Last October, this is what happened to my tomato plants:
And this is what happened to the tomatoes:
One minute, the tomatoes were ripening nicely and my biggest concern was how to keep the critters from demolishing them. The next minute botrytis was all over them. This year I have therefore been ever vigilant, checking the plants every day for signs of anything untoward.
Yesterday, I found a branch with seriously yellow leaves. From looking it up, I am certain that it was something benign. But on my travels through the internet, I learned that it might be possible to prevent maladies such as late blight by taking off the branches at the bottom of the plant. Then if there is any pathogen in the soil, water won’t be able to splash up onto them (so easily).
Another precaution I have taken is to stake up those branches with fruit on them, so that they are no longer trailing on the ground. This, along with the aforementioned measure, will also mean that air can circulate more easily and thus the risk of disease should be reduced.
I’m also hoping the tomatoes will ripen more quickly, now that the sun can get to them with greater ease. I am happy to have green ones for chutney but it’s so lovely to have some red ones for salad as well!
© Helen Butt, August 2014