Saturday, September 04, 2010

Late Blight Destroys My Tomatoes Again

My Beautiful Tomato Plants!

I have been very busy this last week. It is the time of year when I am busy harvesting crops and canning food. My garden was really looking good as you can see my beautiful tomato plants here in this photo. My green beans produced very well and gave us 48 quarts of canned product. Nice to be refilling all those empty jars!

Seemed to be thriving here..........

My happiness was not to last though, as within a few days, this photo was taken on the August 18th and the plants looked good. Had nice formed tomatoes on all plants, The cherry tomatoes were covered with fruit. I think there were hundreds of them on just a couple plants. They looked so pretty and I was so proud of my tomatoes as last year I didn't get any because of being hit by the blight. This year I even sprayed with Serenade. Not to be though.............

Earlier This Week..........

According to Cornell University:

"Late Blight is a disease that mainly affects potatoes and tomatoes, though it can affect others as well. It was mainly responsible for the Irish potato famine in the 1850's. Entire fields of potatoes rotted as well as potatoes in storage. Thousands of people starved or emigrated.

I Wanted To Cry!!!!

Late Blight is caused by a pathogen, oomycete, that survives from season to another on infected potatoes. It is known for producing millions of spores from infected plants under wet conditions. It can be introduced into a garden through infected potatoes or volunteer plants that were infected, from culled potatoes that were not destroyed, compost piles or from infected plants that were bought and brought into the area. Spores can travel through the air, land on the plants and infect more. They can also be washed through the soil to infect more potatoes and cause rot in the ground or in storage." 

Have to bag them up and take to the landfill.

Because so many spores are produced by this oomycete pathogen, it is important that anyone whose plants get the Late Blight to properly identify it and control it so that the spores do not travel to other local gardens and infect them. This is what it says on Cornell's site. I am not sure of how to control it. I tried. I give up now. This is my last year of growing tomatoes until they come out with a plant that is resistant to it. So much for heirlooms.

One way of preventing it is to only grow certified seed potatoes. And not to buy tomato transplants from other areas. I grew my own that I started in my house. Our summer here in New York was not a real wet summer for a change. So I am in the dark about this Late Blight business. I just know that I am not going to go through all the work of starting tomatoes in the house and babying them and then losing them when it is almost time for them to start turning red. It is a waste of my time. We don't eat a lot of pasta or dishes that use tomato sauce anyway. So I will just not worry about them next year. If I want a fresh tomato in the salad or a tomato sandwich I will buy mine at the local farmer's markets and produce stands. They seem to be able to grow without being hit by the Late Blight.

All I can say's not fair!

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
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