Tomato Blight Comes Early To Vancouver

Sharon says tomato plants are already showing blight this spring, throw them out immediately!

Last year, my garden remained blight-free. One reason: choosing tomato varieties that produce early—mostly small tomatoes—and, well, who knows? Maybe it was just luck; last year was particularly hot and dry. Not so this summer.

This just in: Some tomatoes are already showing symptoms of blight this spring. The picture above shows the discoloured, brownish-gray areas on the stem and wilted/yellowing leaves.

These poor Roma II plants were bought at Choices on 16th Avenue a couple of weeks ago, but it’s likely the plants were infected in the nursery. One Sungold I had in the greenhouse was also affected, probably because it was sitting beside the Roma IIs. Not sure. I will be speaking to the folks at Choices and letting them know.

One tomato grower (who does not supply Choices Markets, by the way) commented that late blight did affect some of their tomatoes very early this year while still seedlings, in the greenhouses.

And in fact, though we generally associate blight with rain and moist conditions in late summer, it actually can occur any time. Our spring weather this year has been super conducive for these diseases to flourish: warm and then cool, moist and humid.

So, if you notice a browning on the stem and a slight wilting of leaves on your tomatoes, throw them out immediately. Please do not put them in your home compost (never put any part of tomato plants in compost) or even in the city compost. Best to put them in the garbage.

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