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

Tomato plants pulled from the shelves

Young Roma tomatoes

Did you buy your tomato plants from Wal-mart, K-mart, Home Depot, or Lowes?  Or even from a local nursery which doesn't grow their own plants and instead buys them from  Bonnie?  Across the eastern U.S., these stores have pulled all tomato plants from their shelves due to a late blight epidemic.  It won't hurt you, but your plants will go kaput.

Some people even speculate that commercial growers might be affected.  That would mean few fresh tomatoes and potatoes in the grocery stores this summer.  To read about the symptoms of late blight and more, visit this Boston Globe article.

Of course, if you grow your own heirloom tomatoes from seed every year, like we do, you're probably okay.  Still, if your neighbors' plants are infected, yours might be too.  If you see symptoms, you're best off yanking the plants out and burning them or putting them somewhere far from the compost pile.

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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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My tomato plants have been doing HORRIBLY and I couldnt figure out why. I have 3 "store bought" plants from Wally world and 8 heirlooms i started from seed. Course the weather has been really bad so thats where my blame has been. I hope thats all it is :(
Comment by Lisa Mon Jul 6 08:21:48 2009
It'd be worth going out and looking for the spots on the leaves. Especially if the spots are present on the Wal-mart plants, but not on your heirlooms, you should pull out the former to save the latter.
Comment by anna Mon Jul 6 11:30:23 2009

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