Thursday, July 1, 2010

What is this disease??

Last night "The Italian" and I went to a friend's house for dinner. Of course, the first thing I did is go check on her vegetable garden. She has had a difficult time growing vegetables at their new house. The yard really doesn't get enough sun. The first year, she planted late. Last year, there was the blight. I am not sure what type of disease she has in her garden...maybe blight...maybe not.

It started on the tomatoes and is moving on to the cucumbers and beans. It is not on the potatoes though. The pictures below show what seems to be the stages of developement. Maybe it is two different things. The tomato plants have leaves like pic 1 & 2 on the top and 3 on the bottom. The one tomato plant is also wilted on half the plant. I am sure that all of the tomatoes will die shortly.

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3


  1. Can it be Magnesium deficiency for the first two?

    The last one is definitely different. Don’t know what it is, but I would cut of those leaves and wouldn’t save seeds from those plants.

  2. My vote goes to "excessive watering" - probably from Mother Nature...

  3. MojVrt, I have tried to get her to test the soil. She didn't think that it was necessary because the soil in the beds was compost. No worry about seed saving. I grow her plants.

    EG, Although she lives an hour from us. We have had no rain for weeks. I will check with her to see if she has been watering a lot. The beds looked bone dry to me.

  4. The tomato is different- it looks like a virus, but I don't know which one. The top two look like some sign of deficiency- maybe magnesium or calcium? She needs to do a soil test.

  5. I checked with my mom and dad (mom is a life-long gardener and dad is a plant pathologist). They both said it was hard to determine just from pictures, but that is was almost certainly something different for all of them. Daddy said the cucumber could be powdery mildew or a deficiency of some sort (compost may still be lacking...). For the tomatoes, they suggested bacterial leafspot or spider mites (look on the bottom of the leaves for very thin spider webs). Just some other ideas!

  6. Thanks for all of the research Taylor. I spoke to her today. She is going to have the soil tested. They started the beds with compost that was already on the property. Who knows what was in it.

    I did not touch the plants myself. I really didn't want to carry anything home. I will tell her to check the bottom of the leaves.

  7. I think that is some kind of blight in the last photo. I get that on the bottom leaves of the tomato plants as the season progresses and just prune them away before they get too far advanced.

  8. Hmmm, from my master gardener class, I learned that there can be too much compost ( ). The optimal amount is 5-8% organic matter in the soil. Straight compost will not contain all the micro-nutrients needed, or there will be so much organic matter that they micro nutrients will be bound up in the organic matter and not available to the plants.

    Or it could be disease. The tomato looks to me like it could be septoria leaf spot. A soil test will tell her what she needs to know.


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