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friedgreen51 June 17, 2019 10:23 PM

Tomato Disease ID
 
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For the past 3 years, about this time of year my Black Cherry tomatoes get this disease.

Any ideas as to what it is and how I should treat it?

Should I quit saving seed from these plants as I have had this problem three years in a row and was wondering if it is being passed on through the seed.

The leaves turn a blackish gray and then the whole stem drops off.

b54red June 18, 2019 09:57 AM

That is Gray Mold and almost all black varieties are prone to getting it if the humidity is high, during frequent rains, or cool damp nights. I have been dealing with it every year since I started growing black tomatoes. It is usually easy to control if you act quickly and don't let the problem get too bad. Whatever you can see now it is actually twice as bad as it looks because even though the gray patches aren't showing on the leaves above the sick ones it has already started on them. You can use the bleach spray that is discussed in a long thread on this site or you can try a copper spray. I like to use the diluted bleach spray if it is fairly bad and then follow up with a copper spay the next day or so. If you don't stop it it will usually engulf the whole plant and eventually kill it and it will get into the fruit causing it to get soft spots and rot. Once it gets to that point it is probably too late to save the plant.

After spraying the plant with the bleach spray in about 24 hours or so the infected leaves will shrivel up and die. I like to remove them at that time and spray with a copper spray then keep a close eye on the plant for any further signs of the disease and if any shows up repeat the process.

As soon as it gets hot and humid I start using a copper spray every 10 days or so and it does a great job of preventing it from getting started but it doesn't always work especially during times of frequent rains. During those times of frequent rain you can spray the black tomatoes with the diluted bleach spray in between showers every few days and it will lessen the incidence of gray mold. It doesn't usually show up on very young plants but when they reach about 3 ft. tall I keep a close eye out for it. It usually shows up on a lower internal leaf that will look like it is wet or dark and wilting. If you ignore this first sign you will get more of it. At that early stage the copper usually stops it but make sure to spray all surfaces of the leaves and stems.

Bill

roper2008 June 18, 2019 10:38 AM

That’s why I stopped growing black tomatoes. I use to able to grow them, but after the last 3 years of them just dying on me, I gave up. The last time I grew black cherry was 2016/2017.

friedgreen51 June 18, 2019 07:18 PM

Tomato Disease ID
 
Hi Bill,
Thank you for the thorough, detailed information on the Gray Mold disease. That took a lot of your time to write out all that information. I thought it was strange that it seemed to be limited to my Black Cherry tomatoes while others right beside it are unfazed.
I walked down to the garden today after work and guess what, my Cherokee Carbon has some of the same symptoms, although it seems to be less advanced on these. I am spraying them all (Black Cherry and Cherokee Carbon) tonight with the Bleach Treatment per your mixing directions. Is Daconil the best follow-up spray? I also have some Dragoon Dust with Copper that I can use my duster with.
I appreciate your wealth of knowledge and your willingness to share and teach others. Your are a great Tomatoville member.
Deborah

ScottinAtlanta June 18, 2019 07:32 PM

Bill, can you give us your recipe for the bleach spray again? Thanks!!

b54red June 19, 2019 06:23 AM

[QUOTE=friedgreen51;738850]Hi Bill,
Thank you for the thorough, detailed information on the Gray Mold disease. That took a lot of your time to write out all that information. I thought it was strange that it seemed to be limited to my Black Cherry tomatoes while others right beside it are unfazed.
I walked down to the garden today after work and guess what, my Cherokee Carbon has some of the same symptoms, although it seems to be less advanced on these. I am spraying them all (Black Cherry and Cherokee Carbon) tonight with the Bleach Treatment per your mixing directions. Is Daconil the best follow-up spray? I also have some Dragoon Dust with Copper that I can use my duster with.
I appreciate your wealth of knowledge and your willingness to share and teach others. Your are a great Tomatoville member.
Deborah[/QUOTE]

If you are having Gray Mold issues then Daconil isn't the best follow up spray. Use a copper spray and make sure to spray the all surfaces top and bottom. Use it at the lowest recommended rate and after a heavy rain use it again; but otherwise use it about every 10 days. I will be applying it to all my tomatoes today as we had a good rain yesterday and might have another small shower this morning early. I don't know how a copper dust would work as I have always used a spray and it is fairly cheap and easy to use.

Bill

b54red June 19, 2019 06:40 AM

[QUOTE=ScottinAtlanta;738854]Bill, can you give us your recipe for the bleach spray again? Thanks!![/QUOTE]

If disease issues aren't critical I will usually start by mixing 5 1/2 oz to 6 oz of Clorox bleach (6% sodium hypochlorite) into a full gallon of water before moving on to the full strength spray. The reason I do this is to make sure my bottle of bleach is not somewhat stronger than the label indicates. I do this with every new bottle of bleach that I set in my shed for this purpose and when I get out a new bottle of bleach for the garden I mix my first batch weak just to be sure.

Below is a link to the big bleach spray thread with a lot of helpful information and discussion.

[url]http://tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=28509&highlight=Bleach+Spray[/url]

Hope it helps.
Bill


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