[tomato] Tomato Blight - South Florida?

Pete (Tomato@GlobalGarden.com)
Sat, 11 Dec 1999 00:48:56 -0500

Hi Thomas and Marianne.  I was very hesitant to report my results for fear
of smearing the suppliers of my seed and fungi.  What I posted mostly sums
it up.  The seedlings were acclimated first outside on the covered terrace,
then put in sun in the screened terrace.  Then after a week or so they were
transferred to the garden or container.  My friends did not use the pine
needles, nor did I use them in the containers.  Both containers and raised
garden bed tomato plants suffered.  I used the fungi when I started the
seeds, used it again when I transplanted them into a larger container, and
used it again when I transplanted outdoors.  I prepared the beds about 6
weeks before planting with composted manure, sand, humus & Organic
fertilizer supplied by you Thomas.  In the raised beds I put two crushed egg
shells under each plant, and sprinkled the fungi on the moistened root ball.
The only additional fertilizer used was occasional fish emulsion, and one
application of the original organic fertilizer. My sprinkler system (which
also waters my grass) waters for a half hour each zone on M-W-F.  No egg
shells were used in the container grown plants, nor did I use pine needles
in the containers.  The tomato plants that I gave to my friends were not
planted with pine needles either.  I advised them to use low analyse organic
fertilizer because the plants were "inoculated".  The results that they
obtained were the same as mine...grow great at first, then wrinkle, blossom
drop, and then stunted growth.  I sent emails to both my county and state
cooperative extension services about the possible "blight", and asked if
there has been a problem.  I await their answer.

I also used the fungi on some oriental eggplants which I planted much later
than the tomatoes.  They were growing superb, and they still are, except a
few blossoms have fallen off.  The leaves on the eggplant look perfectly
normal though.  The jury is still out on those.

I used the fungi on my citrus trees, and those seem to be benefiting very
well, my calamondin tree has fruits again after being barren for 2 years.
No adverse effects have been seen on my mango tree, or the grass around
those trees.  A hybrid Sungold tomato plant which was planted last summer,
and survived to the spring, was rejuvenated by my poking a hole near the
rootball and adding Mychorrizae spores.  It began to bloom and refruit
again, although not as well as when it was a young plant.  I did not grow
any hybrids, and I thought that maybe the hybrids were more resistant to
diseases in my area.  Last year I grew all hybrid cherry and beefsteak
tomatoes, used composted manure and Miracle-gro, and I had more tomatoes
than I could use.  This time I went all organic.  Now, I'm not saying that
is what did it, a more likely explanation is some sort of blight.  I'm
hoping that my local cooperative extension can shed some light on this.

I just bought a new digital camera. Maybe I can take some close-ups of the
leaves, and whoever wants to, I can email them the pix?

Pete, South Florida, Zone 10