The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Tomato fungal diseases

Septoria leaf spot on tomato leaves
Late blight on tomato leavesAlthough I thoroughly enjoyed last week's deluge, the tomatoes didn't.  I had been keeping a pretty good handle on the early blight, but several days of damp spread other fungi and I can tell our tomatoes are now on the decline.

The pictures at the top of the post show our new septoria leaf spot infection.  At a quick glance, these spots look a lot like early blight, but notice that the septoria spots are smaller, more numerous, have a pale center, and aren't ringed by a halo of yellow.  (There is some yellowing on the leaf, but it doesn't encircle the spots.)

Meanwhile, late blight has struck as well.  About a third of the leaves on a couple of plants have curled up and turned brown, and I'm beginning to see rotten tomatoes on the vine.

Perhaps if the septoria and late blight had hit the tomato patch during dry weather, I would have been able to use extreme pruning to keep them at bay.  But somewhere in the course of last week's dozen inches of rain, the septoria managed to colonize every tomato plant in our garden, infecting even the upper leaves.  My only option is to harvest as fast as possible and accept that our tomatoes won't be much longer in this world.

Despite all of this death and destruction, I can't complain.  We're close to our goal of frozen tomato products --- enough to make pizza, spaghetti, and vegetable soup twice a month apiece for an entire year.  I was hoping to experiment with ketchup and add some dried tomatoes to the larder, but at this point I'm happy to take what I can get.

Our homemade chicken waterer never spills or fills with poop.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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