Problem with Tomato plant - Knowledgebase Question

Sheboygan, Wi
Question by jbcouponquee
June 30, 2010
In 2009 we planted tomato plants which grew well & had tomatoes. When the tomatoes turned red, we noticed black spots on them. This was not blight. The spots were skin deep & didn't discolor the flesh. We found something about this in a book, but can't find the book. The book stated the black spot was a fungus, which layed dormant in the soil. What can we do to get rid of the fungus? THANKS!


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Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010

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It sounds like your tomatoes were infected with anthracnose, a fungal problem that is pretty common on these vegetables. It starts as a sunken spot on the tomatoes that then turns black in the center, often with concentric rings around the dark area. It affects both ripe and green tomatoes, although you don't see symptoms on the green tomatoes until they ripen. Sometimes the leaves are also infected. This fungus is most active in warm, wet weather. To control, try to avoid overhead watering so the plants aren't wet and avoid working among your plants if they are wet. Pick tomatoes as soon as they are ripe, as overripe tomatoes on the vine are most susceptible to infection. Clean up all plant debris well at the end of the season as the fungus overwinter there. You can also spray with a fungicide at the first sign of disease and repeat every 7-10 days. Fungicides prevent the spread of the disease; they don't cure infections. Choose a product that is labeled for use against anthracnose on tomatoes and read and follow all label instructions and precautions. Contact your local county Cooperative Extension Service office for more information on products registered for home garden use in your state.

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