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I saw this article on the WLTX web site this morning. I had read that there was a bad late blight outbreak in the northeast, and that it was associated with Bonnie Bell plants. I hadn't heard it might be in the southeast, too.

A Tomato Killer May Be Lurking In Your Garden

Columbia (WLTX) - In the Midlands, some tomato growers are bracing for what could be a rough season. That's because an infectious plant disease may put a squeeze on their profits.

A killer could be lurking in your garden and you may not even know it. It's called "late blight". A destructive and infectious disease targeting tomato plants.

"It's kind of become prevalent in the northeast. I guess they've had a lot of wet weather,"says Andy Cabe, Botanical Gardens Director for Riverbanks Zoo.

Cabe says rainy weather has accelerated the spores' airborne spread causing plant-to-plant infections.

"The real problem is with the plant,"says Cabe. Signs of the disease include pale green, water-soaked spots on the edges of leaves, or what looks like mold.

"It will have a whitish color to it,"says Cabe. No matter how you slice it, experts say it's the most widespread case of "late blight" on the east coast ever.

But what about consuming tomatoes from infected plants? "Ingesting it, you're not going to have any problems. What they (consumers) need to be concerned about it if they're buying tomato plants or looking at their plants in the garden,"says Cabe.

The infection has put the squeeze on Walmart and Lowe's. Both retailers have pulled the "in-season" plants from stores across the northeast.

Meanwhile Cabe says gardeners who find infected plants should carefully dispose of them to prevent spores from spreading. "Go ahead and seal it in a plastic bag, tie up a plastic bag a couple of times,"says Cabe.

Experts say it's too early to tell whether large crops will be infected. But if it happens, they say be prepared to pay more for tomatoes as growers try to, catch up on shrinking profits.
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I saw this in the paper yesterday, Guess it's all over the ne, sure hope it does not effect all the farmers
I am so saddened by the look of our veggies this year that I can't even believe that I have been gardening professionally and personally for my whole life. If I am lucky I will get some tomatoes, but I am doubtful at this point. We will have some green beans, peppers, squash and cukes, but the tomatoes are just sick.
I had my tomatoes plowed under. I removed 6 plants from 200 and replanted them in my flower bed and destroyed the rest. They were all big plants and had tomatoes on them. As the toms grew, bottom rot took them. The plants had the mold look on the leaves and they began to curl and die. I've never seen an entire 4 rows of tomatoes just die like that. I had plants I bought and some I grew from seeds, earlygirl, celebrity and betterboy. Then I had those big ones..I can't remember the name now..and I had an heirloom variety. All was lost.
I've heard that the pick and pay farms in my area has no tomatoes. It was blamed on too much rain...
Plowing under will not get RID of the disease. You must remove it from the garden. Do Not compost, burn or till in. Remove for the best chance of not spreading.
I am giving mine one last shot, and gave them two fertilizings this past week. If they don't come around they will go out in next weeks garbage. How sad.
It just kills me when that happens. And I have tried every thing I can think of or anything anyone has ever suggested. Once it hits it is very hard to control. They say making sure you have plenty of air space around plants and don't crowd them will reduce your chance of getting it, also do not top water leaves. Good luck!
I saw this on the news last night, and it is pretty bad here in New Jersey. They said it is the same blight that caused the Great Potato Famine in Ireland and will most likely affect potatoes here also. The news showed footage of Tomato Farms that were totaly wiped out. I hope it doesn't spread out of this area.
That's an awful thing to contemplate, Swindy. I have read quite a bit about the history of Ireland and I have these visions of suffering of the Irish people during those years.
My tomatoes aren't great, but they are still producing some. I have canned 12 quarts of tomatoes as well eaten lot and giving lots to family and neighbors. My late tomatoes I planted recently are looking okay.
My tomatoes are looking very good and I'm spotting some tomatoes, but I won't see ripe ones for awhile yet. Junior, that poor little Roma is really looking good.
This year has been brutal for tomatoes. While they seem to be producing ok, the bacterial spot,blight and every insect imaginable has decided to attack my plants.

Late Blight is a real threat and i hope it doesn't cause too much damage. From what i understand it can only survive over winter in infected potato tubers. Once the leaves are dead, the blight will die as well.
Myron the article is very informative and will be very helpful to all our tomato and potato gardeners here. Thank you for posting it. As I live in a farming community in South Jersey we are all very concerned about this Blight. I do hope the farmers here will be able to harvest our beautiful and tasty Jersey Tomatoes.
Welcome to GF
If you look across the country we are having a lot of production issues. Here in the south we had the rain that caused 3/4 of potato crops to be lost , now the blight , all indications of disaster. Do what you can to protect you garden and know something else is around the corner. I think a lot has to do with the over use of chemicals and resistance to treatments for such diseases. All of this will add the the bottom line at the supremarket. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to