WHAT IS TOMATO BLIGHT?
Tomato blight is a disease caused by a fungus-like organism which spreads rapidly in the foliage and fruit of tomatoes - typically in wet weather, causing them to collapse and decay.
In particular, it is a serious disease outdoor tomatoes, but not as common on tomatoes grown in greenhouses.
Blight is specific to tomatoes and potatoes, and some ornamental relatives of these two crops are also susceptible. Cases have been recorded on some ornamental Solanum species as well as bedding Petunias.
Symptoms of Tomato Blight
How to Control Tomato Blight
Perhaps the biggest problem with blight on tomatoes is with its cousin the humble potato. With the majority of potato varieties being highly susceptible to this virulent fungus, the late summer air is full of pathogenic spores just waiting for a suitable host plant to infect. It's Unfortunate that the closely related tomato plant more than readily fits the bill.
This can be a particular problem with tomatoes, especially when grown outside in the more temperate regions of the country. With the late cropping of most true outdoor varieties – and even later cropping if glasshouse varieties are grown outside – the ripening fruit will often coincide with the seasonal incidence of ‘Late Blight’. If the late summer season is particularly hot and humid, your tomato crops will probably stand little hope of survival and your years worth of work can end up as another pile being burned at the local incinerator.
As a safety net, when wet weather is forecast from June onwards, begin applications of protectant sprays as a matter of course.
For related articles click onto the following links:
BLIGHT RESISTANT TOMATO VARIETIES
HOW TO COLLECT AND PREPARE TOMATO SEEDS FOR PROPAGATION
How to Grow Giant Tomatoes
HOW TO RECOGNISE POTATO BLIGHT - Phytophthora infestans
HOW TO GROW OUTDOOR TOMATO PLANTS FROM SEED
WHAT IS BLOSSOM END ROT ON TOMATOES