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random musings of a crazy cat lady

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Requiem for my tomato plants

My tomato plants grew like gangbusters during our cool, wet summer.  They had a ton of fruit on them, but due to the weather the tomatoes were slow to ripen.  About a week ago, I noticed they were starting to look funny.  They were dying and covered with big black splotches.  It turns out they have late blight, which I didn't know about but is a big problem on the east coast.  It affects tomatoes and potatoes, and caused the Irish Potato Famine.  It is very virulent, and although it usually dies off during the winter up north, it can survive in warmer climates, which leads to its spread.
Unbeknownst to me, it was spread by some tomato plants sold at Lowes.  I bought one plant there a few weeks before.  I have no way of knowing if I got one of the infected ones or if it just got spread by the wind- it's that contagious.
So I am left with a big empty space in my garden and some green tomatoes.  Those of you who live in the Northeast, I recommend starting your own tomatoes from seed or buying them from local growers. 


  1. Make sure that you get rid of ALL of the tomato vines- throw them away!! You can't plant potatoes or tomatoes inthat spot next year and in fact you should mulch the area around your tomatoes next year with black plastic or some thick layer of something to keep the splash up from getting dirt on your plants. Nasty stuff! :( And that really sucks- sorry!!

  2. Thanks, Deb! I took them all out and bagged them all up in black plastic bags to kill off the blight. I had read that the freezing winter will kill it off so it is good to know I'll still have to take precautions. My garden isn't very big so I may just get a few hanging bags and some potting soil and do cherry tomatoes