Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tomato Problems

This morning I had a wonderful surprise. I didn’t even know my Aussie tomato had set fruit, and I saw a one inch green tomato that started forming. My Orange Blossom tomatoes also have inch long fruit. It is amazing that I missed them earlier. I think I have been too focused on their leaves. They have some kind of disease. They get it every year, but some years worse than others.

This year I think the weird temperature fluctuations have stressed the plants a lot. I first found it right after the heat wave ended. It was on my Sungold tomatoes. All three of them had large brown splotches on the leaves, but not the other two. I quickly picked out all the blemished leaves in an attempt to keep it from spreading. I’ve been doing this for weeks. In addition I’ve been keeping up my spraying regimen. One week I spray a mixture of worm tea and aspirin. On the next week I’ll spray Serenade. This has been working out OK. But with all the rainy weather, I’m having trouble finding days to spray that won’t get immediately washed off in the afternoon. So my spraying ends up more than a week apart.

Last week it got bad enough that I ripped up the middle Sungold plant. It was between the rest of the Sungolds and my other two tomatoes. It was the weakest of my Sungolds and mostly defoliated at that point. I thought that would keep it from spreading to my Aussie, but no luck. I found a leaf on the Aussie starting to get spots. I pulled it off and haven’t seen other sign on those two plants yet.

This week they seem a little better. Just one little leaf blemished. I’m hoping to be able to spray tomorrow as no rain is predicted. I think the Sungolds will be fine despite their susceptibility to this disease. They grow so quickly they just out run it. They don’t seem to mind me ripping off their leave regularly. They have set a ton of fruit and only have about 8-12” until the top of their cages. The photo is of just one of their many sprays of fruit.

I have another issue with my Aussie tomato. You can see the stem of that plant has some weird bulges in it (top photo). I’ve never seen that on a tomato plant before. I’m hoping it isn’t dangerous. I’d look it up, but my internet connection has been down since yesterday. The repair man won’t be here until tonight.

To help the poor plants out, I’m brewing up another tea – eggshell tea. I eat eggs every morning for breakfast and I save the eggshells. Whenever I bake, I cook the eggshells too to kill any salmonella. Then I crush them. I’ve been saving them for when the plants set fruit. I’m going to feed them with this tea every week. Tomatoes are very susceptible to blossom end rot here, so the extra calcium ought to help.


  1. My tomatoes have taken off in the past week. We've had similar weird weather here in Connecticut and I'm just waiting for the diseases to set in

    Eggshell tea! never tried that one. great idea.

  2. This is the first year I'm doing it. I've used bonemeal in the soil in the past, which helps, but not enough.

  3. Wow, I wonder what those bulges are! I've never seen anything like it. Thanks for the fave, btw. :) I'm obviously checking out your blog now. We have lots in common! Except the tomato bulges! :)

  4. Hopefully your tomatoes will stay bulge free. I can't find anything on the web about it, so haven't a clue as to what is causing that. But the suckers seem to be fine, which is good, because in between the bulges the stem is very thin, too thin and it is preventing the main stem from growing much.