Many of the leaves are bedraggled, and there is marked wilting of some individual stems, while other stems continue to look just fine. I sliced into one of the wilted stems and saw brown in the vascular tissue (located between the green skin and the white, central pith). Those indications, along with the fact that the tomatoes continue to look good, leads me to believe that the problem is one of the soil-borne wilts, probably Fusarium. That is a huge relief, because I have heard that Late Blight (a very bad tomato disease) has been "going around."
|Great-looking Cherokee Purple tomato, finally ripening, on a very sad plant. PHOTO/Amy W.|
|Costoluto Genovese tomatoes, on a plant with a leaf-spot-type fungus. PHOTO/Amy W.|
The Costoluto Genovese tomatoes aren't quite as far along. I keep hoping for a dry day (notice a theme here?) on which I can go out and trim away all the "bad" leaves and then see if there is anything besides fruit left to salvage after I complete the pruning.
While I was in Texas, the rain gauge out in the garden accumulated more than five inches of rain. The tomato-disease problems aren't a big surprise, considering how wet it has been all spring and summer. However, they are annoying. Since the forecast is for more, and yet more rain, I am thinking that it is time to come up with a Plan B. Wish me luck?
Meanwhile, there is a little lesson here about these two varieties of tomatoes: Costoluto Genovese seems to resist Fusarium wilt, and Cherokee Purple seems to be resistant to Early Blight. In future years, that information might come in handy.
I hope that all the other gardens out there are having fewer tomato problems!