Leaf Spot on Tomatoes

Solstice greetings, gardeners!

Leaf spot

Leaf spot

Yes, it's that time of year when temperatures and humidity soar. Yesterday we found the very first indication of leaf spot disease on our tomatoes. With showers and/or thunderstorms in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow morning, we recommend spraying tomatoes with a fungicide such as Fung-onil late this afternoon when it is not so sunny or hot.The upper and lower sides of the leaves need to completely dry before any rainfall. The recommended interval between spraying is 7-14 days. If it stays dry in between, go with the 14 day interval. It is difficult to prevent diseases on tomatoes, but Fung-onil goes a long way in managing disease.

We also mulch with straw in the veggie garden. Not only does it aid in preventing soil-borne disease spores from splashing up onto plant leaves, but it also helps control weeds, conserve moisture, and moderate soil temperature in the heat of summer.

Make sure to water tomatoes at the base of each plant either with a watering can or a soaker hose. Make sure none of the lower leaves touch the soil. Do this by mulching or snipping them off. Disease spores run rampantly through plants that are moisture-covered through the night. 

If you have been applying a natural fertilizer high in calcium (such as Tomato-tone), you should not experience blossom end rot. This condition is caused by insufficient calcium and manifests itself as a blackened flat area opposite the stem- end of the tomato.  It basically ruins the tomato. We have a calcium spray that helps prevent blossom end rot from occurring on subsequent tomatoes as they mature.