This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Friday, September 04, 2009

late blight on eggplants

blighted eggplant 2 blighted eggplant
blighted eggplant leaves blighted eggplant stem

Ugly pictures!

I don't think its very common to get late blight on eggplants. But it sure looks like Late Blight.

Late Blight mostly hits potatoes and tomatoes. I had a big patch of blighted potatoes that I cut down back in June (luckily the tubers are 90% fine). And then in July, I removed 13 of my 16 heirloom tomatoes, grown from seed I started way back in March :( These were badly infected with Late Blight.

I suppose this is what I get from leaving the last 3 tomato plants in the plot (San Marzano, Hillbilly and Purple Calabash). The tomato plants are big and healthy looking for the most part, but there are signs of blight. But about 25% of the tomatoes rot before ripening.

About 20% of my eggplants have rot. These go into the 'Blight Bag'. I don't know how I'll ever be able to pick it up - its very heavy an full!

About 20% of my peppers have it too. They look very much like the eggplants.

I'm seriously considering a Solanaceae-free plot next year. Ouch.



Anonymous Amy said...

Could you please explain what you mean by a Solanaceae-free garden.

September 05, 2009 7:57 AM

Blogger Susie said...

I got a lot of blight this year too:-( What can I do to prevent it?

September 05, 2009 8:49 AM

Blogger JAM said...

Our tomato plants are turning all yellow and brown, and while we're not positive it's late blight, we're assuming it must be, so we're ripping up all the plants today and hoping some of the tomatoes will ripen. We've read to put the plants in the landscape waste, not the compost, so it doesn't spread, but is it safe to plant tomatoes and potatoes next year, or will the soil be contaminated with the blight? If it is, how long do you have to wait?

September 05, 2009 9:18 AM

Blogger Daphne said...

Ack on the peppers too? Sigh. I pulled up my eggplants. The Lavender Touch was afflicted by blight, but the Slum Jims were totally blight free. Luckily none of the fruits got it. So far my peppers have been healthy despite the blight in everything else. I'm only growing chilies. I hope they stay blight free. Maybe I should dry them on a ristra this year? Maybe I should stick them in the dehydrator.

September 05, 2009 10:40 AM

Blogger Michelle said...

Oh dear...I better go check my eggplant. I wonder if this is why all of the blossoms are falling off?

September 05, 2009 10:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It took me a while but I finally determined that all my tomato plants have blight. I'm in MO. Thinking back I know now that this has been the problem with my tomatoes for a couple of years. Does this mean I will always have this problem?? I'm good with not growing anything in the Solanaceae family next year but will that be permanent???

September 05, 2009 1:54 PM

Blogger TeresaNoelleRoberts said...

I'm confused by this blight! I've been seeing patches like that on tomatoes from green, healthy-looking plants, but some of my plants look like hell and are producing perfect, ripe tomatoes. (I think many of my plants got stricken by Something That Isn't Blight that didn't kill them made them ratty.) Right now, all tomato and tomato-related wastes are going into the trash and I'll hope for the best next year in a different raised bed. About all I can do.

September 05, 2009 2:07 PM

Blogger kathy said...

A Solanaceae-free vegetable garden is a very sad thing. (Actually maybe an oxymoron?) Solanacea is the family of vegetables that includes tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers, chiles, tomatillos. All the vegetables that are suceptable to Late Blight. Solanaceae-free means none of these ...... :(

What can we do to prevent it? I'd like to know too. I've seen gardeners are starting to spray now with fungicides, but I'm not sure I want to do this.

If you have Late Blight in your soil, it will take 3 years without Solanaceae plants to clear the soil. ANd thats only if your neighbors aren't growing things with blight that will blow into your garden.

I really don;t know what to do. I'm afraid the best is to hope for dryer weather next year.

The UK and Dutch gardeners have to deal with Late Blight regularly. It a new thing for us as our weather patterns are changing it seems. But there are lots of rules I hear that gardeners need to follow. I think Patrick even mentioned there are laws that you can't plant tomatoes or potatoes in teh same spot more than once in 3 years.

And as Theresa says, its not only blight making the tomaotes ratty now. There's leaf spot and early blight. And with the weather a bit dryer now, its not killing the plants, just teasing us. I keep thinking its going away and that big beautiful green tomato will ripen and then ... it turns to yuck.

Oh well. There is very good advice out there about how to manage Late Blight. We just have to find it.

September 05, 2009 6:10 PM

Anonymous Lisa A. said...

Ugh! Horrifying pictures! I don't think I could live without Solanaceae plants! You might just have to buy a new house with a fresh yard! LOL!

September 05, 2009 6:22 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Yes, I think these photos were probably too ugly to have posted. I keep trying to avoid looking at this post.

A 'new house with a fresh yard' might best be a green house. I could grow all my tomatoes, eggplants and chiles under glass. Hmmm....

September 06, 2009 10:22 PM

Blogger Claudia said...

This is my first year growing tomatoes. And late blight is driving me crazy. Is it anything we can do this year to the soil to prevent further damage next year?
Do I need to destroy the whole tomato plant? I cut all the infested leaves and tomatoes. But it seems that the ones on the top are doing ok. Should I still kill the plant?

September 16, 2009 11:32 AM

Blogger CommonWeeder said...

We are all suffering this year along with our tomatoes, potatoes, etc. etc. etc. And three years without? Horrible. I've been wondering what the bad news might be about handling these crops next year. Thanks.

September 24, 2009 10:46 AM

Blogger kathy said...

On October 3rd, 2-4pm, I've invited a local CSA farmer (Gretta Anderson) to talk to our community gardens about Late Blight. If you're local you may want to come hear what she has to say.

She'll discuss a perspective from talking with other local farmers of experiences this year and thoughts on next year.

I'm hoping to Flip her (with my Flip video camcorder), if she doesn't mind. So maybe I'll be able to post it.

September 24, 2009 1:43 PM


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