

    It could be that the early blight spores were floating around prior to the rain and although you had covered the plants during the wet weather, the spores were already in place just waiting for moisture. Most likely the first time you watered the plants or if there was a heavy dew that was all that was needed to get the blight going.

    Good luck for next year.
     
  6. Diana

    Diana Member

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    Thanks for the reply, Anne. When you say you grow the tomatoes under cover do you mean in a greenhouse or the mylar (?) film, or just plain clear plastic? I used plain heavy duty plastic, but I hope to have a greenhouse up by next year so will use that.

    Also I used mylar? film purchased at a nursery to cover green beans-but the cutworms or whatever were underneath or in the soil already-and ate them anyway! Not much luck with my garden this year, but the lettuce, carrots and sweetpeas are great!
     
  7. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years of Activity

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    After at least 40 years fighting to grow tomatoes on the coast, I have to agree with Anne's strategy, which I also use. Growing under cover, either under the house eaves, or under plastic/glass esp. a greenhouse (well ventilated) is the only way to manage a decent crop. Once or twice per decade we get a summer that allows unprotected tomatoes to crop...not worth the gamble outdoors for me.

    Diana, perhaps you are referring to "remay" (probably not mylar) covers, which are great for some things esp. getting an early start in the spring. That stuff (polyester fabric covers) is not a good idea with tomatoes, however...except again just to get them going for a month or so...then remove it or the blight will have a party under the warm still conditions it provides in summer.

    When you see the tomato fields around Oliver and other Okanagan areas, with the plants sprawling over the ground, and gorgeous perfect fruit ripening, you are reminded what a good tomato growing climate is (and it's not ours here on the coast!).
     
  8. Anne58

    Anne58 Active Member

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    Hi Diana,

    I have a 2 sided structure ( that is a roof, front and back walls and open sides) that I grow my tomatoes in. My husband used that rippled fiberglass (semitransparent) paneling to 'glass ' over the 2 sides and roof. The open sides let the breeze through so it never gets humid inside and the breeze helps with the pollination.

    As growest mentioned, if you are talking about the floating row covers (remay) they would probably let the spores through and the rain would just finish off the job. On the other hand, mylar sheets would work well on a wooden framed structure to 'glass' in the roof and a couple of sides - or you could leave the sides open. Just remember to keep the water off the leaves as much as possible.
     
  9. Diana

    Diana Member

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    Thanks for the great tips. I will do better next year!
    Diana
     
  10. Nancy749

    Nancy749 Member

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    Location:
    Charente, France
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    According to a french forum of which I am a member, gardeners in France are having the same problem this year due to a cool summer with a wet beginning. I just managed to save most of my plants by spraying a bordeaux mix on them just one time, as well as removing all the dead leaves. Next year I will be looking for more resistant varieties as I am not happy about spraying chemicals on my veggie plants, even so-called organic ones. Here is an example of suggestions for the N. American side of the Atlantic http://www.organicgardening.com/feature/0,7518,s1-5-16-257,00.html I'm going to have to do more research for this side.

    I have noticed that the varieties of potatoes that I planted WERE resistant ...Amandine and Desiree.
     
  11. beatlejude

    beatlejude Member

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    Location:
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    thanks for info - full crop of outdoor tomatoes lost because of this in Watford England
     

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