The weather has not been forgiving lately… rain, rain, and more rain. Temps have fallen to the 70s, and although humid it’s not great tomato weather.
The other day I noticed the dreaded early blight or septoria leaf blighting the tomato plants. For those of you unfamiliar with this menace to the garden you’ll be able to identify it easily. You’ll notice yellowing leaves towards the bottom of the plant. The leaves themselves are dotted in a blackish gray.
Early blight happens when spores are thrown up by splashing rain. This is a fungal spore that is always present in soil. When it is wet and cool the spores thrive.
Starting at the bottom the early blight will move upwards damaging leaves and the tomatoes themselves.
To combat this menace I quickly got out my garden shears and began removing the lower non fruit bearing leaves and branches. By doing this you remove any leaves that could get splashed by rain, and give the plant a chance to dry up and fight this menace.
After using my garden shears on the removal of diseases leaves I wash them with rubbing alcohol. I believe that the cleaning will keep me from distributing the fungal spores to any other plant in the garden.
Hopefully my crop of tomatoes will survive and produce many jars of salsa and spaghetti sauce for the cold months ahead.
When Mother Nature gives you cool weather and rain, and produces early blight, and more work for you… remember to live a simple life.