22 April 2014

My Tomatoes Have a Fungus!

*Sigh* I knew my first-time gardening experience would not be smooth sailing, but a disease already?!

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.

Homemade Fungicide Recipe

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.


  1. Thank you for sharing this on Green Thumb Thursday! I pinned it to our hop board and shared it via Twitter and FB. See you on Thursday! I love it when people share what went wrong because it happens to everyone!

    1. Thanks, Tessa! Fingers crossed the homemade fungicide works! :-)

  2. Did the homemade fungicide work?????

    1. Yes! I got rid of the infected tomato plants as best I could from the overcrowded container, and have used the fungicide on all of my plants once a week since. There has been no spreading of disease, and everything is growing nicely.


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