We save the affected crop of tomatoes or how to save tomatoes from late blight if they are already sick
Late blight is a problem familiar to most gardeners. This fungal disease annually threatens the harvest of many plants: potatoes, peppers, eggplants and other plantings. Among them are tomatoes. Appearing on one bush, late blight soon covers all plants.
In a couple of days, the entire crop can die if measures are not taken in time. In this article, you will learn how to determine late blight infection in tomatoes, how to save tomatoes from late blight, if they are already sick, what are the preventive measures.
The content of the article
- Signs of tomato infestation with late blight
- How to deal with late blight if tomatoes are already sick
- How to save the harvest
- What to do if late blight struck the fruit
- Preventive measures
- Tips & Tricks
Signs of tomato infestation with late blight
Phytophthora is a fungus that develops in conditions of high humidity. It infects the plant directly from the soil or is carried by the wind from diseased bushes to healthy ones.
Most often, the first signs of the disease appear on the leaves. They are covered with dark gray and brown spots, sometimes with a white fluffy bloom on the back. The stem is also covered with spots. The inflorescences turn yellow, darken and soon fall off.
The fruits are also affected. Brown or black spots of an uneven shape appear on them. Over time, they merge into one spot. The tomato changes shape, becomes ugly, softens and eventually rots, giving off an unpleasant odor.
It can also appear on the fruits of late blight after harvesting. Infected vegetables begin to darken and rot during storage and ripening.
How to deal with late blight if tomatoes are already sick
Often, when the disease progresses, the infected plants cannot be saved - they are urgently disposed of in order to avoid an epidemic. If the disease is detected in the early stages, then tomatoes can be cured, for which there is a number of methods.
The stronger the plant, the less prone to disease it is. Improve the immunity of tomatoes by feeding them phosphorus-potassium fertilizers.
If infected, immediately remove the affected leaves and fruits, then spray the bushes with a fungicide. After a week process only fruits with a solution of calcium chloride. A 10% solution is sold in pharmacies. It is diluted with water in a 1: 3 ratio.
Note! Do not use chemicals when infecting ripe fruit. Chemical processing is only appropriate when the fruit is still green.
If you don't like chemicals and are worried about the sustainability and quality of the crop, try folk methods. They are also effective in combating late blight:
- One of the available means is iodine... This is an excellent disinfectant. Prepare a solution of 1 liter of milk, 1 bucket of water and 15-25 drops of iodine, spray the infected plants.
- A simpler solution: mix milk and water in a 1: 1 ratio and spray the tomatoes daily.
- Garlic mixture. Chop 100 g of garlic and pour 200 g of boiled water. Let it brew for a day and add 1 g of potassium permanganate. Dissolve in 10 L of water and use a spray solution.
- Many gardeners recommend brine.... It will create a film on the tomatoes that will protect the fruit. To do this, dissolve a glass of salt in 10 liters of water.
If you don't want to remove the bush, try piercing the diseased plant with copper wire. This will enrich the tomato with oxygen and normalize its chlorophyll levels, making it more resistant to disease.
Set the wire on fire, cut a small piece about 5 cm long and insert into the stem 10-12 cm above the soil level, bending the ends down.
Important! If it was not possible to save the plant from phytophthora, it is important to remove it correctly. In no case do not throw the bush into the compost pit, as with the subsequent feeding of the garden with humus, this will provoke new infections. Burn the diseased bush away from healthy ones.
How to save the harvest
There is little difference in the treatment of an infected crop in the greenhouse and outdoors. The main nuances are in preventive measures.
In the greenhouse
In the greenhouse, thanks to protection from excessive moisture - rain, dew, fog - favorable conditions are created for the development of the phytophthora fungus. But this only works if the greenhouse is regularly ventilated.
It is better to treat infected plants with folk remedies, since chemical treatment in a closed and stuffy greenhouse poisons the air. After the plants are cured or removed, pay special attention to the soil. After harvesting, it is treated with Fitosporin solution so that the fungus dies and does not infect the plantings next year.
In the open air, tomatoes are more susceptible to disease, as rain and dew create favorable conditions for the growth of the fungus. When infected, they use chemicals, treating plants in clear weather in the morning or evening. On average, this is done every 10-14 days. But keep in mind that many drugs are easily washed off with rain.
What to do if late blight struck the fruit
Even if the disease has reached the fruit, you should not despair. The harvest can still be saved and even eaten.
How to save
Collect fruits affected by late blight in a common container. Pour the tomatoes with warm, almost hot water or potassium permanganate solution for a couple of minutes. This will kill the bacteria. Then dry each vegetable thoroughly and wrap it in paper to prevent the fruit from contaminating each other. Leave the tomatoes in a clean, dry place to ripen.
Can I eat them
If late blight has not penetrated deep into the fruit, then tomatoes can be eaten by cutting off the layer damaged by rot.
How to save green tomatoes
If a plant with unripe fruits is sick, then green tomatoes can be saved. Collect fruits without signs of illness - they should be whole, firm, without black or brown spots. Next, be sure to rinse with warm water - this way you will wash off bacteria from the fruit.
Then leave to dry in a warm place out of sunlight. The active sun shrinks the tomatoes, preventing them from ripening. After a couple of weeks, the first ripe tomatoes can be harvested.
It is known that disease is better prevented than cured, therefore:
- Be sure to disinfect the soil before planting. This will reduce the possibility of late blight to a minimum.
- Plant tomatoes after beets, cucumbers, onions, cabbage, carrots.
- Water the tomatoes early in the morning.
- If tomatoes are grown in a greenhouse, be sure to ventilate the room to avoid condensation.
- Remember to loosen the soil for better aeration of the roots.
- Do not neglect feeding plants with biologically active and folk remedies.
Tips & Tricks
When irrigating, make sure that water does not get on the plant and fruits - for this it is convenient to use drip irrigation systems.
Fight against late blight it will be more effective if you feed the plants with phosphorus or potassium. And, of course, don't be discouraged if the plants get sick - they can be saved if you put in enough effort.
Phytophtora annually affects tomatoes in regions with different climates. But infected fruits can be saved and even eaten, so do not rush to get rid of them. Chemical and natural remedies, agrotechnical methods will help in the fight.
Watch your garden carefully: it is easier to overcome late blight of tomatoes if you notice it in the early stages. And, of course, the most effective remedy is prevention.With proper planting and care, you won't have to fight the disease.