Plant diseases and other disorders

One of our frustrations as gardeners is disease. In a short time a whole crop can be destroyed. In many cases the cause of the problem is not obvious. One recent example (discussed below) is late tomato blight. Some people have lost their whole tomato crop to late blight.

But although we don't escape some of the plant diseases, we still have a productive garden.

Blossom end rot

Tomato blight ©Janet Allen
Blossom end rot

We've had blossom end rot occasionally. It seems to be related to the amount of watering.

One resource says that blossom end rot this may result from low calcium levels in the soil, drought stress, excessive soil moisture, and/or fluctuations due to rain or overwatering.

Until 2012, I hadn't remembered to add crushed eggshells to the soil when I planted tomatoes. That may explain the problem pictured here that I had in 2011. Also this plant was one that was grown in a container. Containers can dry out very quickly on hot summer days and those conditions listed above can easily happen.

Tomato blight

We didn't escape the tomato blight that swept the country in 2010.

Besides the damage to our garden, there was widespread losses to farms.

What was maddening about this, though, was that big box retailers that sold tomato plants didn't comply with requests to take them off the shelves. They continued to spread the disease because they didn't want to dump their merchandise. (This is another aspect of how we've turned food and agriculture into just a business, not a profession. How can this be good for any of us?)