Harvest & Tomato Blight

It rained most of last week, so we didn’t pick vegetables and fruit until Sunday (August 24th).  If you handle plants when they are wet, you can more easily transfer diseases between them.

peppers, eggplant, beans, and okra (hidden)

peppers, eggplant, beans, and okra (hidden)

We got some nice ‘ichiban imp’ eggplant despite all the damage caused to the plants’ leaves by beetles.  Bell peppers such as this ‘Takii’s ace’ can be picked while green or you can wait, as I did, until they turn red (and sweeter).  The ‘yellow banana’ peppers also may be eaten before they turn orange or red.  The pole beans are producing again, especially the ’emerite’ variety.  We also picked some okra, which are somewhere under the pile of beans.

blackberry harvest

blackberry harvest

We got many blackberries, but had to discard many more as they were overripe.

You may have noticed that there were no tomatoes in this harvest.  I won’t harvest any more tomatoes this year.  You may not want to look at the next two photos as they are pretty gruesome, at least if you are a gardener.

diseased tomato plants

diseased tomato plants

Rain is also good at spreading disease (via dripping and splashing), and the associated humid weather is ideal for growing fungus.  What was confined to some of the lower leaves just days ago has taken over all of the tomato plants.  All of the fruit has been infected and will rot before it can ripen.

tomato fruit rotting on the vine

tomato fruit rotting on the vine

The eggplant and peppers growing at the far end of the garden bed haven’t been affected.

I suspect that this was caused by late blight (Phytophthora infestans), which also affected my tomatoes last year, but not until the end of October.  It is not anthracnose, which caused some problems last year.

Diseases that are similar to late blight include early blight (which doesn’t actually occur all that early in the season) and Septoria leaf spot.  The effect on my tomato fruit looks more like late blight to me however.

You can read more about tomato problems at the Missouri Botanical Garden website.  Many diseases of tomatoes and many other plants are covered at the Ohio State University website.  The University of Minnesota website has a lot of information about growing vegetables, including diseases and pests.



About brianbreczinski

work: chemist, NMR manager; hobbies: gardening, reading, photography, electronics, biking, woodworking
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8 Responses to Harvest & Tomato Blight

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