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NC Dept. of Agriculture and news reports this week state that NC tomato growers are suddenly being harmed by a tomato blight fungus. Gardeners and growers have had this for many years. We used to be able to harvest tomatoes all season long especially from indeterminate varieties without this problem. It comes most every year now, and early planted maters will be done by the end of July.

I began spraying my maters this season faithfully to try to combat this disease, but have not done so for about 2 weeks because of the heat and not this week because the plants have been wet most of the day because of dew and light showers. The blight has come to many of my plants this week, running all the way to the top buds.

I believe spraying protected my plants at least for awhile, but wonder if there is anything that will actually stop this disease. Yall's thoughts are appreciated.
 

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Sorry Jim. Seems like you guys can't get a break!!! The only thing I was ever told was to pull the blighted plan up as soon as detected to stop the spreading. Had problems with rutgers for 2 years running and was told not to plant them for 2 years that the ground may be contaminated I really don't know but it did help. Sure hope you can find a soulution.



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Hello Jim
Two things to consider, both from my experience and which are therefore opinions.

Number one. I would always have a systemic fungicide in my shed, enough for two sprayings. These are very expensive, so having them on hand means you can use them when needed and not have to consider the cost. We used Ridomil, but that may not be the right one for the strain of fungus you have so that would have to be researched. The right spray will stop the disease in it's tracks, it will not repair the plant, only new growth can do that, but will save it.

Number two. I would spray every Monday without fail, applying a protective spray such as copper, as long as it was not raining, but would then spray as soon as it stopped. Even if there was enough rain during the week to wash the plants I would respray and still do the regular Monday spray.

You will have noticed that while the plants are young and growing vigorously they are much easier to keep disease free and will generally outgrow a fungus but in the extreme conditions which exist at present they will struggle and the only thing that will save them is a systemic.
Once they flower and start to produce fruit then leaf growth is minimal, that is the other time to use a systemic to stop the fungus.
I know just what it is like for you, remember that there is no such thing as luck when growing crops, only hard work and effort is rewarded.
John
 

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Mike, these maters are planted in ground that since I moved here in 1978 have been nothing but part of my yard. Even playing here as a kid, this section was part of the yard so the disease had to be present if it is a soil-borne disease. John, I am guessing that by copper, one uses copper sulfate. Can it be sprayer-mixed with a contact fungicide, or does it need to be sprayed separately? As a former tobacco grower I am familiar with Ridomil, but never used it. I guess it is still very costly as it was many years ago. Blue mold in tobacco was its designated target, and blue mold was not as big a problem here in the Piedmont as compared to burley grown in the mountains.
 

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Hi Jim. Ridomil that is sold here contains both a contact and a systemic fungicide.
Copper sulphate is quite strong. Whilst effective, I always considered it too harsh on foliage for more than occasional use. It seems to make the leaves slightly brittle. Copper hydroxide sprays are less effective but gentler on the leaves.
I preferred maneb/mancozeb sprays aside from Ridomil, always at full rates.
Might be a good chance to trial a heavy application of copper sulphate on some plants as a trial?
Many fungi attack the underside, so a good spray can be effective even if the top of the leaf is wet.
John
 

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I use Tenn-Cop 5E Copper salts of fatty and rosin acids. $62.50 for 2.5 gal several years ago
I tank mix with Diathane (Mancozeb) without issues for years (reccomended by our former regional vegetable extension agent)
I also use Bravo
One of these products I can't remember which one had a problem at the factory somewhere and the price went through the roof.
It may have come back down by now.
for a systemic I use Nova (mainly for PM) I don't mix it with anything and handle with extreme care.
Does your extension have a pathology Lab? ours is free
we also have a publication called "AN Ipm Scouting Guide for Common Pests of Solanaceous Crops in Kentucky" ID-172
Full color photos of most diseases pests, nutritional problems, Oversprays etc.
PM me and I can mail you a copy.
There is also one for Cucurbits.
Proper ID is probably going to be very helpful.
 

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Keeping my fingers crossed ,so far I have been getting the nicest tomatoes / Shareing with family and getting ready to can some and make some juice. Real nice size tomatoes . During the extreme hot weather the plants looked sad but we keep watering them and so far they are ok.
 

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We are getting plenty of all sizes Betty. I am selling some by the bushel to try to prevent losing any of them. We have frozen between 10 to 15 gallons. Some plants look fairly well considering the weather, and some are mostly done. I want to plant some late ones and shoulda done it 2 weeks ago, but I keep hoping for more soil moisture to give them a better chance.
 

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I could probably plant them now. We have had a couple of showers recently that will help, but we desperately need a slow ground soaker. More rain is forecast for FRYday and Sat.
I planted some late cukes and squash and they are popping up. I need to plant a few more peas and green beans for a fall crop. Watermelons seem to be stunted from the heat and I am not sure they will recover. We froze 12 quarts of corn today, but had to go through many nubby. poory pollinated ears to get it.
 

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Jim in NC said:
I could probably plant them now. We have had a couple of showers recently that will help, but we desperately need a slow ground soaker. More rain is forecast for FRYday and Sat.
I planted some late cukes and squash and they are popping up. I need to plant a few more peas and green beans for a fall crop. Watermelons seem to be stunted from the heat and I am not sure they will recover. We froze 12 quarts of corn today, but had to go through many nubby. poory pollinated ears to get it.
Jim we keep our corn watered and was real surprise how well our first 2 rows turned out , Got 4 more rows coming on soon and then couple late dows. WE shared withcor with 4 different family members And had 15 freezer bags with 3 cups in them $ bags with 1 cup for soup or whatever.
 
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