I noticed the black spots a couple of days ago, but I was in the middle of a six-day work stretch that was rather rough. So this morning was the first chance I had to try and figure out if anything was really wrong with my cherry tomatoes. And, yep, there is something really wrong. From what I can gather with Google, my cherry tomatoes have "Target Spot." (I think it's a form of early Blight.) Here's a closeup photo of my tomatoes:
Compare that to an "official" example of Target Spot from Cornell University's Vegetable MD Online, and I think we have a match.
So What Caused It?
My reading has led me to three things often highlighted as causes of this fungus:
1. Watering over the top of the tomatoes, instead of at the base. [Guilty!]
2. Rain causing back splatter of dirt up the stem. [There's been a good bit of rain here lately.]
3. Overcrowding. [Guilty!]
So two out of three point to the likely culprit -- Me. Ouch! That stings a bit.
What is very scary is the possibility of contamination of not only my tomato fruit, but all of my other plants. Ugh. Can that happen?
|Removing the Infected and Thinning Out|
So What Do I Do About It?
The best defense seems to be to get rid of (completely, that stuff can hang around your garden for years) all the infected plants, but (truth be told) I want to try and salvage some of my tomatoes! *She whines.* I also thought this would be a good time to experiment with a homemade fungicide that might help the tomatoes and act as a preventative measure for my other plants.
More Googling suggested mixing 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with a gallon of water. Put it in a spray bottle and apply liberally to leaves (including the underside) once a week.
Fingers crossed. I'll let you know how it goes. Wish me luck! :-)
Have you ever dealt with this disease in your garden? Have you tried a homemade fungicide? What were your results?
Shared at the Homestead Barn Hop and Green Thumb Thursday.