Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Late Blight Devastates Westmoreland County Pennsylvania! Late Blight Tomato Photos!
Late Blight has destroyed at least half my tomato garden, and I heard through the great tomato vine devestation has hit my area hard! We experienced a wet Spring, which helps to spread the fungus! Many tomato gardens have been totally obliterated by the pesky rapid fungus many sources say originated in Florida. Counties all around us have been widely infected with late blight.
Most folks in my area take great pride in their huge gardens, and depend on their canned or frozen stock of tomatoes to prepare homemade sauces, salsa, chili ect.. throughout the winter months.
The photo above of our big boy tomatoes are only a handfull of at least 50 or more ruined by late blight, not even including the tremendous amount of tomato stems which will yield no new tomatoes!
I spent a whole day yesterday removing all the dead tomato leaves and stems around each tomato plant. My husband grew these big boys from seed, and we planted 3o big boy and roma tomato plant seedlings on our hands and knees. I had previously used a sulfur powder, which seemed to help against total devastation. I then switched to a copper powder called Dragon Dust recommended from a friend.
By the time I removed all the dead stuff, there was only half a tomato plant left! You can really see the dead leaves on the plant in back of this one! Click the photo above to see the brown leaves and stems devouring our precious tomato crop! I took the liberty of removing yellow tomatoes to ripen on my windowsills, for fear they would just die on the stem!
My cherry tomatoes were the first to pick up the disease. Our plants were likely purchased with the fungus, and it spread throughout our whole tomato garden! A tremendous loss as you can see on the cherry tomato plant above. The stems turn yellow orange, and come off with little effort! The leaves turn brown and black and die within a short period of time!
On the bright side I do have a lot of green tomatoes, I'm hoping to possibly salvage! But with more rain expected the next few days, chances could be very slim! I learned you must dust often, especially if you experience a rainy season! Prevention is the key to keeping your tomatoes healthy!
On another note, I've been enjoying the summer weather we've been having, last weekend was beautiful humid and hot the way I like it! We hung by the pool the whole time! Taking advantage of all the good weather, and working hard to keep up my flower and vegetable gardens. I even made my sunflower seeds from my grown sunflowers sooo good! My best friend is home from Florida, hoping to catch up with her while she's here!
Go soak up some summer weather, we don't have much left!