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Friday, May 27, 2011

Two Varieties With Septoria or Bacterial Spot: Treatment is the Same.

Two varieties of tomatoes showed leaf spot in my garden. Another gardener showed me the same thing. The Brandywines because of their potato leaf seem susceptible and that is historically true. One of my Brandywines have it. The dwarf cherry 2 foot variety have it. What does this mean? They need to be sprayed. The rest of my plants are doing quite well. It also means I won't be growing the 2 foot dwarf next year.

Spray them with wettable sulphur or with a copper spray. If you are in River Hill, I have a premade sprayer of sulphur and copper I am using (yes a combo). You are welcome to borrow it for a quick spray. I'll be around all weekend. You can also fill up a small hand sprayer if you have one. I can teach you the process.

Yesterday was humid and 90. Today is humid and hot. This is not May weather. Treatment works by covering the infected areas and uninfected areas with the spray that makes the leaf surface acidic and unliked by the spores. By keeping up spraying you break the life cycle of the disease.

Treatment Course
Cut off the yellowed and spotted leaves and throw them in a trash can.
Do not compost them.
Do not touch the other leaves during this process.
Spray the entire plant. (stem, top of leaves, bottom of leaves, and soil base)
Mulch beneath the treated tomato.
I also Miracle grow my spotted tomatoes to get more upper growth growing.
I am spraying every three days. (it is more then recommended)
I use aspirin but that might be a myth.

Treatment Success and Recovery
The disease will stop progressing upward.
Yellowed leaves will stop showing.
The spots will just turn brown with no yellow around them. (though you should remove that leaf)
Green growth should continue upward from the growing tip.
Green stems will come out where you pinched of the infected leaves.
Maintain spraying about 1x weekly (some say 10days) and more after heavy rain for prevention.

Don't be afraid to yank them. If they look really bad... you have to remove the tomato plant. I would suggest trying another variety in that space and spray the plant before putting it in. You won't lose time. The heat and humidity is bringing early disease I believe, but it will also bring fast growth. I have tomatoes from last years fallen fruit popping up in the ground. They will actually catch many plants in about 10 days.

And if you live in my area, I really believe early blight is going to be bad. It typically comes in later June but I would start spraying now even if you don't have signs. It is much more difficult to control then the spotted diseases. The spores can travel in the air.