Argghh! Blighted Tomatoes

I came back from holiday, tired, weary and very, very jet-lagged to find this in my garden. I could have wept right there and then. Virtually all of my Tomatoes were ruined by blight. Today, I spend an hour or so pulling up the dead plants and collecting the rotted Tomatoes in an attempt to keep the spores from lingering in the soil. It was like wrestling with the living dead! Horrid, dried-up, gnarled and crispy the plants spat pock-marked, flea-infested, brown gunk at me as I pulled them out of the ground and stuffed them in the bin liner. I hate Tomatoes.

32 Responses to “Argghh! Blighted Tomatoes”

  1. lisa pon 08 Sep 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Snap! Not one little tomato for us…

  2. Tracy Osbornon 08 Sep 2008 at 6:29 pm

    That is so terrible! Virtually all the tomatoes in my garden are ruined as well from a combination of wilt and something eating the plant’s roots and killing it. Not a good tomato year at all.

  3. Clareon 08 Sep 2008 at 7:00 pm

    That’s really awful – I know how much you were hoping for a tomato bounty. Pretty much everyone I know in the real workd and online has had tomato blight (myself included). It’s not much consolation, but at least we know no-one else is enjoying tangy tomatoes while cry over our diseased plants!

  4. Susyon 08 Sep 2008 at 8:53 pm

    Too bad. I’ve heard a lot of people complaining of problems this year here in the U.S. My plants are guiltily doing perfectly. So Sorry.

  5. Claireon 08 Sep 2008 at 9:40 pm

    That is such a shame – my tomatoes are really poor this year too – the weather in the UK has been so bad! Here is to next year!

  6. Karen - An Artists Gardenon 08 Sep 2008 at 10:37 pm

    So sorry.

  7. sherrill Ranewon 09 Sep 2008 at 2:00 am

    Hi–nice to find your blog! I am from Portland, Oregon USA. My tomatoes are mostly green. I so far have a couple of ripe pole beans–and two small green pumpkins short corn stalks with mini ears forming. We had a cold August for us. Looks like this week will be warm. Yeah–maybe I start seeing some treats.

    My question is are you rotating each year where you are planting your tomatoes to prevent blight and such. Well I quess you know where not to plant your tomatoes next year..sorry about your loss–always painful!!!

    Cold frame gardening anyone???? Advice? Sherrill

  8. Shelbyon 09 Sep 2008 at 2:17 am

    I’ve been waiting with you to see what you would come home to, expecting a bounty awaiting your return. I’m so disappointed for you. I live in fear of this happening to me, and I can only imagine how you’re feeling right now. I’m ruthless with my plants, pulling them out if anything looks remotely funky because I’m so paranoid about it spreading to the other plants. I think I’d probably be more upset if I came home from vacation to a blighted tomato garden than a stolen TV or something. At least that is replaceable! I might be depressing you more! I guess my point is: I feel your pain. Next year!

  9. Nigeon 09 Sep 2008 at 7:49 am

    Sympathy with you, and hope you can dry your eyes with some potatoes or something else that was a bigger success. We had a small sprinkling of tomatoes but the heavy crop just hasn’t managed to push through. My only success in the greenhouse has been some jalepenos.

    ah well. On with next year (Poly tunnel with sunlamps?!!)

  10. martian77on 09 Sep 2008 at 9:05 am

    My tomatoes are blight-free (touch wood), but green. Apart from the ones that the slugs have eaten. Yes, honestly. They eat through the skin and eat out all the seeds, then leave the rest of the outer layer on the plant.

    Don’t think I’ll be getting many tomatoes either. Bad tomato year #2 for me.

  11. Carolineon 09 Sep 2008 at 10:49 am

    You’re not alone. I’ve had the same problem, and I think my late potatoes might go the same way. This is my first year with an allotment and it would be easy to be disheartened. Luckily beans and courgettes are still doing well – and I haven’t had to buy a lettuce since June!

  12. Nicoleon 09 Sep 2008 at 11:23 am

    We too have suffered with blight. It has ruined all our potatoes and tomatoes. Everything is rotting due to the awful weather. Even our beans have been battered in the wind and to top it all off I found a massive black slug sitting on one of our squashes! He did not live for very long I can assure you!

    Every gardener can sympathise with you…

  13. Nitaon 09 Sep 2008 at 12:26 pm

    This British weather sure tests the determination of the outdoor tomato grower!

    I was like you when I went on holiday except I was dreading coming back to dry, crisp sun-baked plants, exept they were the opposite and almost drowning in rain-water.

    I have now moved them indoors lock, stock and barrel (kitchen) and at least I am getting the harvest off them. It’s lovely to prepare asald and just pick the tomatoes off the plant as needed.

    No blight for me this year tomato or potato-wise

  14. Ollyon 10 Sep 2008 at 7:46 am

    What a pain! We’ve had no blight this year, just a shame we haven’t had any sunshine either :(

  15. Sue Rollson 10 Sep 2008 at 9:41 am

    Commiserations, I do sympathize having lost 6 plants to blight in my garden over the last couple of days. The lotty tomatoes that usually succumb first, have managed to fight it off due to two sprays with Bordeaux mixture over the last 5 weeks. It is for sale through the Organic Garden Catalogue and is reluctantly acceptable only as a last resort as organic. I will however be picking off all fruit as they show the slightest ripening to finish off indoors for roast tomato puree as per River Cottage recipe.
    More worrying is the possible contamination of manure, the organic gardeners friend! (see link)
    Glad you had a good holiday.

