Late Blight Update

Since my original late blight post (July 6, 2009 after listening to a web seminar conducted by Cornell University), I’ve seen many updates regarding the spread of this highly contagious fungus.  The most recent, Outbreak of Fungus Threatens Tomato Crop, in the New York Times, highlights conditions in a hard hit region in New York state.  Similar articles have run in The Boston Globe and The Hartford Courant, and on local newscasts (There’s a Fungus Among Us).

UConn’s Plant Diagnostic Lab has confirmed late blight on CT grown tomatoes.   Since the fungus spreads so quickly, it is very important for home growers to do daily checks of tomato plants for signs of late blight.  To see photos check out any of the links above or those provided in my original late blight post.

Infected plants must be placed in plastic bags and left to disintegrate in the sun – do not compost infected plants.  CT gardeners who suspect late blight, should contact UConn’s Home and Garden Center.

4 comments for “Late Blight Update

  1. July 21, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    I’ve been obsessively checking my tomatoes for late blight since I read the first post about it some time ago on Garden Rant. Every yellow leaf is giving me pause. I’m resigned to getting late blight and losing all my tomatoes. But if I can just harvest a few heirloom tomatoes before it arrives I’ll be happy!

  2. joenesgarden
    July 22, 2009 at 8:06 am

    If you started tomato seeds at home, and have not purchased tomato plants from big box stores, your plants are less likely to develop late blight. Still, it is good practice to check plants daily as the fungal spores spread with winds and this year’s wet conditions are perfect for late blight.

    The fact that plants from big box retailers are believed to be a major source of late blight just points to the benefit of buying locally started plants.

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