Tomato Troubles in New England


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Gardening 8

Tomato Troubles in New England

kattyeyes | Jul 10, 2009 05:43 AM

Per a front-page article in today's Hartford Courant, "The state and most of New England are teetering on the edge of losing every tomato plant to a fungus that is flourishing in the wet weather the region has endured for weeks, state experts said Thursday."

Highlights from the article here:
<<For home gardeners, it's minor right now, but late blight spreads rapidly, said Dawn Pettinelli, a pathologist at the University of Connecticut Soil Nutrient Analysis Laboratory.

"The late blight hasn't really been widespread and damaging in people's gardens at this point," Pettinelli said. She said it would affect only tomatoes and potatoes, so other vegetables are safe.

But gardeners should be checking their tomato and potato plants daily for a dark green spot that may look like a wet area or grease stain in the leaves, and a white mold on the underside of the foliage, Pettinelli said. There may also be pale yellow borders around the spots.

Infected fruit may have brown spots, and potatoes can look fine on the outside but be brown on the inside, Pettinelli said. In most cases, though, the fungus will kill the plant before the fruit is ripe.

Wind can spread the fungus spores up to 40 miles, which puts locally grown plants at risk, Pettinelli said.>>

So, please keep an eye on yer 'matos, New England hounds! I will cry real tears if I lose the beautiful plants on our back porch. I'm thrilled to say none of my plants came from Home Depot or any other big box store and that my little garden is sheltered by other condos on both sides, which I'm hoping will keep our plants extra safe. Fingers crossed for all of us!

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