  16. K!on 10 Sep 2008 at 6:57 pm

    I had to leave a comment, felt really sorry for you! If it us any consolation, I made Jamies mothership of all tomato salads, and it was O.k, but a bit mushy, my toms too ripe!x

  17. Drew Shielon 11 Sep 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Mine too – blighted to hell and back. One plant seems to have survived, and I did get a few tomatoes before it hit, but overall, it’s been a near complete loss.

  18. LisaBon 11 Sep 2008 at 2:09 pm

    You have my deepest sympathies too. I checked on my allotment the night before heading off on hols a week ago and noticed that some of my promising heavily laden toms were showing the first signs of blight. I’ve left detailed instructions with my friend as to what drastic measures to take but I’m really nervous about what I’ll get back to. Still got a week left…trying to relax and not think about it :)

  19. Judybbyon 11 Sep 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Oh no! Poor you. After last year I have brought mine inside this year – cheating I know. They have only just ripened and were green for ages. Could you try a few in pots indoors next time?

  20. Lindaon 12 Sep 2008 at 10:32 am

    Your picture scared the wits out of me. I live in West Wales where it seems to have rained every day for months!!!!!

    My toms, grown from seed by me, were safely in my 1yr-old greenhouse, but having ignored them for days because they weren’t ripening, I have just inspected them, found the odd hole & creepy crawly, so have picked the remainder. Some will probably ripen indoors, but there are more than we can eat, so I will now spend some time looking for green tomato recipes!

    I honestly feel that if this was my first year of gardening, I would give up, but in my 5th or 6th yr, I know that it is swings and roundabouts. I have several farming cousins, and can only wonder how on earth farmers can take the strain – our little plots, which can be supplemented when required, are nothing in comparrison.

  21. Marigoldon 12 Sep 2008 at 11:53 am

    I’m thinking of growing early maturing and blight resistant varieties next year. The T&M cataloque arrived this morning! Jump back in the saddle ASAP!

  22. Karinon 12 Sep 2008 at 5:06 pm

    I’m growing Ailsa Craig this year after losing last year’s crop to blight.

    I did think I would lose this years to end blossom rot, which is not infectious but down to irregular watering. However, since the last lot of wet weather they seem to have recovered and we now have several tomatoes ripening indoors after turning pale orange outdoors.

    So, if you haven’t tried them, try Ailsa Craig next year – and when ripe they are lovely and sweet and flavoursome, too.

  23. mtpon 12 Sep 2008 at 9:48 pm

    Yes I’m thinking I might go for a blight resistant variety next year.
    I noticed that they had the same problem at Berryfields this year, according to the new presenter on Gardener’s World tonight.

  24. Roseon 17 Sep 2008 at 9:01 am

    Just thought I’d share that the Ferline toms that I planted this year due to losing plants last year to blight seem to be resisting (as advertised) remarkably well – just starting to show minor signs of blight which given the weather is pretty good going! Have had some good ripe toms, pretty good flavour and texture, and hoping that a few more will ripen before blight takes over or frost strikes. Greenhouse toms were attacked in a big way by caterpillars!

  25. saraon 18 Sep 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Have just discovered your brilliant website after googling “green tomato chutney” because we’ve just had to rescue our tomatoes due to the dreaded blight. This is our first year of having a proper garden and was looking forward to a proper glut and tons of tomato sauce. Got enough red toms out of the greenhouse for 4 bottles of ketchup – will be trying the chutney tomorrow ! thanks…

  26. Karinon 23 Sep 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Since my last post I discovered hubby’s tomato plants, which were not a blight resistant variety, grown in the soil a few yards away from mine, have succumbed badly to blight, which seems like a pretty good test. The only difference was that mine is grown in a grow bag, but it is outdoors and totally unprotected. I did lose a plant as I started out with two, but that was in July and due to me not watering enough.

  27. […] satisfying to grow as Tomatoes. Now all I need to do is make sure they don’t get blight, like last year – hmmm…easier said than […]

  28. photomaineacon 16 Aug 2009 at 12:05 pm

    After reviewing Blight for what it is and how it works, I have come to the conclusion that it was sprayed from air planes. It could not have spread though my whole State as fast as it has without help. The blight was in the rain along with other chemicals that the Government spray’s from planes. Why, I’m not so sure other than they are all crooks and sick individuals! When you research cloud seeding with the understanding that population reduction is under way, the picture is very clear! It is going to be the most interesting decade in a long long time! Good luck all and better luck with your gardens next year ( in a green house)?

  29. mtpon 20 Aug 2009 at 8:25 am

    Hi Photo – Blight has been around for a long time. It’s what caused the Irish potato famine in 1845. I’m pretty sure they didn’t have planes then :)

  30. lynneon 15 Sep 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Hi I have just found blighted tomatoes, I used google to find out what the hell was wrong with my tomatoes, my question is can you rescue the unblighted green toms from the same plant and I have about 12 large plants together in a raised bed, can you give me some advice about this rot and if I can save any other toms or plants.

    This is my first year at growing veg and it has been complete trial and error on all accounts

  31. jennyon 25 Sep 2010 at 2:41 pm

    can anyone tell me WHY the tomatoes have blight

  32. mtpon 29 Sep 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Hi Jenny – yes! blight is a fungal disease that will affect Tomatoes and Potatoes in a particularly wet summer. If they are outdoors and continually getting wet (on the leaves mainly) then the spores that live the air will end up on the leaves and infect the plant. There are several things that you can do to avoid blight but none of these are really failsafe. Here’s a link to a post I did about how to avoid blight.