I almost fell to my knees and screamed into the air “Not again” when I saw these dreadful brown spots on one of my Red Alert tomato plants. Maybe you would think I am overreacting a bit, but this would be my third large patch wiped out by blight if that’s what this monster is. Planting tomatoes sounds like a piece of cake, but once your sitting out in the hot sun digging holes while friends are jumping in the river, then it becomes that much more of an investment then meets the eye.
When I discovered these spots, I treated the whole plant as if I were a CDC crew responding to the plague. I got two garbage bags, and ripped the suffering tomato out of the ground, carefully placing every infected limb into the plastic container. I then located my toxic fungicide, and sprayed the whole patch, generously applying the chemical in the area where this plant was located.
There’s a close up of the lesions left on the leaves, one of the first signs of Late Blight. The lesions will contain a concentric circle, which is then surrounded by a yellowish area. Blight can ruin an entire tomato patch in one weeks time, leaving a trail of brown mushy stems, and lost spaghetti sauce. I may be in luck however, as Mother Nature does not seem so willing to help this plague in 2011. The ideal conditions for this blight are cool and wet days, something that nature seems reluctant to deliver.
If your battling Late Blight, try “Dragoon Dust” or “Deconil Fungicide”, although I should note they are not organic solutions. I’ve also sprayed my entire patch with a solution of Epsom Salt mixed with water.
In a few days time since finding the lesions, and applying the fungicide, I’ve yet to spot another blighted plant. I’ve also picked quite a few green tomatoes, just in case.