Re: [tomato] the black death?

Keith M. Warman (
Tue, 26 May 1998 15:20:20 -0400


I hope what I am suggesting is not true.  But I had a similar problem a
couple of years ago.  My particular problem may not be the same, but here
is what happened:  After a long period of rain, I noticed several black
specs on the leaves and steam of one of my tomato plants.  I figured is was
a fungus problems and began treatment.  After a few weeks the situation
only got worse.  Several plants (in succession) became infected.  The specs
grew to spots and even the green fruit had the same spots.  Also, my
peppers became infected.  I later found out it was called: Bacterial Spot.
There is no cure for the disease and it is extremely hard to control.  I
ended up having to yank all of the plants, but it was to late.  The next
year, the disease followed me to a new location, perhaps left over on the
garden tools, soaker hose, etc.  I had some plant residue analyzed at
Virginia Tech, and they confirmed the disease.  They gave me a mixture
(mostly copper) that is used to control (not cure) the growth of the
bacteria.  It worked to slow the infection down a great deal.

I suggest you research the problem, perhaps send a sample to the local coop
extension to ensure that you know what it is.  Also, it could be easy to
confuse with Bacterial Speck.  Speck I think is easier to control, although
I have no experience with that.  I wouldn't wait to long, because other
plants can get infected relatively quick.

As far as resistant varieties, I think there are a handful, but the best
practice seems to be crop rotation, clean tools, resist overhead
irrigation, stay out of a wet garden, and hope for the best.

Here is a site (from University of California) with some pictures, that may
help you see if this is what you are looking at on your plants:

Good luck!!!

Keith Warman

At 12:27 PM 5/22/98 -0700, you wrote:
>Hi all
>I planted my yearly 3 tom plants about a month ago and they've been 
>looking great up until about 4-5 days ago I noticed a lot of black marks 
>on the leaves and stalks, almost look like ink stains. I'm a little 
>worried that I'm losing them, and I'm not sure what to do?So early in the 
>season for these kinds of worries. One of the poor sick little things has 
>a set a fruit hope I can at least get a few more this year   I'm familiar 
>with fusarium wilt this doesn't look like it, although  I do have that in 
>my tiny patch. I know that other than dig out and dispose of the soil I 
>can only plant resistant plants and get as much fruit as I can before 
>they succumb.
>Any suggestions?
>hope you all have better luck than me.
>Zone sunset 19 top left hand corner LA county CA

Keith M. Warman
Computer Resource Team, Inc.	
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"Some men see things as they are, and ask, why? I dream of things 
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