Tuesday 24 July 2012


Over the last few days we have finally had some weather that could reasonably be described as "Summery". Daytime temperatures have been in the mid- to upper-20s. Woohoo! The tomatoes like it, that's for sure.

But there is bad news in relation to these tomato plants too - several of them have contracted blight. Blight is an airborne fungal disease, and is fostered by warm, humid conditions.The signs of this disease are unmistakeable - black patches on the stems and brown shivelled leaves.

I have cut off all the affected bits that I can see, but that is only ever going to be a temporary measure. Once blight has taken a hold there is no stopping it. Two of my tomato varieties ("Ferline" and "Orkado") are ones specially bred to be blight-resistant, but even they will eventually succumb. So it's a race against time now. Can the plants produce some ripe fruit before they die? I think the answer is Yes. The "Sungold" plant in my first photo above, for instance, evidently has a few fruits that are nearly ripe already, so it only needs to survive for a little bit longer.

Of course, I would like all my tomatoes to be completely unaffected by the blight, but that is no longer an option, so I have to do the best I can in the circumstances. If the plants get badly affected, I will pick the green fruits and ripen as many as possible of them indoors. Until such time I will continue to pick off the worst-affected leaves and hope for the best. Spraying with a solution of Bordeaux Mixture may help to retard the growth of the blight, so if I get the time I may attempt this at the weekend, when I get the time.
Next year I may try a different strategy: covering the tomato plants with thin plastic "coats" to shield them from the blight spores. I have seen such things advertised in catalogues, but I have not yet tried them.

Meanwhile, thinking more positively, the tomatoes' relatives the Aubergines have developed into big powerful plants - not tall but solid.

And covered in flowers now too...

Each of my two plants has about five or six flowers (it's hard to be sure because the foliage is so densely packed).

Since Aubergines are part of the Solanaceae family, along with the Tomatoes, can they get blight too? Does anyone know? Potatoes are the other prominent member of this family, and they certainly can!


  1. We have had blight on tomatoes grown in a greenhouse Mark. We haven't grown tomatoes outdoors for several years now but were going to try in the garden this year - then the weather changed our minds.

    I guess aubergines can get some sort of blight but you don't hear much about it so maybe they are less susceptible than tomatoes.

  2. I swear I had an eggplant get blight one year. It had all the same look as blight on the tomatoes and since the tomatoes all had it I figured that is what it was. But only one out of four got it. So maybe they aren't particularly vulnerable? So sorry to hear you have it in your garden now.

  3. I stopped growing tomatoes outside last year because of blight. We have afew in the greenhouse, I do hope they wont be affected.

  4. Bummer! When I lived in "Blighty" my tomatoes got blight too. I have never had the problem in Australia - does it exist in Australia? Or is that one of the very good benefits from being an island a long way away? (Don't worry, we have plenty of other tomato problems like fruit fly to make up for it!).

    Now I am no expert here, but if it is a fungal, wouldn't a spay of (err..excuse me) urine help? But I guess the knowledge of treatments is considerable in blight affected places.

    I love a good eggplant picture - they look fabulous, I like when their stems are dark purple! What variety are they?

    1. Gardenglut: they are "Pintung Long" a long slender type akin to the oriental brinjal.

  5. Shame about the blight, hope it doesn't spread. Your aubergine looks really healthy; I hope it produces as I hope my three plants do as well.

  6. Your eggplants look fantastic! Mine are so beat up by flea beetles and the weather they don't look nearly as happy as your plants! I love the deep purple in contrast to the bright green leaves. They are a gorgeous gorgeous plant, with yummy fruits! I'm sorry about your tomatoes:( I just googled Bordeaux Mixture since I didn't know what it was...for a moment I thought you were spraying red wine on your tomatoes! I hope the blight can be reduced as much as possible!

  7. Drat! Blight looks awful. Not seen it here. I agree with Charmcity - the eggplants look super healthy. The leaves on mine are chewed and and full of little holes, yet they continue to produce.


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